Tuesday, March 26, 2013

AHA! Interviews Featured Artist, JC Jones

JC Jones in an Interview for AthensHasArt!
(Recommendation: click on the Chopin link and listen while you read.)
We met for tea in Athens, GA, and this happened:

JC Jones. Athens, GA. 2013.
AHA!: I’m going to ask you some questions and when we’re done, if you wish to do so, you can ask me to answer one of them.

      JCJ: OK

AHA!: Whatnouns would you use to describe yourself?

JCJ: Being, Earth, Vibrations, Movement, Electricity

AHA!: 5 verbs that define your life up until now

JCJ: Learn, Eat, Read, Sing, Love

AHA!: What’s the most important thing you would do with $100M? 

JCJ: I would research a new technology that would put ideas directly into people's minds.

AHA!: What kinds of ideas?

JCJ: I don't know, exactly, I'll have to hire a marketing agency with whatever money is left.
AHA!: Things you would want with you on a desert island -- Pick 3 of each: Books – Necessary Items – People 

JCJ: One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, The Bible, Collected Works of William Shakespeare -- Piano, Boat, Sunscreen, -- Nikola Tesla, Frédéric Chopin, and Andy Morris.

AHA!: You have been selected to be a founder of the new utopia – why?

JCJ: Because I see beauty in everything! No…I must have been randomly selected.

AHA!: What did you want to be when you were little? And, what did you do to be that?

JCJ: I wanted to be an artist. I loved to draw pictures and to take things apart and reorganize them for new purposes. – I drew a lot and assembled contraptions.

AHA!: What can’t you do yet? (This implies an aspiration and a plan to do something.)

JCJ: Sight read (music).
AHA!: What works have you produced as an artist?

JCJ: Lots of pottery, functional pottery, lots of drawings, watercolors, musical recordings, mosaics, tile installations, sculptures, poetry, short stories and the like.

AHA!: Which of your works have given you the most personal satisfaction? Why?

Imperial Scream Machine. JC Jones. 2013.

JCJ: Currently, my favorite work is the series I just completed of collaged decals on china plates. I found making them very engaging. It is satisfying to develop new techniques for working with such ancient materials.

AHA!: What people, whom you have known, have significantly influenced your art

JCJ: : I had the chance to work very closely with Michael Lucero while I was in graduate school at UGA. He's a very colorful man, and he really inspired me to reach  beyond what is conventional in my medium.

Mother and Child. JC Jones. 2013.
Also, my grandmother Lylas Koffard, who was a very creative and encouraging woman. She was always crafting something, and at some point she took up painting bisque with acrylic. One project she undertook was a very large and elaborate Nativity scene. For a few years she sent out figurines that she had painted to her sons and daughters as Christmas presents. I think the first year my mom got the Holy Family, maybe the wise men came the next year, and so on until there were shepherds, oxen, sheep, and even camels for the magi. She always took interest in my drawings when I was a kid and was even happy to see me studying art in college!

AHA!: What training and experience has helped you most to becoming an artist?

JCJ: I took a lot of school. That helped as far as being exposed to like-minded people and having access to a variety of tools and materials. Learning to play instruments and playing music in bands has also been very helpful to me because it helps to keep my creative mind sharp and healthy. 

Down in Dixie. JC Jones. 2013.
AHA!: Specifically regarding art, where do you find most of your inspiration?

JCJ: People inspire me. We are all so capable and interesting and complex. And each one of us is completely unique in detail.  Beyond that, the culture we all create together and the ideas that are sacrosanct to our culture interest me and can be a good place for me to start making something.

AHA!: What percentage of the ideas you have for works come to fruition?

JCJ: Now? Nearly 100%. I guess I make most everything I think about. With this mode that I'm working in, the collaged decals, I make most of the images that I want to make. I was thinking about making images of tractors, but that hasn't happened yet. I started working on figures instead. In the past, maybe 10% because I was looking for a way to make what I liked or what felt natural. I am more focused now.

AHA!: Describe your mood and surroundings when the best ideas for making art come to you.

Last Summer's Gift. JC Jones. 2013.
JCJ: I am anywhere, but it's probably sunny.  I’m in a good mood, feeling free, feeling capable.

AHA!: Describe your mood and surroundings when you are producing art.

JCJ: My studio is mildly chaotic. There is usually a video that I have seen before playing on the computer. Probably Murder, She Wrote or Star Trek, I’ve seen all the Star Treks at least three times. Sometimes I need a diversion. You know the part of your brain that’s always talking to you? I try to give it a distraction. And also, when I’m working, if I get frustrated, I’ll stop and go clean my house or bang on the piano.  Good things don't usually happen when I am fighting with the work.

 AHA!: Complete this sentence: As I get older, I find that I am more…..

AHA!: What do you like most about yourself?

JCJ: Probably just the fact that I’m alive. That’s what I like best about everybody I like.

AHA!: How would you like to be remembered?

JCJ: Electronically.

AHA!: We’re all going to die one day. What would be your preferred form of death?

JCJ: It wouldn’t really matter but I hope that somebody who loves me was there to see me out the door. I guess nobody really wants to die alone. 

An Equitable Building. JC Jones. 2013

JCJ: I like people who are comfortable with themselves, and who are genuine. Interacting with some people can be too much like watching TV. I like people who are able to think for themselves, and I am attracted to people who are committed to developing their talents.

AHA!: The best word to describe you is:

JCJ: Being

AHA!: Thank you letting me feature you for the inaugural AthensHasArt! interview.

JCJ: It has been my pleasure. Thank you for the attention! Now if you don't mind, please give me five nouns to describe yourself!

AHA!: Thinker, Writer, Wonderer, Philosopher, Skeptic

See more pictures and information about works by JC Jones at http://cargocollective.com/jaseyjones.

by NEM