Over the years we have had the pleasure of working with many, many fantastic artists making prints. This year we decided it was time to start focusing on these artists, ask them some questions, and show some of their work. This will be an ongoing series we plan to post every week or two.
The first artist we’re going to feature is the painter, illustrator, street artist, and my personal friend, JahSun. Let’s dive right into his world.
What’s your earliest memory of you creating something from your own imagination?
When I was 5 years old. Snoopy’s on my mother’s dining room wall (she was thrilled…lol!).
You not only paint on canvas, but also on buildings. Tell us more about that aspect of your work.
Yes. In addition to painting on canvas, illustrating children’s books, and digital painting using Photoshop, I also create large scale exterior murals using aerosol cans (spray paint). The mural work started a little over two years ago, since then I’ve been fortunate to be responsible for nearly 20 murals locally, and abroad. For the last two years, I’ve donated 9 murals to economically-challenged communities in Belize, Central America. I enjoy using aerosol as medium because it has an instant gratification aspect not associated with the other mediums I use. I also enjoy mixing media, which is something I do often with my easel work too.
I used to think that a can of spray paint was a can of spray paint until I saw your set up. I had no idea there were so many nozzles. Where would someone interested in street art go to learn about all that?
Great question! I learned by watching some of the world’s most talented street artists online. Youtube is a great place to learn —- I absorb a lot that way as a visual being (who’s on the move a great deal). Also, one only gets good at anything with regular consistent practice. In the case of street art, I made a decision to add that element to my repertoire and practiced with a spray can for three weeks straight. The following week, I started my first large scale mural that is the cornerstone of my work today. I believe focus is paramount. The rest works itself out. I just remain devoted to the process.
What made you decide to start putting your work out there for others to see? What advice would you have for an artist who is considering making the leap and putting their work out there?
I was pulled kicking and screaming…well, more light faint whimpers. While I’ve always been naturally artistic, I never thought of being a working artist as an adult. In fact, I never picked up a paint brush until I was 33 (now 45). I had been working in secret in my one-bedroom apartment because I felt called to create. The paintings were piling up in my place with no intention of sharing until a friend came by one day, discovering all the work I had generated, and pleaded with me to show it. After a few months of his prodding, I decided to give it a try. I’ve never looked back. Since there are countless directions on the art world path, all with specific directions to some degree, I’ll keep my advice is simple, yet it’s not easy. Ready?
“Get out of your own way. Go if you’re going.” Period.
Picasso had a blue period. At this moment what would your color be?
Pink. I’m loving the color pink right now. I don’t wear pink a general rule; however, I just started painting in a pair of pink converse. I kinda like them — they were a gift.
You’ve just found out your next year is fully funded. What would you spend your time doing?
I WISH!!! LOL! I would pack up and move out west and paint in the desert with my Native American friends. Then spend time traveling. I love meeting new people and experiencing new places. I’ve definitely developed a passion for adventure, thanks to my time in Belize.
Will you pick one of your pieces and explain to us what it means to you?
That’s what all children deserve.
To witness happy, healthy and whole parents.
Deep, compassionate listening…please.
Allow creative expression to flow freely in your home.
Never quench wonderment.
Teach them how to garden. Even a small one. Growing plants requires delicate handling.
It instills reverence for life.
Your seed(s) are flowers too.
Water them accordingly.
Breathe…and then apply…Full patience.
They are you after all. Remember?.
Parents, our chief responsibility is to heal those inner wounds accumulated over the course of this journey. That way they won’t transfer (energetically) to the next generation. Disastrous patterns.
End the cycle.
We’ll never obtain harmony on earth if we are unconsciously at war inwardly?.
Children learn socialization from adults, not their peers.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as an artist?
My greatest accomplishment, in my opinion, is my never-ending zeal for creating and learning new, better ways of expressing my art. It’s an experiment every time and that’s the fun part. Once it becomes robotic, I’ll decommission my brushes, paint and easel. Though, I don’t ever see that happening. CVs are cute, but I live my life a collection of experiences —- and the process of generating work based on “Wonder”…is simply magical.
Tell us a little about your creative process (and don’t leave out the dancing).
Well, my creative process is unconventional for sure. It includes seeing visions of the paintings before I ever get in the studio. Spirituality is the foundation in my so praying, meditating, seating in stillness, encouraging music, smudging my work with White Sage, and dancing are all parts of my practice. I’m inspired most by life, what’s happening in mine, and what I witness as member of this global community. Also, I make sure to ground myself in nature. The most creative environment I can ever put myself in is by going outside and communing with Creation.
If people want to buy your work where can they?
I would love people to feel led to collect my art. What a humbling experience. They can find me in a few places:
My official website: www.faristudiosart.com
My Online Store: www.faristudios.bigcartel.com (changing soon)
Also two wonderful communities where I share my art with amazing people:
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/faristudios
On Instagram: www.instagram.com/faristudios
Thanks JahSun for showing us your work.
All images © JahSun. Admire the work, but please don’t steal it!