Monthly Archives :

June 2023

Mixed Media

Mixed Media

Mixed Media 1440 960 The Tucson Gallery
Prickly Pear at Sunrise by Suzanne Villella
Prickly Pear 2115 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Prickly Pear

Looking For The Yes by Amy Lynn Bumpus
Looking For The Yes 1742 1738 The Tucson Gallery

Looking For The Yes

Tree by Amy Lynn Bumpus
Tree 2560 2557 The Tucson Gallery

Tree

Saguaro by Casey James
Saguaro 640 960 The Tucson Gallery

Saguaro

Love AZ by Suzanne Villella
Love AZ 2560 2023 The Tucson Gallery

Love AZ

17---2 by Suzanne Villella
Sweet 2008 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Sweet

Fertile Ground by Amy Lynn Bumpus
Fertile Ground 1705 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Fertile Ground

Another Evening Song by Suzanne Villella
Another Evening Song 2048 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Another Evening Song

What Apple
What Apple? 1500 2261 The Tucson Gallery

What Apple?

Prickly Pear by Casey James
Prickly Pear 640 960 The Tucson Gallery

Prickly Pear

Bien Viaje by Amy Lynn Bumpus
Bien Viaje 2560 2534 The Tucson Gallery

Bien Viaje

decline denial
Decline Denial 1942 1991 The Tucson Gallery

Decline Denial

Olive Branch
Olive Branch 1651 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Olive Branch

Double Vision by Amy Lynn Bumpus
Double Vision 1711 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Double Vision

Symbiosis by Amy Lynn Bumpus
Symbiosis 2560 1585 The Tucson Gallery

Symbiosis

Rose Colored Glasses
Rose Colored Glasses 1800 1810 The Tucson Gallery

Rose Colored Glasses

Agave by Casey James
Agave 1440 960 The Tucson Gallery

Agave

Knockout by Kathleen Arthur
Knockout 2048 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Knockout

Camouflage by Amy Lynn Bumpus
Camouflage 2145 1778 The Tucson Gallery

Camouflage

Veil-less
Veil-less 1707 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Veil-less

Glass Ceiling by Amy Bumpus
Glass Ceiling 1707 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Glass Ceiling

Pick of the Bunch by Kathleen Arthur
Pick of the Bunch 2048 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Pick of the Bunch

Pretty Tough by Suzanne Villella
Pretty Tough 2033 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Pretty Tough

Da Vinci bird
Da Vinci Bird 2000 1968 The Tucson Gallery

Da Vinci Bird

Street Smart by Kathleen Arthur
Street Smart 2048 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Street Smart

Slaying the Day by Kathleen Arthur
Slaying the Day 2048 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Slaying the Day

A Good Catch by Kathleen Arthur
A Good Catch 2048 2560 The Tucson Gallery

A Good Catch

Agave by Suzanne Villella
Agave 2560 2052 The Tucson Gallery

Agave

Self Starter by Kathleen Arthur
Self Starter 2048 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Self Starter

Happy Hour by Suzanne Villella
Happy Hour 1440 1800 The Tucson Gallery

Happy Hour

gaslighting
Gaslighting 1775 1775 The Tucson Gallery

Gaslighting

Empty Nest by Amy Lynn Bumpus
Empty Nest 2560 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Empty Nest

Mono-Vision
Mono-Vision 1769 2378 The Tucson Gallery

Mono-Vision

Seas Trees by Amy Lynn Bumpus
Seas Trees 1800 1437 The Tucson Gallery

Seas Trees

ICU by Amy Lynn Bumpus
ICU 1689 2560 The Tucson Gallery

ICU

Partner by Suzanne Villella
Partner 2024 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Partner

We are Relative
We Are Relative 2060 2083 The Tucson Gallery

We Are Relative

Hi Octane by Kathleen Arthur
High Octane 2048 2560 The Tucson Gallery

High Octane

Birds Words
Birds Words 2549 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Birds Words

A Cut Above by Kathleen Arthur
A Cut Above 2048 2560 The Tucson Gallery

A Cut Above

I Have Talked To Myself For Years
I Have Talked To Myself For Years 2034 2032 The Tucson Gallery

I Have Talked To Myself For Years

Raven
Raven 1723 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Raven

Ruling the Roost by Kathleen Arthur
Ruling The Roost 2048 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Ruling The Roost

Meet The Artist with Casey James

Meet the Artist with Casey James

Meet the Artist with Casey James 1080 1080 The Tucson Gallery

Transcript (Unedited)

Tom Heath

Welcome back to another episode of Meet the Artist. This is our weekly installment of Artist podcast. We record them as part of the event where artists come into the studio and share their knowledge with their fans. It’s every week. And it’s at the Tucson Gallery in downtown Tucson. 300 East Congress. We are located inside of the proper shops. We’re across the street from Hotel Congress, next to the realtor theater hub. You can’t really miss us. We’re down where it’s all happening. And we’re inside of a fabulous building here with all kinds of merchants. You can check out more information about the gallery on our website, tucsongallery.com. And while you’re there, you can check out these past episodes with all these fabulous artists. And most importantly, you can sign up for our newsletter and find out when your favorite artist is going to be live here in the studio. And had you signed up, you would know that your favorite artist, Casey, is going to be in the studio today.

Casey James

Hey.

Tom Heath

So we’ve got Casey. He is a photographer by trade, I think, but he’s a magician. Magician by night. We’re going to see how he puts all this stuff together. Casey, welcome to the show.

Casey James

Thank you. Glad to be here.

