James Zucco, a former art director in advertising, and now accomplished artist in Minneapolis shares his story about his experience with meditation, art & creativity.
James Zucco spent many years creating award-winning work as an art director in advertising. Three of his commercials are featured in the permanent collection at MoMA, and his work has earned an Emmy nomination and other industry honors. In 2015 James shifted his focus to his passion for fine art.
He now spends his days in the studio, drawing and painting across a variety of mediums. His art now resides in private collections across North America, Europe, and the Middle East and has been featured in The New York Times and The California Sunday Magazine.
The team at Muse is thrilled to be highlighting his piece “Meditate Levitate” which speaks so closely to the Muse birds that you are rewarded with for sustained focus on our new company SWAG!
Q: Tell us a little bit about your work, and what inspires your art?
James: The Universe is equal parts creation and destruction. Understanding and accepting this brings me peace, and I hope that my art conveys this sense of balance. Concepts are important to me, which is something I learned working for years as an advertising art director. I work primarily with sumi ink on paper.
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Q: We love that a common theme in your artwork is meditation and self-reflection. How did you first get introduced to meditation?
Long story short, he taught me and many others to meditate in the months and years to follow. I think teaching meditation is a full-time job for him now. The formula was simply: Sit still in a comfortable position with your head unsupported for 20 minutes twice a day, thinking a mantra to yourself.
The specific mantras he gave to each of us privately were ancient Hindu mantras. As a history geek, I love that these “sounds” are the same sounds that humans have used for centuries.
Q: What is your personal meditation practice and how has it evolved over the years?
It’s an especially useful tool when I’m feeling stressed, anxious or depressed. It’s also an incredibly helpful tool to help with creativity or just thinking more clearly in general.
Q: Do you have any tips for creatives looking to use meditation as a way to infuse and inspire their creativity?
James: Meditating is almost a superpower for creativity and life in general. Your work will almost surely improve and you will probably enjoy the process more and feel less stress under deadlines.
Q: Do you have any tips for beginners who are just starting out with a meditation practice?
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Did you know Muse has a whole collection of meditations dedicated to creativity?
Harness the power of meditation and listen to our Creativity Collection (mobile only) on the Muse app and find meditations like “Make Space” with Adreanna Limbach and “Golden Light Imagination” with Joshua Dorfman.