James was contacted by Kurt Solland, Vice President of Design for Harman Multimedia to create artwork for their JBL Spot Powered Satellite Speakers with Subwoofer:
Just like James, I like to work with my hands. There are many high tech developmental tools that I use to create products; however I prefer to connect with my products by literally feeling them. By touching these products, I can put more of my soul into designing them while giving the customer a better product.
My latest speaker design, JBL Spot utilized customizable covers or “Wrappers” (a pun on words) for customer personalization. For the first time ever, a home speaker system can be changed to fit within your interior, mood or style. The categories we are starting out with include: Tattoo, Graffiti, Flora and Texture.
When I thought of the person to design the Tattoo category, I wanted to find an artist that would design with a soul, who was also authentic. The first place I researched was Tahiti, partly because my relative (Eddie Lund) was a big part of Tahitian music, making around 500 albums on the Tahitian islands. So as a young kid, I was immersed in that culture. To research designs, I Googled ‘Tahitian tattoos’ and found some amazing designs by James Samuela. After learning about his past as well as his lineage, he was perfect for the task. Not only are James’ designs beautiful and soulful, they look great printed on JBL Spot!
I thought it was really cool when Kurt contacted me. The fact is, I love all kinds of music and actually have JBL speakers in my tattoo studio. The beauty of this project is that music and tattoo are two different art forms that transcend cultural boundaries. I’ve tattooed people from every continent around the globe and while the symbolism is uniquely Tahitian, there is something in it that appeals to people from all walks of life. Just as all my tattoos are personalized, I think it’s great that JBL will now offer people the opportunity to personalize their Spot speakers.