Tom Heath

So your art with us is kind of interesting. And

Tom Heath

there’s a lot of different layers that go into this. And it’s done with photography and painting and woodworking and stuff like that. So you’re quite extensive. You’re kind of busy. But what is your day job? What do you do when you’re not full time?

Casey James

I’m a full time photographer.

Casey James

Okay.

Casey James

I’ve been doing that eight years now. Full time. Primarily it was weddings, events, portrait work, working with people. But I really enjoy scenery, capturing sunsets, just what nature has to offer. So when I’m able to incorporate those two, say, people a couple, and then put them in nature with a nice sunset, that’s kind of my forte.

Casey James

Okay.

Casey James

So I do a lot of weddings with these epic scenic views, engagement shoots, family shoots, portraits for just couples, individuals. But when I’m out and about by myself, I like to go venture out sometimes at night, late midnight, look at the night skies. Sometimes I’ll go out during sunset just to get that sunset or just to get that sunrise. So that was kind of like the hobby side of photography. But ultimately I dove into real estate photography in 2019. Pretty tough. And that has kept us busy. So between doing weddings and events and real estate photography, I’m consumed with the camera.

Tom Heath

Okay, I get that. And then the art that you create then this is a photograph, and it’s inset in a shadow box. But then you’ve done all the paint. You’ve painted the box itself too.

Casey James

Yeah.

Casey James

So pretty much to describe the product, it’s pop’s art. I called it that after creating the product. So I created the product first without a name and it kind of speaks for itself. It’s like pop art, but it does pop out at you. But what it is, is it’s a 3D cut sorrow or cactus, whatever the cactus might be, but the shape of that 3D cut. Well, I say 3D cut, but it’s actually plywood. And I use a laser to cut the shape of the cactus to match the shape of the photo. So I have to go out and get a nice photo of a, say, a Sauaro, like our showstopper. That’s kind of like the first one to debut with Pops and get that and kind of cut it out, as you would say in the photo, and then match that to a wood piece about a quarter inch thick of plywood. Put those two together to create this 3D Soworo. And then I actually had to figure out a way to bracket and mount that sauro so it’s in a shadow box, and it’s not just floating around. It’s not just pasted. It’s nice and sturdy. So it is a bracketed in

Casey James

the shadow box made of wood. And then the backdrop is just a solid, vibrant color with acrylic paint. And I use a medium to thicken up the acrylic, so it’s more of like a stucco, so it gives it extra dimension. And, yeah, the colors are kind of endless. I’ve been experimenting with those.

Tom Heath

That is just, like, so much work that is put together a single piece, and then you got them in different sizes, too. You’ve got small, medium, large. I think you’ve got some huge ones.

Casey James

Trying to go life size. Like, if I could, my goal, which is the goal by the end of the year here, is to have maybe like a six or seven foot sorrow framed wow POPSART with a nice canvas background that maybe be a solid color or could possibly have some gradients to resemble a sunset. I’m barely dabbling into the painting side of things. Being a professional photographer, I’ve definitely learned my lighting and technique as far as highlight shadows, and really that’s all photos are, is highlights and shadows and the contrast between that dynamic range. So when I dabble into painting, it’s a new thing for me. It’s so hard to achieve that result that I desire. But what’s beautiful about what I’ve created here with Pops is most of my backgrounds so far are just solid colors. So I have the opportunity to create a color that I desire of a nice, vibrant, poppy color and just apply that to a canvas. And with that, it’s not that there’s no skill behind that, but it takes less skill than being a meticulous detailed painter. I think most of the detail comes in the photography, which I do specialize.

Tom Heath

Yeah, I could imagine you would drive yourself nuts trying to you’re a perfectionist, so you would drive yourself nuts trying to get all these different colors to match what your vision is. So you got into photography professionally, and you’re doing this as a hobby, which came first? Was it the passion for the artistic side? And then you said, hey, I need to make some money, or I need to make some money. And then you’re like, you know what? This actually kind of leads me into my artistic side.

Casey James

Yeah.

Casey James

So this was entirely very sporadic. It was just a vision and idea that I had. I was doing real estate photography at a Paid Job, a very nice home up in Catalina foothills. I saw a canvas print of a cactus with a black background. And then it wasn’t a full cactus. It was like an arm of a sororo. And it just struck my eye because it was so appealing, and I hadn’t seen anything like it. So I start to dissect it on the photography and just on the technical side, like, how did they capture this?

Tom Heath

Is it a photo?

Casey James

Is it a painting? And I realized, okay, it is a photo. But what they did was they took a photo at night with a flash where they illuminate the cactus. Therefore, the background is just black. Okay. You have nothing. Which looked cool, right? So I said, let’s try something. But that just triggered me to thinking even further, like, hey, maybe I could make something where the color is, like, crazy, right? Like, not black, but purple, pink, yellow, green, blue. And I’ve seen a lot of photos with sororos, but usually you’ll see, like, a night sky or a sunset or a blue sky. So you have a few different colors in that range. You’ve got blue skies. Sunsets here in Arizona are beautiful. It could really be any color of the rainbow. But for the most part, they’re like oranges and kind of purples, reds. Pretty warm.

Tom Heath

And then when did the 3D element come into it?

Casey James

Well, so I knew it had to pop out. So originally I was, like, cutting out foam, trying to match it with my photo to extrude it from another photo. So I was stacking a photo on a photo and extruding it by about a quarter inch.

Tom Heath

What is that word again?

Casey James

Extrude. I learned that back in college working.

Tom Heath

On my I went to the wrong college. What does that mean?

