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By Felix Dunphy on

An Interview with J1M - Local artist and friend of the brand.

Felix: How'd you get into art?

J1M: "WelI I always drew I guess, when I was younger. My grandma has one of the first drawings that I did of horses when I was 6 or 7. I started taking art seriously in year 11 or 12 when I stopped playing soccer and it was a real outlet for me."


Felix: How would you describe your work? 

J1M: "I guess my work is visual sampling, like they do with hip-hop. How they sample sounds, my work is sampling images. Like DJs used to go through crates to find a particular sound, I go through imagery to find a character doing something that I can recontextualise into a new environment and give new meaning. It’s kind of like comedy I guess but its dark, looney tunes are dark like some of the stuff that happens in it. It's not only about making art for everyone to understand but surfacing things, surfacing stuff that happens behind closed doors. Most of my inspiration comes from my mates, I surround myself with people who are similar in the sense of not giving a fuck about what other people are doing."

“I don’t wanna get a normal job, where I hate going to work every day."


Felix: What is your artwork?

J1M: "Most of the artwork that I make is trying to make art accessible to the non-art world, so you’ve got these subcultures that nobody understands. Say Nike TN, people may know the Nike part but TN is foreign unless you are familiar with that subculture. Like in uni most of the group critique's it would take people a few minutes to understand, because they can't see past the cartoon."


Felix: So you use iconography to help get across that message?

J1M: "100% that’s what I’m doing a big study in now, how to make sense and relate that to people. Different things associate to different people for example works that I don't rate other people really like because they bring their own different experiences to work."


Felix: What was the moment that you thought 'I can do this'?

J1M: "After my exhibition last year, the first one at First Product. The night before I was pazzing like, no one was going to turn up. But it was chill people came and it went well, and I guess that was when I was like this is what I want to do... This is a lot more fun doing this than working."


Felix: Would you recommend Uni for art?

J1M: "It’s different for everyone, it depends. I like learning, during school I didn’t like learning I just liked doing studio art and that's about it. I like learning bout things I’m interested in. It's not just about going for a walk, it's about everything that’s happening around you and trying to find a way to explain that in an artwork that isn’t too obvious. Thinking about what you’re thinking about, and taking notice of what you’re taking notice of. They don’t help you particularly (at art school) with what you want help with, but they teach you certain things that help you make your own decisions and how far you want to take them."


Felix: By doing these works what sort of emotion do you want to invoke? 

J1M: I guess leaving it open, there are no titles on the works. There are no words in all the works or someone telling you what to think when you're coming to see them. You have complete freedom when you're viewing these works to think about what you want to think. If I can say one thing, each character is doing something. It's as if you look at these artworks as a person, how would you view them if they were portraits of someone and not a character? They're no longer cartoons.


Felix: Can you relate your art and work to ICHPIG?

J1M: Oh definitely my attitude is relentless and the hard work I put in is really similar, people that want more. You always have to want more because you should never settle.


Thanks for reading, we'll be posting more interviews in the coming weeks so check back soon.

- Fez 

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