Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Artist Profile: Jestr

Artist Jestr is currently in London from his native South Africa. His art reflects his passion for urban exploration and it was only right that he came down to Notre Dame and painted a piece whilst we talked about his art. Check out his work on
 What are your favourite spots to paint?

 I enjoy painting spots where I can paint with out consent, and where the environment is as obscure as the painting itself. Spots that no other person in their average life would ever go, but are a direct reflection of their context in time. Storm drains, tunnels, river bridges, abandoned houses and reservoirs have been my favourite over the last year or so. In South Africa, these type of spots have a tendency to act as refuge for those who live and grow up on the streets and know no other life. Living on the street means you are continuously in public space, and therefore you have no 'personal space' if you will. These spaces are often occupied by these people as a result, who have no regard for it other than the purpose it serves. These spaces the  act as a window into the lives of the people who once occupied it as there is always reminisce of it's tenants, past and present. Since I like to freestyle the majority of my personal I often use the environment as inspiration for my pieces. I feel this is imperative with graffiti as you cannot remove a piece from the environment in which you paint it, so it is only right that the piece does the environment as much justice as the environment does the piece. This is the fundamental thought for good spots. Also, I do not like to bothered when I'm missioning to paint by myself so that will also influence my preference for these spots.

 Do you have any art education?

 I was fortunate enough to have a good schooling where the art curriculum was engaging and concise. Once I left school I studied Information design at the University of Pretoria for two years, after which I dropped out to just paint full time which I have now been doing for the last year.

How are you looking to develop your art?

 By developing myself as a person. You cannot separate any creation from the hand which created it, and therefore we can assume that any true artists work is some how a direct reflect to the artist and his world-view. With this understanding, it is clear that the only way to truly develop your art (beyond the technical aspects of the craft) is develop and grow as a person. This can only be achieved through conscious living, and engaging in all spectrums of life with as an objective view as possible, as the circumstances we get into provide the answers that we learn life from. A great artist can only truly be great if he/she is a great person.

 Do you prefer letters or characters? 

 I do prefer characters due to my strong fine arts background and influences, however the last year I have been playing with letter structures (though I still struggle quite a bit and therefore tend to shy away from it when I freestyle). Also I am a much better illustrator than what I am as a designer so I have a natural tendency for the characters.   
 Jestr in Notre Dame
 A blank canvas
 Marking out
 Colour is added

 Up close
 Heads ain't ready!
 Almost done
 Mission complete

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