Casey James

So to extrude something is to, like to pull away, I guess.

Tom Heath

Okay, so you create depth. You create depth of the picture. So it’s like two pictures with a spacer in between it? Yeah, spacer. That’s the word us dumb kids use.

Casey James

Yeah, I guess it’s a spacer. Yeah, it adds depth. So I knew there needed to be depth. So what I was doing was pasting a photo on a photo, but I would add depth by using, like, foam core.

Tom Heath

We call it extruding.

Casey James

Yeah, I would extrude it how smart I am. But it looks so crafty and cool. And I actually have one in my house too. It’s got the three colors. It’s like pink teal and yellow, and they’re like the foam sticking out. If you go to the side of the photo, you could really see, like, the foam. It looks kind of crafty.

Casey James

Okay.

Casey James

But when I looked at that, it didn’t satisfy me, because, again, with not being a perfectionist, because I hate to claim that title, but I do strive to perfect a lot of things.

Tom Heath

You have a lot of attention to detail.

Casey James

Yeah, exactly. This is a better way to put it, but I wanted it to be much better. I wanted it to be presentable in an art gallery, presentable to a point where it’s like, wow, this is kind of realistic, even though it’s so far fetched, where it’s not real.

Tom Heath

Right.

Casey James

So to achieve that, I was just like, process after process, trial and error, trial and error, using the foam. Finally, I said, forget the foam. I need to just cut some, like, with a laser precision again, to get those edges perfect. So that way you see the side of the cactus, and it matches with the photo. It’s like a 3D cactus. So I looked around and finally found someone that could cut for me. So I sent the files. They had some prototypes, matched my photo perfectly, and that was the original, sororo so we ran a batch of 100 to start with, and each of those hundred she actually cut. My Lisa V Designs is actually my supplier for that. She’s amazing. She does more than just wood cuts. She designs wedding things and swag gear using engraving, anything with wood and lasers. She does it. So she’s kind of my source when I need to order a batch, a large batch. But in the meantime, I was like, I need to order my own laser so I could cut my own prototypes, figure it out. But once I got the 100

Casey James

on my hands, I had to order 100 prints, cut 100 prints, paste them to the wood. On top of that, the wood is just wood. So I also paint the wood black so it blends more with the photo. But yeah, just getting the actual cactus by itself in that 3D module is the hardest part.

Tom Heath

And you do then. So you’ve got the Suarez, the Agave, and the prickly pair.

Casey James

So three currently. I wanted to start with five. I wanted a choya as well. And then I also wanted to have a barrel cactus.

Casey James

Okay.

Casey James

I shot both the barrel cactus. The shape isn’t that appealing, to be honest. The reason I think the pops aren’t so cool is because shape of sororals or agaves or any cactus are so unique. There’s not really any items in our day to day world other than cactus that resemble that. Maybe a palm.

Casey James

Interesting. Yeah. Okay.

Casey James

So when you look at it’s, the shape more than anything. So when I cut out a barrel cactus shape minus the photo, it’s just like a half circle. It doesn’t look that great. So it didn’t excite me much. Now, maybe a barrel cactus with tons of vibrant fruit just bursting out of it might be pretty neat. So I do want to do that. And then the prickly pear or the Achoya, it’s so thin in some areas. Trying to cut like, a 3D wood and then match the photo to it, it’s almost impossible.

Casey James

Okay.

Casey James

So I’m limited currently to some of those.

Casey James

Okay.

Tom Heath

Confidence in you finding a way through some of this stuff.

Casey James

I think with a three for now, it’s a great opportunity because with just having three cactus, I also have three sizes, and then we also have what? Twelve colors.

Tom Heath

Yeah. We have a lot of people that will buy them in different sets, and they’ll find ways to mix and match them either by color or by style, or they want one of each, or they want different sizes because they’ve got different places, so they come together in a lot of different ways. And you mentioned earlier it kind of want to be realistic, but also very not realistic. And it is interesting because people will stare at them for a while to try to figure out what’s happening here because it kind of looks in some ways like it’s fantasy and then sometimes no, that’s a photo. But the way it all comes together, it it kind of tricks the mind.

Casey James

Yeah. Yeah.

Tom Heath

It’s fun. It’s fun to watch people stare at them.

Casey James

Yeah.

Casey James

And I get caught staring at them as well. Walk into a gallery or if I see more than one piece, it’s like, wow. And it’s bigger than just, oh, I created that. But that’s the vision I’d aim for, is to create that, and it’s done. So ideally, my goal is to definitely expand the product variety beyond just those.

Tom Heath

Three cactus or cacti, anything outside of the natural world. I mean, anything else that other than like, cactus. Yeah.

Casey James

So I love Hawaii.

Casey James

Okay.

Casey James

And I have a vision maybe one day having POPSART out there, and it would just be Hawaiian.

Tom Heath

So I’m talking this trip.

Casey James

Yeah.

Casey James

Surfboards. I think the pineapples would be a big hit. You have those in the tour.

Tom Heath

Pineapples would be fabulous.

Casey James

Get a contract with ABC stores. That’s all I need. I might be able to retire off of that, who knows? Okay, just kidding on that. But mainly, I think to brand it, I think I just want to keep it just like cactus. It’s Arizona.

Casey James

Okay.

Casey James

I think if it does grow bigger than what it is or what it’s deemed now, like, say, just locally here in Tucson, if I’m able to grow all throughout Arizona as a brand, as a product of pops art, and it’s known for what it is. I think that would be amazing because it just represents everything I’ve kind of built for me up to here with the photography, with business, and then being able to just express myself through the arts and stay up late nights painting canvases, different random colors that appeal to my eye. And even the assembly parts rewarding because that’s when everything comes together. The color of the canvas, the choice of the cactus, the size of the frame, and then the final product.

Tom Heath

So much thought into each and every piece. It’s really quite amazing. And you come at this from a different background than a lot of artists that we talk to because you started with a business mindset. So you were really aggressive about getting this product out into the market and advertising it and marketing it. Social media events. You’re doing a really nice job with putting that out there. So if you’re not, where do people follow you? Like on social media and Instagram, all that stuff?

Casey James

Yeah, so we have social media POPSART. Social media just was established in March, so it’s a couple of months in. We’re really trying to build a following, but we’re on like, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook. So those are the three ones. And aside from that, I’ve also got my real estate photography running all three of those. Instagram, Facebook, whatever. The TikTok.

Tom Heath

And what’s the brand on that?

Casey James

So the brand for the real estate is Luxe Realty Photography.

Tom Heath

Luxe.

Casey James

Luxe.

Casey James

L U XE.

Casey James

Yeah.

Casey James

So last year was our biggest year. It was just crazy with real estate. I had a team of five photographers. I think we closed on about we shot about 500 homes last year. So just between my team myself, I have editors in India. We’ve created a formula since 2019 when it was established to be able to really deliver a great service and product with the real estate. So that’s really consumed me. That is more to my day to day job, because weddings aren’t Monday through Friday, they’re usually Friday through Sunday, which usually I’m not working Friday, Saturday, Sunday, doing weddings, I would just be drained. Ridiculous. So where I’m at now, I did a wedding show at TCC a little while back. I generated quite a few leads from that, and that was amazing. Booked some weddings. And I’m not necessarily focusing on growing that because I’ve got quite a portfolio and I’ve been doing that the longest. But with the real estate, that’s kind of my main focus again, because it is the day to day operations.

Casey James

And then when it comes to the artwork, it’s kind of where I can meditate. Late night kids are asleep, families winding down. I’ve got some quiet time. And again, I could just paint.

Tom Heath

That was going to be perfect. Segue into my next question, which is, we always like to give Tidbits to people that are trying to figure out their path in life. You’re getting this figured out, but what kind of guidance do you have for someone that’s trying to manage that balance of man? I’ve got these full time restrictions on my time because of my job and what I have to do, but I also have this passion. But you’re fitting that in at different times and use the word. It’s like meditation. It’s your relaxation.

Casey James

It’s still a challenge every day, but I think starting Lux Realty Photography back in 2019 and trying to build a team and operating a team, I realized then that being in that industry too, in real estate, that a lot of people are just constantly working. So I set a boundary where Sundays I don’t work.

Casey James

Okay?

Casey James

I just don’t. I try not to if I can, I just don’t.

Tom Heath

But I mean, sometimes okay, when I.

Casey James

Say I don’t work, for some people, work is answering your phone or replying to an email which might take you a couple of minutes, but it does distract you and take you away from that moment. So if you’re able to free your mind entirely for the day from all distractions, I think that’s the healthiest thing to do mentally and then also for the family. If you do have a family, you got to allocate time to that. And it is hard working nine to five and coming home late nights and kids in school, things like that, and trying to build something. I don’t have an office where I clock in every day either. So my office is at home. So if my children are home and my wife’s home. And I’m working hard, avidly with deadlines in the office for hours up at 05:00 a.m., trying to beat them before they wake up at 630 or seven. So I could get 2 hours in and I get up to go get a cup of water, some coffee, or go to the restroom and they hear me and hey dad, that’s it. And it’s like quiet time is over. Yeah. It’s

Casey James

not about because I don’t desire to work. I don’t desire just to be away. But you need to be away in those times to be focused. Sure. So setting those boundaries, I think, is important. That the Sunday thing has been tremendous for me. My family goes to church Sunday mornings. Afterwards we usually go somewhere for lunch. We spend time with maybe other family members or go to a park and really just try to do the least. And I think that’s how you can really kind of wind down. And then come Monday, I know it’s manic Monday, it’s like who knows what’s coming the next day? But in that day, Sunday, it’s time to settle back and again. And it’s not always like that. If I book a wedding for a Sunday, I’m obligated to that wedding on that Sunday. I’m not going to necessarily turn a couple down just because I don’t work Sundays.

Tom Heath

But it’s the exception, it’s not the rule. I mean, you create the balance and I think that’s what we hear from others as well as you’ve got to figure out how the art relaxes you. You can use that as part of your meditation. And as you’re building that business, it’s creating enough boundaries so that you’re not mixing the two and kind of confusing where you are in that. Casey James, you’re known as the talented artist here in the Tucson Gallery. We are fortunate to have you.

Casey James

Thank you.

Tom Heath

People are going to check you out at POPSART. All over social media. They’re going to listen to this podcast and on our website you can see pictures of what we’ve been talking about. Is it POPSART? Is what’s your website?

Casey James

Yes. It’s just PopsArtGallery.com.

Casey James

Okay.

Tom Heath

So you can go to Tucsongallery.com or Popsartgallery.com and check it out while you’re on the Tucson Gallery. You can also listen to this podcast and others of our fabulous, all Tucson based artists. And that’s a product of the Tucson Gallery. Every week we do a different event and we’re fortunate to have tremendous talented and generous with their time. Artists come in and share what they do with us and as you can see, getting some loud fans behind you here. Getting a little rowdy here. So we’re going to wrap it up in case. We appreciate your time.

