James Wilde Is Her Name and Street Art Is Her Game
Get to know more about the badass female artist that’s painting your favorite punk bunnies around LA
As I walked up to the painted electric box on the corner of Ninth Street and Flower Street, my eyes immediately caught the bright pink and blue colors of the box from about half a block away. That and the rad blonde in clear boots, showing off her crazy socks, standing next to it.
That girl is 25-year-old James Wilde.
Wilde is a local Los Angeles female artist that has participated in live painting events like L.A. Live’s “Dark Nights,” the LA Art Walk, and various other events. As I checked out Wilde’s work on the electrical box, I noticed there definitely seems to be a certain style that is evident within her pieces.
The wicked “punk rock rabbit,” as she describes it, is her self-proclaimed signature. The rabbit was derived from an idea Wilde had of a “playboy ex-boyfriend” she remembered while listening to Morrissey’s song, “The Last of the Famous International Playboys.”
“I like the animals I paint to be cute, but like creepy and fucked up at the same time,” said Wilde.
Wilde, a former Mt.SAC art student, decided to take a different route to expand herself as an artist. However, she remembers being creative as a child, especially since her mother would take her to different art classes.
One of Wilde’s most memorable moments in her early career started when she moved to Los Angeles and downloaded the infamous dating app, Tinder. One of her matches, who had seen her work, commissioned a piece from her and asked her to come over and paint a mural at his house. She took the risk, but of course, took a friend with her.
“I ended up getting really into it. It was the first piece I had ever done that was really bit. I posted it online late when I finished, around midnight, and didn’t look at it again.”
The next morning, she woke up to everyone going crazy about her mural online. “It was like a chain reaction. Within the next month, I got all these electrical boxes to paint on, and even got asked to be in a book; it was really crazy!”
As much as she enjoys commissioned pieces, Wilde has a passion for live-painting. Live-painting is basically a visual performance art, where artists are completing a visual art piece in a public setting. Lucky for Wilde — and us — there is a huge live-painting scene in Los Angeles.
“I get to interact with people while painting. They can watch me work and get hyped; I feed off of that and it gets me hyped as I work,” said Wilde.
Wilde is definitely someone to look out for if you’re ever exploring Los Angeles, interested in attending a live-painting event or just want bless your feed.