James Livitski
The Art of the iPhone

While most of us use our iPhone cameras for selfies and fuzzy shots of our dogs, Thunder Bay’s James Livitski has taken iPhone photography to a whole new level. A self-described “mobile artist,” Livitski’s photos are surreal, vivid, and probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen. And he can create them wherever—and whenever—inspiration hits.

 “While I was living in Toronto, my transit rides between school and where I was living gave me the opportunity to create art while I was on the go,” says Livitski. “I think that’s huge for an artist, because I get an idea and am able to create what I’m thinking on the spot.”

A musician for nearly 15 years, Livitski dabbled with Photoshop in high school, but really started to play around with photo editing apps when he first got a smartphone. “I was intrigued by how you could create this art through your phone, so I would create my own work during my free time and post it through my own Instagram profile.” Once Livitski has a photo, he manipulates it using apps like ArtStudio, Snapseed, or Mextures. “I have crazy wild dreams, so I try to recreate them through my art,” he says. “Everyday life inspires me.” Livitski is also inspired by other mobile artists, film, and vintage photography, and many of his pieces feature familiar or recognizable images transformed into something unexpected and exciting.

 Last summer, Livitski’s piece “She’s Hearing Voices” (titled after the Bloc Party song) was chosen as one of the top 40 entries in an international label design contest sponsored by Collective Arts Brewing, a  Toronto-based brewery. The brewery’s labels are all interactive, and can be scanned to launch videos, music, or artist bios.

 Now nearing 2000 followers on Instagram, Livitski has also been tapped to create album artwork for several artists across North America. “This whole experience has been absolutely crazy,” he says. “The feedback I’ve received has been out of this world, but that just inspires me to create more and to continue trying different techniques to get the most from my phone.”

 View Livitski’s artwork at instagram.com/thegentlemanbronco.

By Amy Jones