Casey James

Yeah, thank you. Thanks for having me.

Tom Heath

Thank you for listening to Meet the Artist. This is a weekly production by the Tucson Gallery, located inside of the proper shops at 300 East Conga Street in Tucson, Arizona. The mission of the Tucson Gallery is to support local artists by providing a space to show their art, a forum to engage with their audience, a virtual presence to connect with global patrons, an outlet to earn a fair price, and an opportunity to hone their business skills. Head over to thetussandgallery.com for more information about our live events, listen to other Meet The Artist podcasts and check out the wide selection of art gifts and other items created by Tucson’s modern, thought provoking and forward thinking artists.

Saguaro by Casey James

Saguaro

Saguaro 640 960 The Tucson Gallery
Saguaro by Casey James
Tucson Gallery is Proud to Feature Saguaro by Casey James

More Colors and Styles

Saguaro

by Casey James
Sculpture

$65 – $475

These Originals are Sold in the Gallery and Subject to Availability.  Please Visit Us at The Gallery for More Information and to See These Amazing Sculptures in Person

Prickly Pear by Casey James

Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear 640 960 The Tucson Gallery
Prickly Pear by Casey James
Tucson Gallery is Proud to Feature Prickly Pear by Casey James

More Colors and Styles

Prickly Pear

by Casey James
Mixed Media

$65 – $475

These Originals are Sold in the Gallery and Subject to Availability.  Please Visit Us at The Gallery for More Information and to See These Amazing Sculptures in Person

Agave by Casey James

Agave

Agave 1440 960 The Tucson Gallery
Agave by Casey James
Tucson Gallery is Proud to Feature Agave by Casey James

More Colors and Styles

Agave

by Casey James
Sculpture

$65 – $475

These Originals are Sold in the Gallery and Subject to Availability.  Please Visit Us at The Gallery for More Information and to See These Amazing Sculptures in Person

Casey James

Casey James

Casey James 1706 1945 The Tucson Gallery
Casey James
Tucson Gallery is Proud to Feature the Incredible Art of Casey James

Media

Casey James

A remarkable individual, with an unwavering determination to turn his dreams into reality, Casey James was born in Tucson, Arizona in the fall of 1989. From an early age, life presented its hardships, but Casey’s unyielding faith in God provided the guiding light to his journey of creativity and self-discovery. 

At the tender age of 10, a seminal moment occurred in his life during a family road-trip to San Diego — on the radio, a genre of music, foreign to Casey’s ears, blared through the speakers. The song’s infectious beat, catchy hook, and lyrical delivery, in combination with powerful storytelling, instantly captivated him. This newfound love for Hip-Hop served as both a refuge place and a gateway to creative expression for Casey. In time, he would write and produce his own music that would inspire and comfort others.

As Casey journeyed through life, he soon realized his talents extended beyond music. He had a natural gift for capturing the beauty of the world through the lens of a camera. With an entrepreneurial spirit and an unwavering determination, he turned his passion for photography into a thriving business, capturing moments that told stories and creating lasting memories for his clients.

Recently, Casey has ventured into the realm of fine art. With fun textures and vibrant colors, he creates multimedia pieces that showcase the natural beauty of the Sonoran desert against bold color blocks. By elevating common desert plants as his focal point, Casey challenges viewers to reevaluate the significance of ordinary objects in their surroundings. His distinct artistic style illuminates the essence and beauty of the desert cacti, allowing viewers to appreciate the unique charm of these iconic symbols of the American Southwest.

Throughout his endeavors and accomplishments, Casey’s love for God and unrelenting faith have continuously grounded him. It is this faith that fuels his pursuit of purpose and desire to touch the lives of others through the means of creative expression. Today, Casey stands as a multifaceted artist, musician, entrepreneur, and an inspiration to those who have faced adversity, reminding us all that even in the darkest times, the light of God’s love can guide us toward a brighter future.


Where did you grow up?

Tucson , AZ 🙂

Tell us about your family

I have a beautiful wife that I’ve been together with since High School. We share two beautiful children Ace, 10 and Leon 2 along with our x2 13 year old dogs Boose & Cookie

Do you have pets, if yes, tell us about them

Cookie & Boose are Pitbulls that have been coupled since they were each less than 1 year old. We raised them from puppies and their part of our family. They are amazing around our kids and they travel with us when they can!

When did you know that you would be an artist

I never knew I’d tap into Art until this year when I began to explore with different techniques to create POPS Art the vision I’ve had for about 6 months prior.

What is your favorite media to work with?

Photography! I am a full-time Photographer so I know the ins and outs of my camera. I am able to capture my vision and execute exact details in various scenarios. I love the challenges and artistic opportunities photography offers.

What do you do when you’re not doing your art?

I love creating MUSIC! I play a bit of Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, and write songs. I’ve written close to 1000 songs since I was a child. I dedicate most of my spare time to my FAMILY. Spending time with them and going on NEW ADVENTURES is what is most important to me.

Artworks by Casey James

Tucson Gallery Podcast - Meet The Artist with Jeff Brack

Meet the Artist with Jeff Brack

Meet the Artist with Jeff Brack 1080 1080 The Tucson Gallery

Transcript (Unedited)

Tom Heath

And yet, once again, we are here at the Tucson Gallery inside of the proper shops in downtown Tucson for another fabulous installment of Meet the Artist. Each week, we have one of our fabulous Tucson artists come into the gallery, spend some time hanging out with a fan, signing autographs. And as part of that, we pull them away from the crowd and record these fabulous this Meettheartist podcast. All of the past episodes are on our website, thetucsongallery.com as well as the schedule of events. And probably most importantly on there, there’s a newsletter you can sign up for that get once a month updates on what’s happening inside the gallery and the proper shops, the artists, the music, the events. All kinds of crazy stuff happening here in downtown Tucson. And if you are looking for souvenirs from Tucson or gifts that represent Tucson, this is the place to come. And we’re talking to the man today who made those. We have the Jeff Brack joining us today.

