Artist Feature:James Liu-Chicago, IL

Each month, we collaborate with a new artist to design a line of skyns!

Born in Pingtung, Taiwan and based out of Chicago, IL, JAMES LIU (Veggiesomething), comes to us with his love for modular designs that are bold, clean, clear, and concise.  He’s designed 3 skyns which will be on sale soon!  His works of art have been seen throughout the world via numerous art shows and exhibits and have been featured in various publications and media outlets.

Read why he’s been chosen as our first Featured Artist!

EQ: What type of art do you do?
JL: I’ve done a lot of different types of artworks in the past.  But since 2002, my artworks have concentrated around characters and character design.  (I often joke that it was embedded in my Asian DNA to love characters.)

I generally create my artworks in digital, acrylics, silkscreen, letterpress, etc.  Crazylabel has also produced some of my characters in to designer vinyl toys.  I would love to work in oil sometime soon.

EQ: Who are your influences?
JL: I think my two biggest influences are Patrick Nagel and Groovisions.  That’s right!  Patrick Nagel.  And Groovisions.  When I was young, I was really drawn to the artworks of Patrick Nagel.  There was something in his art that really resonated within me.  Patrick loved to strip away elements and leave behind only what was necessary to convey the intended message in his art.  I find myself doing that because of him.  My artworks may often look simplistic on the surface, but that’s because I had spent a lot of time planning and thinking and designing before the achieving the final result.  Some artists choose to build and add to their artwork.  I choose to strip away and reduce.  Simple is not so simple.

Anyway, later in life, I stumbled upon the works of Groovisions and fell in love with them instantly.  I’ve always loved modular designs as they just made sense to me – to create things that are versatile.  Groovisions are masters of modularity across numerous platforms.  They’ve really inspired me to create modular designs that are bold, clean, clear, and concise.

EQ: What are your hobbies?
JL: I used to play guitar in hardcore and post-hardcore bands so music is definitely one of my mos fav hobbies.  Within the last few years, I’ve also been smitten with minivelos.  They are so fun to ride and compact to boot!

EQ: Current/Future projects?
JL: I’m currently finishing up a couple of House of Liu designer vinyl figure projects.  Those should be released early next year.  I’m also currently working on some new teeshirt designs for Formula Werks.

Upcoming for next year are more designer vinyl toy projects, teeshirt projects, music projects, art shows, and more!

EQ: What do you like about EQ Bag?
JL: When I first saw EQ bags, I was instantly hooked by its modularity.  The quality is definitely up there as well!  It’s mos def my mos fav bag that I’ve ever owned by far!

EQ: What configuration do you rock?
JL: I usually rock the container for a side bag look.  Sometimes, I add the harness for the backpack look.

EQ: What would you like to see in an EQ Bag?
JL: That’s a toughie!  There are already lots of accessories available.  (The computer sleeve is totally awesome, and I’ll have to buy that next.)  But if I had to add something to the line,  I would love to see a small hip pack that can also be worn around the shoulders and can hold a regular sized U-lock.  I like to travel light when I bike, but I still need to carry my phone and lock.

EQ: What was your influence on designing this skyn line?
JL: Although it is not immediately apparent, the base influence for the design was Jamie Reid’s work for the album cover and promo materials for the Sex Pistols.  I’ve always loved the work that he did for the Pistols, but I didn’t want to duplicate it at the same time.  Therefore, I incorporated his vibe (colorwise) into my regular style.

EQ: What is your design about?
JL: My design features a character of mine called Debonair Rascal.  The design reminds people to keep hustlin’ because hustlin’ gets things done.  It also reminds people to respect the hustle.

View some of Liu’s work here: The NeighborhoodGreenskeepers

Liu’s work can also be seen at:

Liu’s daily on-goings can be found at: