“I’ve had amazing conversations and experiences with people that I’ll probably never see again. That fuels me to paint more and to experience more, give more, and create more.” James Haunt
James Haunt was raised in East Los Angeles, where he became interested in art through comic books, graphic novels and pop culture. He started drawing because, as a bit of a troublemaker, he spent a lot of time in his room being grounded. As Haunt evolved as an artist, he got into the graffiti scene. After studying graphic arts in high school, he began to shift his focus to a more commercial and less dangerous outlet for his creativity.
“I’ve been in some shitty situations, but I’ve always felt like I had something to offer. I’ve never felt like a victim. From that, I put strength into my artwork. It’s not something for myself, but it’s to be shared."
James Haunt's Big Break
His breakthrough moment came at an Agenda (action sports) trade show. Rumor has it Haunt engaged in a little guerilla marketing by stamping crisp one dollar bills with the James Haunt smiley face logo over George Washington’s likeness. He dropped them casually as he strolled through the aisles. People picked them up, saw the logo and went looking for more until they saw the same logo on Haunt’s booth in the show. A star was born.
James Haunt the Working Artist
Since then, Haunt has built his career as a working artist, kind of a unicorn among creatives. It’s rare for artists to support themselves doing exactly what they love, in its purest form. His art has allowed him to travel and meet people all from all over the world.
James Haunt has been commissioned to do spray painted murals for Red Bull’s offices, Big Bear Resort, Hotel Erwin, Wahoo’s and at too many locations to list in the Los Angeles and Palm Springs areas. Haunt is influenced by the California lifestyle, specifically the sun, the palm trees and that feel-good vibe endemic to beach culture. He paints what makes him happy, which for right now is a recurring theme of beautiful women.
“I learned that repetition is a great way of marketing yourself…to force a style into people’s visuals…I’m happy about getting recognized without having to sign my name on a piece.”
James Haunt and Trust Me Vodka
Trust Me Vodka supports artists by allowing a total takeover of our bottles, offering them a wide-ranging commercial canvas. It’s our thought that vodka may be colorless, but the bottles don’t have to be. We immediately connected with Haunt, sharing the same passion for our respective crafts.
“This collaboration is something that just felt organic and natural…You can sit down and have a cocktail with someone and barely speak the same language but laugh for hours and into the evening and walk away as friends. There are few things that bring people together, but I feel like sometimes having a drink can do that.”
From walls to dollar bills or to buildings, Haunt is now offering his art to the world on limited edition Trust Me Organic and Gluten Free Vodka bottles. Our vodka won’t last long, but the James Haunt bottles can take a more permanent place on the shelf, in a glass cabinet or on your counter. Look for them Summer of 2017.