Jeff Brack

Hello.

Tom Heath

All right. First time he’s ever been on a radio. Just kidding. We’ll talk about it, but he’s got a storied career in the film and sound industry. But in the gallery, we have merch for Mr. Jeff. Tell us a little about your merch.

Jeff Brack

Yes. So it’s Tucson branded t shirts and hats, simply put. But you want to kind of hear.

Tom Heath

The yeah, these aren’t just Tucson branded. Like, oh, hey, we got the word Tucson. You got, like, shadows and you got all kinds of cool art happening here. Did you design these?

Jeff Brack

Yeah, so I designed them and it came out of a couple of things. So one was, wherever I travel, I like to find cool shirts from New York or Moab, Utah, or Denver, Colorado, or wherever I’m at. Just something I like. It’s fun to do and a lot of tours like that. And I noticed I hadn’t seen a lot of that in Tucson. A lot of good t shirts, hats. And at the same time, I was also trying to think of a cool idea that I could do for friends and family. During the holidays, I was designing the T shirts over at Roadhouse Cinemas, which is my day job as a creative director there. And I thought, well, I already know the ins and outs of the T shirt design business. And so I started working on some Tucson designs. And so for the last maybe four or five years, I’ve done Tucson themed t shirts and hats for my friends and family for Christmas. It was Christmas gifts. I can put an order in. Also, I didn’t mention that my passion for Tucson is a way the reason why I wanted to do it was I love our city, I love

Jeff Brack

our culture, I love representing Tucson. And so that was part of it too. I could have made anything for these gifts, but I wanted to highlight Tucson.

Tom Heath

To my friends and family, not just your big face on a shirt that says Merry Christmas from Jeff.

Jeff Brack

From me.

Tom Heath

If you’re not sure it’s the guy.

Jeff Brack

In your shirt, I wanted to highlight something cool.

Tom Heath

So those designs that you created, are those the ones that we have in the gallery? Are there, like, Jeff Brack originals out there that we haven’t seen?

Jeff Brack

There’s some you haven’t seen.

Tom Heath

I see treasure hunt happening. I see some value coming in here from some of these hidden items out there. There’s only like, a limited edition of 2015 Jeff Brack Christmas shirts. So if you got those, you might want to hang on to them. They’re going to be keep them in the box. Don’t open that box. Keep them in mint condition.

Jeff Brack

There’s a few that the family and friends have that aren’t out here. Some of these are the ones that I gave as gifts. There is one of the designs with the backlit 3D Tucson the sororo that was designed specifically for this gallery.

Tom Heath

Oh, yeah. We love the exclusivity.

Tom Heath

If you haven’t seen them, you’ve got to come to the gallery. I don’t know if we have do we have them on the website yet, at least for an image?

Jeff Brack

Yeah, you can get them on the website.

Tom Heath

So we can’t buy them yet on the website. We’re still trying to figure out that shipping piece of it from a merchandise in the gallery. We can ship a lot of the reproductions because we work with a third party to do that, but the stuff in the gallery haven’t quite gotten there yet. But we will. But I like them. And you should check them out on the Tucsongallery.com website because they’re the sort of balance between elegance and simplicity. A lot of T shirts, you see, like a lot of these touristy T shirts. There’s too much going on and you sort of lose that city. And here you’ve got Tucson is very obvious there. But there’s also entertaining. You’ve got things going on with a suwaro in the a mountain in the background. And the way you’ve put where you’ve put the word Tucson, how you put it. I know it might sound silly, but I think there’s an elegance and a simplicity to your shirts that make them, to me, very eye catching and appealing.

Jeff Brack

Oh, thank you. Yeah, I really like the use of negative space. There’s a design where the letters are actually the T shirt color coming through. And so I like doing that a lot where you actually utilize the T shirt as another color.

Tom Heath

Yeah, I think my favorite part is that I saw one of your shirts. I’m like, that’d be an awesome hat. And then about a month later, you show up with hats.

Jeff Brack

The that may have been your idea.

Tom Heath

It was my idea. I made you do. I’m like, we’re not putting you in a gallery unless you get hats. Yeah, but they have the Tucson with the A Mount and the cactus in the background. And I think I might have bought the first one. I should have had you sign it. Now it’s a little worn, but I do get compliments on that hat. And people are like, where’d you get I’m like, Tucson Gallery. It’s the only place you can find these. It’s a Jeff Brack original.

Jeff Brack

Oh, that’s cool. I’m glad you get good feedback on it.

Tom Heath

We should mention that your wife Julie is also an artist. And I’m kind of teasing because her brand is Julie’s original, Julie originals. And so I’m trying to get this Jeff Brack Originals to go with that. Is your company set up and your company name?

Jeff Brack

No, just the Tucson Gallery. That’s my all right. That’s my company.

Tom Heath

You got to get the Jeff Brack original series going here. I’m telling you, these things are they’re popular. We sell quite a bit of these as it goes.

Jeff Brack

I’m going to keep adding to it. I have some other designs I might bring in that highlight some areas around Tucson. One is presidio. San Augustine del Tucson. The original name Tucson.

