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James Smith
'The Walking Creative'

James Smith, Adelaide-based artist of the ‘Walking Creative,’ decided to pursue art from his Grandfather at a young age. Since his beginning in the art industry, James maintained his passion through inspirations, ranging from art forms to nature. He enjoys urban art and artwork throughout Europe and Asia; he also gains inspiration from wildlife, where different species display their own unique colouring.


As his art continues to change, James has come a long way since he started his sketches with a lead pencil. Through experimentations, James has tried water colours, oil and acrylic paint, then later moved onto mixed media using black backgrounds to showcase his utilisation of vibrant colours. His current style focuses on a yellow background, accompanied by a display of other bright colours. James is inspired by the artists: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, who work with similar vibrant colours.


Through his artwork, James tries  to inspire his audience to pursue what they love and he strongly believes that art is in the eye of the beholder. Fellow artists have reached and complimented James on his work on Instagram, where he has recognised these fellow artists adapting their own style and began to use vibrant colours.

James’s artwork consists of a diverse range and is mostly freestyled, which he leaves the interpretation up to his  audience and perceive it how they would like. The most challenging piece that James had to face in his art career was the mural, where it can be found at the RAJ House in Adelaide. Despite the challenge, as James’s art is based on freestyle, he quite enjoyed it. The other challenges James has faced throughout his career was feedback from his audience based on the change in his art style, moving on from the black backgrounds to the utilisation of vibrant colours. However, as an artist, James wanted to challenge himself and develop his skills. He lives by the motto, “art is for everyone, but not for everyone.” 

James stated that Adelaide has the potential to grow in the arts sector and is perfect for upcoming artists. He had many opportunities to work with local businesses; such as the vintage pop-up shop, Fanny Adams, where he painted some denim jackets. His long term goal is to branch off into the international market and expose his artwork to a larger audience; however, he has worked on some creative projects for Japan. James hopes to work on more mural artwork and enter large scale exhibitions; he’s currently liaising with a café in Glenelg to work on a mural. His advice for upcoming artists is to continue following the passion for art and disregard unnecessary criticism.

As James is based in Adelaide, he’s favourite café is Annex in Glenelg; but in the city, any café on east Rundle Street is a perfect choice. As for the nightlife, his go-to bar is Bank Street Social. If James were the major of Adelaide for a day, he would work on a campaign to improve Adelaide’s tourism and be honest with citizens on how he would act on achieving it.

Interview Conducted and Written by 
Kelly Mullany