Meet James Muir. James is an artist. A prolific Bronze Sculptor. World renowned for his work.
Q: Please tell us about what you do and why?
A: I am a sculptor. I never had any art training or expectation that I would end up doing what I do. I am fortunate to have a natural talent. Instead of going to art school, I chose to go to West Point. I resigned after the second year because of a family situation, and then my dad passed away two years later.
I don’t take credit for a lot of what I’ve done; however, it was an overnight success. It’s always awkward when people say, “How did you get here? What did you do before this? How did you become to be a famous sculptor?” I’m just an instrumental tool that creativity flows through me. My wife has to drive me kicking and screaming to any promotional event because I tend to be very reclusive.
Q: I’d like to understand the theology and the philosophy behind your work.
A: You have to read my books, ha-ha.
Q: Please tell us about your books.
A: My books are not just coffee table art books. You can look at the sculptures and read the write-up about them, but it’s interspersed with a philosophy behind it. I would say that it’s my autobiography, expressed through my art. I define it as allegorical art – art that has symbolism. This book won the “Pinnacle Book Achievement Award,” not as an art book but in the inspirational category. The second book picks up where this one left off from 2004 up to the present day.
Q: Tell us about your sculptures.
A: My work is intuitive – it’s hard to explain. First, I am not professionally trained in art or sculpture. Secondly, my work tells a story. It is very detailed about anything historical. If it’s ancient Rome, Vietnam, or Iraq, the Revolutionary War – if it’s historical- it’s going to be precisely correct and achieved to the best of my ability. I was involved with the Historical Artists of America, and they have this criterion: you have to be a good artist, and you have to be historically accurate.
I will forever be grateful for my time at West Point. They had an iron-clad code of honor. If you slipped up, you were out.b That was so ingrained in me that when I did get into the art, the truth was and still is paramount.
If you’re going to depict history, you got to be truthful with it.
I expanded the concept of being a historical artist. For example, I call my sculptures “Parables in Bronze” because some of them are parables. I started including stories with the pieces. It has become a part of my work and is genuinely allegorical. There is also a spiritual side that has nothing to do with religion; it is more of a universal story.
Q: What is the one trait you consider essential to your success?
A: Trust in divine guidance. Let go and let God.
Q: What keeps you motivated?
A: It’s not about me. It’s about the message I’m trying to bring through my work. What motivates me? To remember that I came here on a mission with a job to do. I didn’t get started until I was 35 years old. I have divine faith that this is what I am supposed to be doing.
Q: What advice would you give to others?
A: Truth without love is unbearable. That love without faith is impossible.
Simplify. Eliminate the unnecessary in your life to allow the necessary to speak in his full voice.
Q: What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: Peace of mind, peace of heart. So home is mind, heart, and peace.
From the interview with Jonelle Klein