Tom Heath

Yeah.

Jeff Brack

It’s an image of the old fort that I found in a history book. And then I have another one for Sabino Canyon.

Tom Heath

And I know you’ve given us sort of the nice exclusivity of selling these, but you need to get these out to other places. Like when you do the Presidio T shirt, you go over there and talk to them because they have a gift shop that’d be fabulous in there.

Jeff Brack

Yeah. To the museum.

Tom Heath

Yeah. Over there. And I mean through Sabino Canyon. The Parks and Rec. I would think they would want to use those as a little bit of a money maker for those. Give us the 3D Soaro as our exclusive. That’s the only place you can get that and maybe the hats. But I think your stuff, it needs to get out to more people because not only is it’s a symbol of the art in Tucson as well, I.

Jeff Brack

Like that it’s a celebration in Tucson, but also our gallery council serve as a tourist. What’s the word we were using?

Tom Heath

A destination? A Mecca trap or a tourist trap? Is that the word you’re looking for?

Jeff Brack

I don’t think the word is escaping me, but it’s a place where people can come pick up some memorabilia.

Tom Heath

Okay. Yeah.

Jeff Brack

Well, we have a lot of tourists walking around downtown, and there’s not a lot of places selling Tucson gear, so I’m glad we have it right here. It’s a great location, and hopefully some people walk away.

Tom Heath

Yeah. And then I think the other thing to talk about is the quality of the shirt. Right. You don’t just slap these on some basic cotton T shirts you can pick up, do you? Spend some money and get a really quality shirt?

Jeff Brack

I know it sounds silly, but just a straight cotton standard shirt, that doesn’t do it for me. So there’s a brand called Next Level that a lot of printers will use, but it is an expensive shirt, but it’s a blend of cotton and synthetic. And so it’s very soft. It doesn’t shrink, it stays soft. And that’s important to me, too, mostly from a selfish standpoint, if I’m going.

Tom Heath

To wear it, which you do all the time. I’ve never seen you in anything but a Jeff Brack original.

Jeff Brack

That’s not true.

Tom Heath

It is true. I don’t think I have. I don’t think I’ve seen you in the six months that we’ve been open. Every time you come in, you’ve been wearing a Jeff Brack original.

Jeff Brack

Let me be intentional.

Tom Heath

Yeah, I think so. It’s good marketing, but I want to shift gears a little bit because this is a project and I know it’s sort of a side hustle off of a side hustle, but from an art standpoint, you are an accomplished filmmaker. And I know it’s not part of the gallery, but I do want to talk about that because you got an exciting project. And as of the recording of this podcast, there’s still some anxiety around it. But you’re up for some awards here and those Darn writers are on strike. So there’s a hold on this. But tell us a little about your film and your career and what you’re doing.

Jeff Brack

Well, accomplished is generous of you. No, definitely. I’ve made a lot of short films and a pilot for TV series in the past. And worked as a TV commercial producer.

Jeff Brack

Yeah, I have a background in it. I studied film in college, and that’s really my first love, is filmmaking. So I did write a new screenplay, a feature screenplay that I’ve been pushing out kind of aggressively into screenplay contests, mostly in La. And I’ve gotten tremendous feedback. I’ve had six finalist finishes. One of them is still in the mix for the top ten, the last ten screenplays. So it could get option from that.

Tom Heath

Get option mean, like someone could purchase it to make it into a movie.

Jeff Brack

To develop it into a project. Yeah, they pay you when they option. So the way that this contest works is that final? Actually, it’s easy to say top ten. It’s actually the last nine. So these nine scripts are all sent to this big production company and they read them and then they’re going to choose one to develop. And they will pay you for an option, which means it’s their option for a year or whatever, the period that’s decided. And then if they are able to get the actors and the funding and everything put together, which is the development of it, and they can package it, and they decide they’re going to go into production within that time period, then they pay you for a preset fee that was decided for the cost of the screenplay. So you can get paid twice. You get the small amount for the option. You can get the full amount for.

Tom Heath

The actual and then after the option period, if they choose not to make it, then you get the script back. You can go back to and you don’t have to pay them back the option fee or anything like that. And then if it gets picked up, do you have control or say in how it’s made or is that part of the deal? Like once you option it, they can do whatever they want with your stuff?

Jeff Brack

Likely that’s the case. So yeah, they could do what they want with it. They can even rewrite it. So it may not even end up resembling what you originally wrote. It may just be inspire the next draft. But sometimes you can negotiate to be a continuing writer on the project. You can write new revised scripts for them. I guess it depends on their interest in having to be involved or whether is the artist can negotiate more involvement. But I think the standard deal is they just take it.

Tom Heath

I would imagine like any other artist, when you’re starting out and getting your foot in the door, you’re just happy to meet someone that’s interested in the work that you’re doing. And then the second one you’re like, hey, wait a minute, I didn’t do so on that first one. And then by the third one you’re like, no, this is how it’s going to go. If you want my stuff, this is how it’s going to go. Otherwise I’m going to take it across the street.

Jeff Brack

Right? You need that first project produced so you have a credit produced credit. And my real love is directing and I write to direct. But if the right situation arises where they want to option it and take it, that’s something that has to be seriously considered because getting a project out there and getting it made, that can be, like you said, open doors.

