By Princess Russell |Staff Writer|
CSUSB students got a glimpse into the creative world of Synthia St. James Thursday May 24 at the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art.
“Living My Dream: A Conversation with the Artist Synthia Saint James” was an intimate setting of chairs filled with enthusiastic audience members ready to hear the inspirational words of St. James.
The world-renowned artist, author, illustrator and public speaker visited the campus to talk about her art and particularly her new book, “Living My Dream: An Artistic Approach to Marketing.”
The event was not a stern lecture, instead St. James created the humble atmosphere of a casual gathering. “I’m just Synthia,” she said.
St. James shared her knowledge about the road to success and told candid stories with inspirational words. She played a compilation video featuring clips about her career and artistic accomplishments throughout her life, then proceeded with an easygoing conversation with the audience.
St. James welcomed comments and questions and while filling the audience in about what projects and events she would be working on in the future.
The “Living My Dream” exhibit displayed pictures that were vibrant with the use of colors that showcased their content. Each picture reflected a resonance of cultural diversity.
The display of artwork from the artist included both earlier and recent pieces ranging from 2003 to 2011. The self-instructed artist refers to her talent as “God-given.”
St. James’ artwork features people and objects from all stages of life. Through her use of colors, shapes, clothing and positioning of objects, she is able to depict specific types of characters and the roles they play in society.
She tells diverse stories in her work and the main ideas of her art array visually. Some depict the events surrounding the Harlem Renaissance while others such as “Real Women” illustrate women of all races, shapes and sizes.
The uniqueness of St. James’ work can be attributed to the use of featureless faces, exaggerated body language and bold colors to express her point of view and evoke feelings to her audience.
Even with the large amount of bold overlapping colors, there is a peaceful stillness in the way the characters in her pictures are represented.
St. James describes her artwork’s message as “unity and acceptance of all cultures, because we are all the same.” She admits that “everyday life, music, film [and] nature” inspire her.
Towards the end of the exhibit, St. James talked about her latest book. The book explains her life’s journey and also includes useful marketing tools for any career.
In addition to her artwork, she is also greatly recognized for her introduction of the United States Kwanzaa postal stamp she designed in 1997. “I’m always open to things, things I’ve never done,” she said to the audience.
The St. James exhibit was a genuine look into the life of the artist. She opened up and shared intimate details about how she creates her colorful artwork and the non-profit organizations she is involved with.