I hope that you all are enjoying these features as much as I do when I am writing them. I'd like to welcome you all back to another spotlight feature by the Rooted Minds Blog, where we connect with Artists and Entrepreneurs to learn about their journey. We also love to celebrate the stories behind the brands and artists that we support. This one is pretty dope, as we travel to my hometown of Los Angeles to connect with London James.
The grind never stops! That statement is both true and the mantra of the kids coming up in this culture. Many of us wear different hats in order to manifest the futures that we want to see for ourselves. But no matter what, we've got it in our minds that we are in control of our futures, especially if we put in the work.
This next feature is no stranger to the grind. I originally met this person in like 06' at the African-American Youth Leadership Program in Sacramento, California I and have just been keeping up with her via social media. It has been dope watching her grow and transform her brand. She's even done some work helping to build up media for UnpluggedLA a large platform for Emerging Musicians and Performers in the LA County area.
My hope is that through this feature we can inspire both our business-minded folks and our visual artists. London's story is pretty dope, about how she came up and the process to getting to where she is now. She also has her work currently displayed at the Talon Gallery in Portland, Oregon for London’s solo exhibit — https://talongallery.com/collections/london-james
I recently went on to the Talon Gallery website to check out the listings and noticed that a lot of the pieces are sold out. So big congrats are in order for London and her brand.
London James is a 29-year-old ceramic artist originally from Chicago, IL. She spent most of her childhood in Inglewood, CA, and later received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in 2013. London began studying Ceramics independently at LMU in 2011 and discovered an undeniable passion for the craft. Later in 2017 she created PorcelainSneakerhead (PSH), an exclusive line of ceramic sneaker-art, merging two passions - kicks and clay.
London ultimately seeks to bring ceramic art to the forefront of the culture, while exploring the relationship between cultural arts and community.
Check out the website to shop!
Comment below with your favorite pair of sneakers?
Rooted Minds Blog
RM: Rooted Minds
LJ: London James
RM: Are you a 'Sneakerhead' what's your personal favorite pair of sneakers? Are there any sneakers out there that you really want and haven't picked up yet?
LJ: My favorite pair would have to be the Jordan 11, just the silhouette. The 17s are another favorite of mine. I'd love to get my hands on the Sean Witherspoon AM97s or some Off-White Sail 4s.
RM: What has been your journey to owning your own business and what has been the most impactful lesson that you've learned?
LJ: I thought it would be cool for two very different passions to co-exist. So in 2017, I created Porcelain Sneakerhead (PSH), an exclusive ceramic sneaker line that merges kicks and clay. PSH represents me carving out my space in the clay community, unapologetically.
It feels great to get some emotion and passion and inspiration and “good vibes” going before working. As a business owner, I’ve learned that you cannot rely on that inspiration. It might not always come on time or at all, but you have to keep creating regardless.
RM: What's the process like creating a Porcelain Sneaker? Is it something you have to do over several days or so?
LJ: I am a slip caster, which means I make plaster molds of objects that bring me joy. The mold-making part alone is lengthy but always fun & rewarding in the end. The second part of my process (working with clay) brings its own unpredictable spirit into the mix. Generally speaking, it takes several weeks to add a new piece to the line.
RM: I always find myself showing your page to my sneakerhead homies, can you tell us what kind of feedback have you gotten over the years from Sneaker Heads that have checked out your page or website? LJ: Sometimes I have work available in sneaker stores & I get feedback from staff. I’ve been told that people’s first reaction to them is like, “what are those!? those are fake!” and the staff is like, “relax, it’s not a real shoe.” [smile]
RM: 2020, was such a full year, were there any gems that you were able to take away from all the chaos?
LJ: 2020 was definitely one for the books. It taught me to stay on my toes; never become attached to any particular outcome or trajectory. It also taught me to be open-minded and to be more present in the moment.
RM: What are one or two things that keeps you grounded? How do you practice good self-care or how can you practice it better (if you've been lacking in that area)?
LJ: One thing that keeps me grounded is to walk away from social media every now and then. I need to stop implying to folks that my free time means I’m available. Self-care really requires you to distinguish between the two. Also, after completing intensive projects I aim to spend a lot of time with family in an effort to recharge and relax before asking myself “what’s next?.”
RM: What are some words of wisdom or encouragement for upcoming creative entrepreneurs that you'd like to share?
LJ: Try everything out at least once, you never know how trying something new can evolve your style as an artist. Let your personality shine through your work! Never give up, never stop creating! Develop your own definition of self-love and be consistent with it. And, always aim to find the beauty in your struggles!
Interview by Dom Root
Thanks for your support and help celebrating this amazing entrepreneur. Please be sure to follow her page and support her business, in anyway that you can. We definitely hope that you learned something or gained some added perspective. It is a part of the I Am Root® Mission to celebrate the achievements of emerging artists and entrepreneurs and this blog series is our most popular way of doing so.
If you or someone you know should be featured, please visit www.iamrootco.com/submissions and drop a link so that we can check it out. This has been a dope experience prepping this article, we'd like to thank London James for chopping it with us, we wish you much more success on your journey.
NOTEWORTHY PRESS FEATURING PSH
Check out a couple of these notable moments in time where London's brand was featured by major outlets. It's so awesome to see people getting recognized for their hard work. I remember the day I saw this pop-up on IG. We love seeing people that we know, flourish.
PSH first gained traction after a 2017 instagram feature with TheShadeRoom. PSH was later featured at Nike’s SNKRBALL, an event celebrating culture and social change during Black History Month 2019. - from PSH Website
Creative process Porcelain Sneakerhead
108 views • Sep 10, 2017
More about I Am Root®
I Am Root® LLC is a Lifestyle Brand that specializes in events and productions for Local, Underground, and Emerging creative arts. The I Am Root® Collective is made up of 7 independent artists and a blog team whose mission is to inspire and be inspired.
We [typically] curate monthly and quarterly live music showcases, concerts, open-mics, special release events, and various specialty shows across Arizona. We have curated over 150 events here in Phoenix Metro Area. We work with local, emerging, and underground artists, the Maricopa Community College School District, Arizona State University Organizations, Non-Profit organizations and others to help push the culture and create a community for artists and art appreciators.
We are here to inspire and be inspired.
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Peep our last feature with DiVoy'e
More about Dom Root
I am from Inglewood, California, currently working in Phoenix, Arizona as a Sound Engineer (Live, Recording, and Mixing). I am a Music Producer and Creative Artist looking to build portfolio and for live performance opportunities. I graduated from Arizona State University studying Creative Writing and Philosophy. I later studied audio production technologies at Mesa Community College, before taking on more freelance work.
Links to PSH:
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