Tom Heath

We’re going to direct people over to my other podcast, Life Along the Streetcar, because you and I did an interview just after they announced the state incentives for the film industry and that’s going to have a huge impact. So I don’t want to dig too deeply in that because it’s sort of off topic from the gallery. But again, if you head over to the other podcast, lifealongthreestreetcar.org, just put Jeff Brack’s name into the search bar there and it’ll pull up the interview that we did and talking about what a very bright future for the film industry here is in Tucson. It’s been a while since recorded that. Are you still hopeful that that’s going to happen?

Jeff Brack

It’s happened. So it has happened. Small update on some of the things we talked about that ended up not being correct because it was early days, we didn’t know exactly how it was going to be hashed out.

Tom Heath

We were doing breaking news, we were breaking the news right then and there. And sometimes when you’re in that fury. You don’t always get all the facts right, but you do your best well.

Jeff Brack

And you can try to get the facts right, but then they change them because the negotiations continue. And the rules but the program is live. They’ve finalized the rules. The Arizona Commerce Authority, I think, is what actually runs it. But the application, I think it’s gone live and it can be retroactive. Productions can apply now for things going all the way back to January. Okay, so there are productions already coming in, but we are going to see an increase in film and television production, and that’s exciting. Even for small productions, there’s no limit to the budget. So if we decide to try to produce my script locally on our own, we still qualify for assistance.

Tom Heath

Listen out there, Funders. If you’re looking to get involved with the project, you got a script and a director sitting right here, and he’s going to make his own merch. It’s perfect. It’s perfect.

Jeff Brack

And I have a website, Jeffreyscottbrack.com, that has all the updates and news on the project and the status and feedback from screenplay contests and producers.

Tom Heath

Is the screenplay on there or at least like a synopsis of it or.

Jeff Brack

Like a log line is on there?

Tom Heath

I don’t know what a log line is.

Jeff Brack

One sentence description people can request on the website, the pitch deck and the script.

Tom Heath

Okay. Do you want to vet them first so they just don’t take your stuff and run? Is that pretty much how this industry works?

Jeff Brack

Yeah. You got to be a little cautious. Okay.

Tom Heath

But if you’re seriously thinking about funding or taking advantage of these new film credits and want to support local, I’m sure you’ve got a crew of people that you can put together to help get this thing launched, too.

Jeff Brack

Yeah, absolutely.

Tom Heath

Can you tell us at least the title of this movie?

Jeff Brack

Title is the Last Road Trip. Yeah, I can give you the basic gist of it. Two best friends are reluctantly hired to drive a dead body from Austin, Texas to Tucson, Arizona for a funeral.

Tom Heath

I love it. I love it. Come on, Funders, let’s get out there. I’ll bring the popcorn. Anyway, Jeff, it’s good to have you in the gallery. Your merchandise hats and T shirts are selling. I’m looking forward to maybe a couple more designs as they roll out, when you have time and not making films and heading to Hollywood and doing your day job, but still paying the bills for a while. And then do you put this stuff out, like on social media? Do you have Instagram, Facebook people can follow you? Or is it just Jeffreyscotbrack.com?

Jeff Brack

You mean for the merch?

Tom Heath

For the merch or just about you and your film and stuff?

Jeff Brack

Just you, yeah, the the Jeffreescotbrack.com is my film site.

Tom Heath

Any social media people can and actually.

Jeff Brack

There is a portfolio on there that does have some of the designs, some graphic design work. But these are actually you can see them on the gallery website. You can see them on my wife’s website. Juliangels.com. Okay.

Tom Heath

I’m trying to get to do you personally if people want to follow you to see what’s up. Do you have social media?

Jeff Brack

Oh, absolutely, yes.

Tom Heath

How do people link to you on that?

Jeff Brack

Yeah. So just Jeff Brack on Facebook and Jeff S brack on Instagram.

Tom Heath

Can’t get more simple than that. Thank Kevin. It’s brack. Are there a lot of bracks out there?

Jeff Brack

No, it’s pretty rare name.

Tom Heath

There you go. There you go. Rare name, rare shirts, rare hats, rare movies. We got it all here at the Tucson Gallery and you can learn about Jeff and all the other fabulous artists. I think we’re up to like 25 represented in the gallery. We just did a meeting with the artist and it was like this like this celebrity red carpet event. All these fabulous artists showed up and a lot of them hadn’t met each other. It’s a lot of fun. But you can check out all of our artists on the Tucsongallery.com. You can listen to past episodes, sign up for the newsletter so you can find out when your favorite artist is going to be live. And if you’ve missed that window and they’ve already been in, don’t worry, they’ll probably come back. But in the meantime, they’ll have a podcast up and you can listen to it. And it’s all happening inside of here. The proper shops, 300 East Congress. We’re in downtown Tucson. We’re right on the corner of Fifth in Congress. You can’t miss us. We’re kind of sandwiched in between

Tom Heath

hotel congress, rialto theater and the playground. We’re in a really popular corner. So come on down, check us out and meet people like Jeff. They’re keeping Tucson very beautiful and creative. So thank you again for your time.

Jeff Brack

Thank you, Tom. This is fun.

Tom Heath

Thank you for listening to Meet the Artist. This is a weekly production by the Tucson Gallery located inside of the proper shops at 300 East Conga Street in Tucson, Arizona. The mission of the Tucson Gallery is to support local artists by providing a space to show their art, a forum to engage with their audience, a virtual presence to connect with global patrons, an outlet to earn a fair price, and an opportunity to hone their business skills. Head over to thetussonggallery.com for more information about our live events. Listen to other Meet the Artist podcasts and check out the wide selection of art gifts and other items created by Tucson’s modern, thought provoking and forward thinking artists.

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