James Little Wounded: Find Your Own Way
"Find your own way. Love and know your culture". In this snippet of Rose's interview with artist James Little Wounded, he shares his insight, experience, and gives some great advice to our younger generations of artists. He and Rose also remember his early days as a young artist here at Prairie Edge.
[Rose] Do you wish sometimes you could have those first few pieces back?
[James Little Wounded] Well, if I could remember what they were (he says this and chuckles).
[Rose] That's some of my favorite times with you…(mimicking James, she says) "Wow, this is really nice. Who made it?" (her answer is) "You did".
[James] Yeah, I remember that. Or, if I see a picture of it…"That guy did really good work! or Did I make this?"
[Rose] Do you have any advice for young artists? Anything you'd want to put out there for them?
[James] You know you got your own spirit, you probably have a way if you dig deep. Dig deep way down there in your past culture…you'll find it. Find your own way…
[Rose] That's really great advice…everyone has that thing inside them that's just waiting to be released.
[James] You also need to really love your culture and what you're doing - I love being who I am. You also need to really work at it, just like anything else - if you want to be successful, you got to work at it. Learn to accept criticism.
When I started working full time for Prairie Edge (as an artist), Ray (the owner of Prairie Edge) would help me, saying "You could do more"…he encouraged me.
Plus, you got to work at it…
[Rose] …practice, allow yourself to be open, and allow yourself to experiment…
[James]…and do that extra.
[Rose] I know that Rita (Ray's wife) loved everything you did. Everything.
Ray got mad at her one time…
He told her she couldn't buy everything that you made. He insisted that this dance stick (by James) was going to go down to Santa Fe (we used to have another location in Santa Fe). She said, "Fine, I'll just go down there and buy it then".
[James] I remember that.
[Rose] He (Ray) said, "You gotta give the rest of the world a chance to see this guy's work because it is so fantastic and deserves a place"…and it does.
[James] I'm always here to help.
[Rose] We appreciate that…we appreciate all the stories, all the artwork. I know customers can't say enough nice things about the work of yours that they collect.
[James] I don't own a piece for myself. I always tell my wife, "I don't make things for me, they're (my pieces) for other people. They don't belong to me…its like they're somebody else's". So, I never have a piece for myself.
(laughing, James says) But then she always says, "When are you going to make me something?"
[Rose] Thank you, very much, for spending some time with us.
[James] Oh…thank you. I'm sure we could talk allllllll day long.