Q & A with Artist Jason Mitchell
NU Hotel Brooklyn announces that five artists will be presenting original works, curated by Urban Folk Art© and inspired by MTV’s Video Music Awards, which are taking place in Brooklyn for the first time ever this year (airs August 25 at 9pm). We took time to find out what makes each artist tick and how music inspires their art. First up Jason Mitchell.
Jason Mitchell has been a member of Urban Folk Art© for over 20 years. Mitchell has a BFA in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design and is a print maker and musician. Mitchell has his own T-shirt line and has made T-shirts for several high-end T shirt lines and major labels. His T-shirt line, MIDAS Images, stand for Music Inspired Drawings Are Sound. Music is a constant source of inspiration for him- to learn more check out his tumblr http://jsnmidas.tumblr.com/.
What inspires you the most? My T-shirt line is called MIDAS IMAGES. Here’s how it breaks down Music Inspired Drawings Are Sound. So MUSIC drives me.
What is your favorite thing about Brooklyn? One thing?! The Brooklynites, the open sky you don’t get in Manhattan, the love.
How do you incorporate music into your work? A lot of my drawings feature lines from whatever song is on as i draw. I’ve also done portraits of several musicians for fanzines.
What music do you play when you’re creating your artwork? I usually listen to punk rock or reggae, in some form while I work. Those two genres are huge and my tastes vary widely. So it could be just about anything playing in my studio.
What’s your all-time favorite musician? In which genre? How can I pick one?! Are the Bad Brains better than Bjork? My answer is subject to change hourly…
What is your preferred medium? Pen & ink. That’s where it all starts. I may paint or silkscreen an image, but it always starts with a pencil, then ink.
How did you become involved in art? I’ve been drawing since I was in diapers. Its in my blood.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists? GO TO BUSINESS SCHOOL
What is your favorite thing about NU Hotel Brooklyn? I love NU Hotel Brooklyn’s positive community outlook. As shown by involving local artists in your decor.
How did you learn about Urban Folk Art? Adam Suerte and I were at the Rhode Island School of Design together. I was one of URBAN FOLK ART’s first interns- I got credit to live in the studio in 1991.
What other projects are you currently working on? This fall I’m showing a collection of Jamaican musician themed pieces at Urban Folk Art Gallery. This will be in conjunction with the release of Anne Galvin’s book Sounds of the Citizens: Dancehall and Community in Jamaica.
The MTV VMA’s are at the Barclay’s Center this year-do you have any nominees you’re rooting for? Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” featuring Jay Z is an unstoppable hook.
Graffiti has many ties and roots to Brooklyn, urban culture and music. For you how does graffiti art intertwine with music and culture? Lettering. I love fonts. Handwriting styles are super important in my work, as they are in graffiti and music packaging. What’s the best way to get your message across? Speak clearly. And like Terminator X, I speak with my hands.