Artist JLC is the epitome of individuality, expressionism, conceptualism, and free-thinking. A visual artist, graphic artist, photographer, and model all in one who is always pushing the envelope by producing intriguing and innovative art and design.
1.) For the folks out there who aren’t familiar with you, can you tell them who you are and why your brand of art is something that they should get acquainted with?
What’s good P, for those that aren’t familiar with me I could blame it on myself because I am an enigma. I always been that way but I’ve gone by the names Art by JLC, Unkwn Artst, and Artist JLC. I am a Graphic Artist / Visual Artist. I rather be referred to as an ARTIST more than a designer because an artist creates an idea and a designer works off the idea. Even though professionally I am a designer, I rather be in control of the creativity and direction of the projects. My brand of art is multi-dimensional, diverse, and original. I can say really I do not pattern my style from anyone.
2.) Your approach to art has always been unique and innovative, can you tell us what inspires you to push the envelope and create art at a higher level?
Thank you for the kind words sir lol. My life is what inspires me to push the envelope. What I mean by that is whatever I am going through, whatever I experience, whatever inspired me at that time, the kind of music I listen to, even going out for a run or working out in the gym, all of that have an impact on how I create art. I’m socially disconnected from social media, but every once in a while I might check out some super weird shit I see on Instagram that inspires me in a way where I’m able to come up with ideas.
3.) Honestly, do you feel that you have competition and if so, how are you able to differentiate yourself from your competitors?
Honestly, I don’t think so because it’s a service that people need me for but I do feel like I have to somewhat create to appease to people’s taste, and normally when I feel that way I feel trapped and forced which takes me out my innovative mentality. But to answer your question on how I differentiate myself from my competitors I stay true to myself. I’m a very passionate person and that passion is what fuels me, so I try to stay positive as much as possible.
4.) Like many artistpreneurs out there, you wear many hats; you’re a graphic designer, web designer, photographer, model, etc. With that being said, how difficult (or easy) is it to wear so many creative hats and still be able to provide quality art to your clients based on their specific needs?
The crazy thing is I enjoy having all those skills and wearing all of those hats, but what makes it difficult for me is dealing with the business aspect of each one individually. Exhausting customers can definitely drive you up the wall, but that’s the baggage that comes with being an artistpreneur, so with every loss I gain more experience. That’s the mindset I try to keep when I get dubious.
5.) You say that you’re not too crazy about social media but you do recognize the importance of it in today’s day and age. Can you tell any up and coming artist out there why social media is important? And if you don’t feel it is important, then what do you think would be the best way (or another alternative) for an artist to promote their brand to the people who are on social media 24/7?
Social media is very important. Social media preferably Twitter got me out there back in 2010-2012 period when I was very active on social media. I’ve gotten some good experience via Twitter. I got my first internship with G-Unit by constantly tweeting 50 Cent and when I couldn’t get him I went through his followers to see who was associated with him and with that I got in touch with some people within his camp and I got my break that way. So yes social media is a very powerful tool but now they kind of monetized it so that certain things you could’ve done before to reach people requires more work and 9 times out of 10 you have to pay for some kind of advertisement to get yourself out there. But it’s a double edge sword with social media now, it can help you and hurt you at the same time. My advice is to build a following, a following not using basic hashtags but a following of people that will engage with you and you build a relationship with those followers through your craft. STAY HUNGRY, STAY RELEVANT, STAY CONSISTENT, and don’t give up!
6.) As someone who does photography, how do you feel about people who don’t know anything about photography calling themselves “photographers” because they can take pictures with their smart phone and upload them to Instagram and add different filters to their pictures?
P, you know what questions to ask lol. I can understand why a photographer would hate people that can take dope photos just pointing and shooting so that’s why I always refer to the term visual artist. Now I do hate the fact that Instagram makes it easy for people to transfer a horrible photo to a great photo by making tweaks to a image and using filters and these are the dudes getting thousands of likes and followers while someone like me who knows what they are doing and monitors the type of image they will post barely cracks the 50 likes mark when I know for sure the shot is substantial. Yes, it’s annoying but I know people don’t care about that, all they see is an image and if that photo has likes regardless if it’s good or bad, people will draw to it because people follow what’s hot!
7.) This kind of ties in to question 6, but how do you feel about a lot of the cookie-cutter and copy-and-pasted approach to art that seems to be so prevalent in today’s era? For example, people who aren’t professional artists can use Photoshop to create shitty work instead of hiring a professional.
To take it a step further, there are people with zero creative experience or formal training who are posing as graphic designers and providing cheesy, lackluster artwork to their “clients.” Today’s DJ’s are using laptops with playlists instead of actually spinning records and calling themselves a DJ. You get my point, so I’m curious to know how you feel about all of this.
Bro, I can’t even get mad at that because if people find a way to monetize especially if it’s in my field, what I have to do is re-evaluate my aim and come back sharper and more durable. Plus art is super subjective so I can sit and paint the Sistine chapel and someone can come do a Jackson Pullocks Number 1 painting and people embrace that over mines. Can’t be mad, it’s just the way it is. I’ve seen people do the most amazing graphics on Photoshop and they’re still living at moms house versus someone who does a basic print design and is the art director at a big art firm so yeah, that sums it up lol.
I can’t even get mad. People are becoming more business savvy in today’s age. I blame the internet and social media, they provide all the info you need to be able to start a business or do business from scratch, why go to college? It’s not so much about talent anymore, it’s more of who wants it the most. That’s the mentality I’m trying to adapt to because I’m too much of a starving artist in your terms, which is right and I value my craft when I should value my intellect more.
8.) Why should a potential client work with you? You’re a creative visionary with a competitive nature, so what are you able to provide potential clients that maybe your competitor(s) can’t?
For one I have an educational background in the field. I hold a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design so I offer a blend of proper techniques, professionalism, and cutting-edge art and design to my potential clients. I’ve also took on several internships outside of my major such as in fashion, photography and retouching, so my skill set is well diversed.
Think about it, you’re a new business owner and you come to me for a logo design and I can offer you a website as well as providing high quality images combining graphic design, web design and photography in one. You literally get everything done in one shot! Who can ask for more?
9.) Professionally, where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Hopefully highly successful in a sense where I mastered the one thing I need to work on which is the entrepreneurial side of my artistry. I’ve always been a non-conformist and an independent free-thinker and my goal is to turn it into a full flowing business.
10.) As creative professionals, we always have a project or two that we’re working on. What are you currently working on? What should we look forward to from you in the future?
I’m currently working on a 23×36 “new school” post – Impressionism Painting of the Brooklyn bridge NY skyline for a client; check my website ( iamUNKWN.com for frequent updates ). Also I’m moderating the VH1 Black Ink Crew website which I created – BlackInk.nyc
You should look forward to seeing more visuals, more art and designs and growth. Hopefully I won some people over and you could see who I am from not only my words but my art and I look forward to the feedback! Both good and bad! Bring it on lol.
Instagram: @ar.tst (graphic art)
Creative Corner (startup) :