Q&A With Jaymerson Payton
Q: Tell me about your background?
Cool, so I was born in Albany ,Ga. From there I moved to Atlanta with my mom when I was about 3 years old. I was originally interested in fashion design before painting and created a few brands that had minor success. In the long run it became too stressful to pursue fashion head on so I gravitated towards painting and never looked back. Somewhere down the line I’d like to revisit fashion design as it is still a passion of mine.
Q: Do you remember the first artwork you made, and can you tell me about it?
It’s hard to categorize my first work created. I will say the first piece that made me feel like painting was what I wanted to dedicate my life to was “A Georgia Boy’s Lucid Dream”. It was the first work of art where I felt I was being completely honest with myself. This is the piece where I realized how I’d like to approach creating art for the rest of my life.
Q: Was there a particular moment or event where you decided to become an artist?
There was a moment during undergrad right after I had given up fashion design where I was conflicted in which direction I would like to take my life. I plotted on changing my major to something involving Computer Science for job security but I felt it would be too much of a cop out. My entire life I’ve been against the grain and I couldn’t see myself becoming a part of the monotonous lifestyle that comes with that. Being an artist is free. Nothing is guaranteed but I do believe hard work and perseverance will reward you in the end. So here I am with no regrets pursuing my dream.
Q: What influences you? And are there any special artists that you feel inspired by?
My work is influenced purely on my life and experiences. Taking where I’ve been and cross examining these situations with ideals/concepts that have been historically pondered upon sway how I approach a new work of art. As for artists that influence me I’d have to say? I’d have to say the work of the artists involved in the Surrealist and Dada movements is where it starts for me. Those guys didn’t give a fuck but with good reason. Viewing their work showed me there were no boundaries in creation. Beauty can not be defined as it is only an interpretation. After being introduced to their work I understood how limitless creating art can be.
Q: Can you tell me more about the process in your works?
My process is pretty simple. I’ll start with either nailing a new canvas to the wall or laying it on the floor. Sometimes there is a goal in mind but often not for visual completion but a message to convey or a question to answer. Pieces can take 4-6 months or 3 minutes. When I feel there is nothing else to say it can be deemed complete.
Q: What is most important to you regarding your work?
To influence coming generations to continue to pursue art as a means of education, entertainment, and career choice. Growing up I had no idea what being an artist truly meant. I see now not only the importance of the art but also the artist himself. Which is extremely important to human experience and should not be forgotten.
Q: Can you tell me more about your routines and rituals in your daily practice?
Well my daily ritual starts with a couple hits of a joint and a few sips of water. As it pertains to my practice I would say making art isn’t something I do everyday. I like to work when influenced. There is no rush to complete a work of art. I believe the best work is done when it flows naturally. The last thing I want for my practice is for it to feel like there is a deadline.
Q: It seems like you never stretch the canvas on a stretcher, how and why did this come to life?
Yes, the reason why my canvases are not stretched is simply because I was never able to afford it. Also storage for such large works begins to get pretty complicated. I thought about stretching them since things have become more affordable but there’s a rawness in the unstrecthed work that I would like to keep. In my next presentation you will see them displayed in a new way but I don’t want to spoil the surprise.
Q: Can you tell us more about the forms and “symbols” in your works?
The only forms and symbols that are consistent across my aesthetic are the use of 7’s and 6’s. These numbers are signifiers of the duality of man. In many of my works I call to this theory to question why we are the way we are as human beings. All other forms and organic to each piece. Often iterations of actual objects like trees or the Sun. My work is a preservation of a moment in time. Using a combination of automatic drawing with these other symbols gives life to what you see on canvas.
Q: Can you let us in on some of the future projects, works?
I’ve been very interested in expanding on sculpture pieces. I will definitely continue to paint but be on the look out for more sculptural works in the near future.