The uncanny wit of James Yang
I love the work and the wit of artist James Yang. I also admire how he has always mastered the art of self-promotion.
I was a magazine Art Director in the 1980s when I received my first promotion piece from James. It was a coffee mug that I still have to this day, and was an early example of his practice of self-promotion.
Back then, artists mailed out a lot of t-shirts, coffee mugs, flyers, postcards, promotion pieces. It was how they kept their work on our radar screens. Like every other Art Director, I had a treasured collection of artist promotion pieces.
Since that time, James has easily embraced and mastered the art of social media. He is always one of the first artists to embrace new technology, which he has never allowed to interrupt his unique style. He has a style that translates brilliantly on paper as well as digitally.
James Yang is witty. A few years back, I noticed how cleverly he uses Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr to communicate with the world. He is remarkable in how he shares his wonderful world in Brooklyn where he lives with his beautiful wife, Choreographer, Dancer and Performer Abby Man-yee Chan, without it ever feeling too personal. His constant posts sharing his offhand thoughts are a delight, and parallel the wit in his work.
I don't think James set out to "master" social media. I think he just gets it. It is a natural assimilation of his artful use of tools, the online world being one of those. He is a perfect example of how one can incorporate one’s own personal style and personality into one’s social media presence.
I friended James Yang on Facebook in 2010. December 14, 2010, to be exact. I have loved keeping up with his work via social media. Even more, I love his witty personal posts. He shares his joys and frustrations of the working life of an artist with the rest of us. He shares witty personal anecdotes about life in general. He keeps current with news. He is an enthusiast for new technology and is an early adopter of software and hardware that enhance the creative experience. He is an enthusiast for other artists. He is the quintessential if-I-can-make-it-here-I-can-make-it-anywhere Brooklyn artist dude. Above all, he is successful—not only because he is gifted and he works really hard, but also because he constantly and seamlessly markets himself. One always feels like one has a window into James Yang's magical world through his social media posts.
A couple of years back I started to take screen grabs documenting his personal and witty use of Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr. I marvel at how seamlessly he weaves it into his professional life. More times than not, his posts makes me chuckle out loud. With his permission I am sharing some of that journey of discovery here in the images below.
Keep on truckin', James Yang.
– Traci Churchill
Artist and Designer
A James Yang gallery of delights: