Project Mixed Media (3/1/2010)
Spotlight Artist Danny Jean-Jacques
Danny PhantOM is influenced by the nameless world that exists between grafitti and comic illustrations. Most comfortable coloring outside the lines, Dannys work evolves with each creation. Take a look at his Q+A:
Do you remember when you discovered your love for art? How old were you and how did you feel when you discovered your passion?
I remember discovering my love for art ever since I put a pencil to my hand, but there were 3 moments that proved to me that this is what I was born to do.. first time was when I was 4 and I cracked the back of my head on the edge of a night table, thats when my imagination went into overdrive. Second, when I was 8 I learned how to be a graf kid via a neighbor of mine I got the can, and the paint blew back in my face, and third, is when I was in the 6th grade and a friend of mine was drawing something, I sat next to him.. and started drawing.. havent looked back, so I guess it is my passion. I take for granted that I know how to create, so Im thankful that I am able to bring whats in my head through various mediums for people to see.
How did you discover your signature style?
Ive always been influenced by graffiti and cartoons, and Ive considered myself the middle between the two worlds, both are very respected art styles and both are very similar.
What keeps you producing new art work and putting new art out for the public?
The main thing for me is being consistent and always coming up with something a little crazier than the last piece, but with that theres a fine line of being consistent. You can always show new art/projects that you are doing, but always know the fine line of overwhelming, because after a while people wont be quick to chomp at the bit on anything you do.
Has an event or an experience in 2009 inspired your art work in any way?
Im usually not the one to try out a concept/ series, but I recently went that route, so far so good, but Im trying to see if thats the way I really want to go. Artomatic was pretty big for my «Cherry Bomb» series, the year before I just threw up what ever I had, and this time around
I wanted to somehow show that my art style and presentation grew up a little, although it was well received, I kind of felt that it was a little luke warm with total strangers. The inspiration behind most of my work either comes from something really random, or a reaction to a dream or small pockets from my memories of substance abuse.
Do you think the world is affected by your art? If so, how?
If the world is affected by my art, its a major surprise to me. I never know what anyone thinks of my work, let alone stick around to see or hear the reaction towards it, might as well be like that because i wouldnt know how to handle it, guestbooks are so vague.
Have you worked with other artists in a group shows? Do you enjoy it?
I used to do a lot of live painting, and there were a few collaborations that were very good, its always the right kind of people and energy that always bring out the best in you. I am part of a collective (Cargo Cult), and we did a few shows together. They are my chosen family in creation, we all have different, yet similar styles and we feed off of each other very well. To answer your question, yeah I enjoyed it very much.
What do you have planned for the year 2010? Any new shows or projects?
With this decade under my belt, Im going to take a break. Truth be told, I have been in a cookie cutter kind of mind when it came to my artwork, which took and is taking my confidence in what I create.. feeling safe is something that I never want to be when it comes to puting pencil to paper or ink on canvas, I miss the unapologetic persona I carry when I do what I do. Lately my work has been black and white, maybe its because thats how I have been seeing things, I miss color
so Im bringing it back. So until I get that confidence and inspiration back
thats when youll see me.
murmurdc.com (9/17/ 2009)
Danny Jean-Jacques Not From This Planet
Danny Jean-Jacques is an innovative artist that utilizes multiple tools and canvases to create his unique form of art. The content is what you can describe as animated, both in form and personality. While viewing Dannys work, theres a sense of paradox between structure and the drive to break and recreate these structures. Not only has he expressed his art on a canvas, but also snowboards, clothes, and even United States Postal Service shipping boxes. He has a lineup of fashion designs which feature his unique blend of free expression and style.
I got started when I was really young, at age 4. I didnt pick up a pencil, but my imagination was kicked into overdrive when I cracked the back of my head against a night table, after that I just started seeing these images.. but didnt know what to do with them.
I really got into graffiti when I was around 8, I grew up in Mount Vernon, New York and my neighbor was all about tagging, I remember going out to the side of my building, and seeing him getting ready, he saw me.. I yelled out teach me! and without hesitation, he gave me a can and just like that, I started putting the images from my head, on to a wall, and yeah the can did a blowback and paint got in my face.. totally worth it.
I really didnt start focusing on anything uniform style, you know? I drew on everything from textbooks, desks, cars, inside of buses.. needless to say my parents, especially my dad was pissed because even though I thought it looked awesome, he had to pay the bill.
I got inspired again in the 6th grade, one of my best friends, Daniel Naveira who is an awesome artist in his own right, was drawing a character and I sat next to him, looked at it, pulled out a piece a paper and a pencil.. and havent looked back, I tell him all the time that I give him full credit for putting me on paper, literally.
I was also into cartoons and comic strips, mainly Calvin & Hobbes and Outland (Bill Waterson & Berkley Breathed), their strips spoke to me on so many levels.. it felt like some one picked at my head and showed it on paper. The cartoons I was stuck on were Ren and Stimpy, and Eek the Cat. just because of the vivid colors and just al out craziness..like it spoke to me BIG time. Sam Kieth and Jeremy Fish are huge influences right now, because of the direction that I am heading. Im fueled by graffiti and comic strips and I try to somehow bring that element into what ever I do. Truth be told when I first moved to DC, I was awestruck my the galleries here and I felt that I belonged there, BOY was I wrong.. I remember going to one art gallery with my portfolio and the guy said why dont you come back in 10 or 20 years, I never felt any smaller than I did back then, so for shits and giggles I went to one of his art shows, and I've never seen such pretentious bullshit hanging from the wall, a drunken 5 year old could have thrown up on a wall and put a frame around it and it would have been 10 times better than what I saw.. so suffice to say, I knew I wasnt a painter. So for 4 years I have been finding my spot, or style in the 202, and I think what makes me stand out is the fact that I try not to be pigeon- holed, although, with that statement I kinda placed myself in the status quo..
Im still trying to convey the images in my head. After this past AOM, my brain just needed to vacate from my heart and just analyze how I want to approach my creations. Ive gotten rid of the idea of putting things on canvas, because it just didnt feel right, so Im kind of going in full circle you know? I think that THIS is what I was trying to do all along, but then again my train of thought could change.. for now, Im just going where my creations lead me.