Meet the Model/Artist, James Chuter, who is bringing his playful and vibrant compositions to our urban city streets, and who is also the talented hand behind our special M issue logo. James’ youthful work was the perfect choice when choosing an artist to capture the essence of our Mother Nature themed issue, which hopes to reconnect us back to nature even in the midst of chaotic capital cities. His murals may only last a few months before graffiti wins over, but James hopes his art will continue to grow, in both size and substance.
Tell us a little bit of your background and where you learnt you had such an artistic talent?
I was always drawing from a young age, and thanks to the encouragement of a great teacher, was offered a scholarship to my secondary school. However, at college I became very interested in film and music, and for four or five years I barely did any art at all. I would occasionally sit down to draw but would very quickly get bored and stop. I knew I needed to find a way to make art fun again.
Whilst living in Sydney in 2015 I ran passed the Bondi beach sea wall, which is full of murals. I got in touch with the local council and they gave me a spot to paint. I'd never painted a mural before, but found it was just the change I needed to get back into art. Painting in public with the added deadline of a day or two really helped me overcome my perfectionism to finish and have fun again with painting. The positive feedback I got from that mural really encouraged me to go for it with my art. In the last two years I've managed to complete over 20 murals in Sydney, New York and London.
If you were to describe your work in a sentence what would you say?
Playful characters combined in a random 'doodle' feel but with balanced and structured compositions.
Where can we look out for your pieces?
London mostly, however it's rare for a piece to last more than a month or two because of graffiti. I have a new piece at restaurant, BIRD, in Camden. And behind the restaurant is a large colourful piece that should be there for another month or so.
Is there a message behind your art?
Not really! Although I have ideas and themes I would like to start introducing, mainly the clash between nature and man. But right now it’s mainly shapes and characters I find fun to paint.
Do you feel that art can reconnect us back to the importance of nature within our cities?
Definitely. I think people appreciate seeing something colourful and creative in the middle of a grey urban space, surrounded by intrusive advertising. A lot of street artists seem to take great inspiration from nature, and art that features animals seems to be the most popular with the public.
What do you hope for the future in terms of where your art can progress to?
I'm only just starting to get to grips with spray-paint so really want to start to master it next year. Also, I am always looking for bigger and better walls. I would love to use a cherry picker on a large wall next year to escalate the scale of my murals! But, in the meantime, I just want to work harder. This was my first year really working at my art again and I've loved it. So, I am excited to do even more next year
Interview by Jade McSorley
Portraits by Curtis Gibson