Heads up art buffs!
Quirktastic got the awesome opportunity to sit down and chat with Jazzmyn Ellis (surreally_real on Instagram) about her art and promising career as an artist painting her own brand of black girl magic!
For those those who are unfamiliar, Jazzmyn has been making quite a name for herself in both the local art community and on Instagram for her breathtaking artwork that explores the intricacies of black culture, pop culture, and social commentary, while putting a wondrous, dreamy psychedelic spin on things.
Read down below for our interview!
1. When did you first start making art? How long have you been doing it professionally?
I first began drawing when I was in kindergarten. My Grandfather had a shed in the back where he painted and wood carved a lot of Disney characters to sell in our local flea market. It was a normal thing to begin the day watching him work. I’d draw or scribble next to him, while he was making actual masterpieces. I also went to the flea market with him to sell every Saturday. It all really seems for-written.
I’ve been trying to take myself seriously [as an artist] for the last 4 years. A friend gave me an opportunity to showcase at the brewery she managed, and I’ve been consistently getting more opportunities ever since.
2. What is your favorite subject matter?
My favorite subject matter is probably History/Psychology. I really enjoy knowing past events, [both] good or bad, and correlating the repercussions of them. [I also enjoy learning] historical events that don’t make the pop history curriculum they force-feed kids.
4. Do you think it’s important to give artists/creators of color a notable platform to spread their message? (Especially now, in the midst of this “Black Creative Renaissance” so to speak). Why or why not?
I think it is very important to give people a color a platform to speak, period. Being an artist is just a bonus. Throughout history, a lot of accomplishments have been downplayed, if acknowledged at all. There’s always waves in time where it’s “cool to be black”. Gotta take advantage. Art is the best way to bring out emotions, good or bad. Being a group of oppressed people gives you a certain perspective that deserves a platform. Always.
5. Who is your favorite artist?
My favorite artists right now is probably a split between Kehinde Wiley and Casey Weldon. Both [are] very different artists, but very unique. I love Casey’s choice in colors, subject matter. And Kehinde’s ability to transform Renaissance pictures with everyday black people. For sure the most amazing thing I’ve seen in a while.
5. How can we support your art?
I have a separate Instagram account for selling [my art], and announcing showcases. I’m working towards building my website in the very near future, stay tuned 😉
6. What influences/inspires your art?
Lisa Frank has inspired me with her use of bright neon colors, and creativity to create her own sorta of seen world. I also love her ability to sell and brand her art in such a practical yet commercial way. School supplies?! Genius! Goals.
7.Where do you see yourself taking your art in the future? (Goals/Aspirations?)
Excellent follow up question. My goal is to brand my style. I’d love to be able to make school supplies, skateboard decks, T-Shirts, and clothing. I’d also love to have the opportunity to design a micro brewery’s beer labels. The way Ralph Steadman has his own style for “Flying Dog”.
8.Any tips/advice for other creators of color just starting out?
My advice to anyone out here trying to start painting or selling, is to just be consistent and to keep your uniqueness. Networking is [the] key to getting new opportunities.