The Story


Honour Thee. Love Thyself.

The marvel of manifesting genuine love is rarely the expression of fantasy.

Rather, more akin to a gladiator’s training ground, it is learning how to navigate the rigourous gauntlet of understanding. Embracing the process of learning how to walk the scarred lines of past wounds and triumphs with grace — but more often than not — with humility, a deep well of patience, measured judgement (or, in some cases, no judgement) and the willingness to stay open. As much with yourself, as others.

Embracing the dualities...the juxtapositions. Accepting the rich with the raw, the low with the luxurious, the imperfection with the moments of pure perfection —and it is in the balance of these playful (and painful) contrasts that make the bonds what they are. Strong, heavy, and imbued with the fullness of confronting truths that can only be warmed by the fire emanating from a coming together of skins.

Honour Thy Lovers exists to venerate the undertaking and gorgeous responsibility of loving yourself and the equally substantial, greatly noble quest of tending to the heart of another. Being the mirror and the mirrored. Both are not to be underestimated and should be celebrated as such.

Conceptualized and built to last, HTL represents the resilience, beautiful acceptance and strength of vulnerability required from Warriors of the heart.

Find that thing in you that is different, that’s as sharp as a diamond and jagged as a razor.
Hone that, because that’s the thing with which you’ll cut the world.
— Clayton Cubitt

The Artist

John James is a Canadian nomad, multidisciplinary artist and creative director currently based between Canada and Paris, FR.

James’ study into understanding the ‘other’ through a sensually-driven approach has ridden astride a 15 year career spanning the realms of artistic practice, formal brand design and advertising following a BDES in Visual Communication with a focus on Business and Marketing from the University of Alberta. Drawing parallels and playing tensions between the dichotomies of ‘expression for meaning’ and ‘expression for sale’, the artist’s works subversively present questions contemplating power dynamics, consensual boundaries, sexual fluidity, gender and identity to a larger audience.

James’ rehabilitative worn talismans — as well as works created live on site, drawing from energies manifested during the experience — express the collision of contrasts that occur during cyclical birth/rebirth resulting from deconstruction/reconstruction of home and identity. Defined, for the artist, as the relationships between ancestral imprint, lived experience and temporal identity.

In traversing these realms, transposing the sense of then and now, the work offers healing in the further creation of talismans through shared space. These inquiries into traditional constructs and explorations — in connection to the concepts of ritual, memory and home — have been shown across Canada and internationally in the US, France and Japan, leading to recognition through channels including Juxtapoz, Etapes, Elle, Fast Company, Flare and Viction:ary, among others.