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Get to Know Your Artist

I'm a non-binary artist (they/them pronouns) based in the beautiful Bay Area, California. I travel around (or work virtually) creating live visual notes at conferences, meetings, trade shows, and receptions. I'm a professional smile-maker :) as attendees are delighted to witness the conversations come to life right before their very eyes. I also enjoy a hands-on partnership with my clients as their only point of contact, and I personalize my approach to their specific brand and goals. I live a very rewarding life, and I'd like to share some more of my story with you.

Photo of Silent James as a child in New York.

An Early Live Illustrator

I was born in New York, and I discovered I had a talent for drawing at a young age. I grew up in a house on a dead end, and loved video games, cartoons, and pro wrestling. In school, I would live illustrate my notes in the same manner as I do in my career today (except I don't get scolded for it anymore). I also found I excelled in spelling, which comes in handy :)

Silent james illustration of ELle advice columnist E Jean Carroll of Ask E Jean.

Freelance Illustration as Silent James

In 2005, I became a freelance illustrator working under the name "Silent James". I spent a year illustrating for Elle magazine advice columnist E. Jean Carroll's site "Ask E Jean". I was also doing editorial illustrations for newspapers, magazines, book publishers, and record labels. My work has always had a handmade feel, and asymmetry plays a big part in my life (right down to my own heterochromia).  

© Speakeasy Dollhouse

Immersive Theatre Actor

In 2011, I took my character skills to the theatre and starred in the immersive play "Speakeasy Dollhouse". Originally scheduled for just 3 nights, it ran for over 3 years with me as the barber John Guerrieri. This experience taught me many skills I use as a live illustrator: improvisation, interacting with crowds, and performing live in front of people. 

Silent Jameslive illustrating at Amanda Palmer's kickstarter reception.

First Live Illustration Events

Through Speakeasy, I was asked to live illustrate Amanda Palmer's record release party. This was the moment I knew being a live illustrator was what I was meant to be doing. I traveled throughout the space and created live drawings of all the performers and colorful guests. I needed to be able to draw very fast, as excitement was happening all around me! Then I was cast in a spin-off show to Speakeasy, as the role I was born to play... myself! I was a mime that created live illustrations throughout the legendary Players Club. I found I was very comfortable drawing in front of people, and pursued this career as I relocated to the Bay Area :)

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Books Published

I previously published 2 children's books and an illustrated memoir; and in 2023, I published my illustrated psychedelic zine "Silent-Delic" (available now on Amazon).

As seen on CBS Sunday Morning
Screenshot of Silent James live illustration on CBS Sunday Morning.

As Seen on CBS Sunday Morning

In 2017, I live illustrated for NY Times best selling author Caitlin Doughty at her conference Death Salon Seattle. It was featured on CBS Sunday Morning!

Successful Meetings Silent James.jpg

Silent James in the Community

Silent James is an NGLCC certified LGBT Business Enterprise. Each year, I support community organizations and non-profits. I have always felt a solidarity with the conscientious, and a drive to make the world a better place with my art. I have live illustrated events for the SF LGBT Center, Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, Alliance For Safety and Justice, New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence, SKIP of NY as well as many large Google community projects including: Hack the Hood, Black Googlers Network, and Multi-Cultural Summit. 

The Greatest Adventure is What Lies Ahead

That's my story, now let me illustrate yours! Please get in touch today, and let's make a memory together!

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