As a young photographer, wise beyond his years, twenty-two-year-old James Barkman lives outside the box by living in a van.
After spending lots of money on an apartment he barely saw, James Barkman decided to cut his expenses and make his living situation more mobile. With a 1976 VW Van, a DR350 motorcycle, and a surfboard, the photographer traverses the country seeking an active life full of experiences. While this way of life is sometimes inconvenient and complicated, Barkman is determined to live on his terms. With a nomadic lifestyle, Barkman has more time for the pursuit of inspiration and beauty.
For me, there was no better way to be inspired than to live on the road and wake up in a new location every day.
Fresh off an internship with famed adventure photographer, Chris Burkard, Barkman considers himself lucky. In his time with Burkard, he worked out in the field rather than stuck behind a desk. He was an assistant and second shooter, getting hands-on experience working for large commercial clients. Learning directly from such influential creatives had an enormous effect on him and his process as an artist. He explains,
It’s very important to me to surround myself with people who motivate, inspire, and push me to grow.
Barkman’s aim is to keep traveling, experiencing, shooting, and learning, and he looks forward to the meandering path his goals may take him on. Behind the wheel of his not-so-reliable but beloved VW Van, he speaks about achieving one’s dreams and his determination to overcome the difficulties of getting started as a young artist:
It is so important to go for your dreams even before all the steps are in place. I think a lot of people are selling themselves short because they’re making decisions out of fear and they’re not going for the dreams that they have, because they’re scared of what might happen.
Regardless of where his dreams carry him, the extremely talented James Barkman seems to be on an adventure worth following.