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For The Love: Jermaine Clark

For the third installment of For The Love, I got my good friend and very talented artist Jermaine. Coming off his latest solo art exhibit, I got a chance to pick his brain and about some things...made him think a little. 

What kind of artist are you? How would you categorize yourself?

Thats a tough question. I get asked that a lot. It's kind of weird because I cant answer the question yet. I don't want to be categorized to just one particular style of work or one style of art. I like to create. I the art of making art. It gets to the point where you want to get recognized for a certain style but the fun part is finding out what that is. There is so much to learn with your craft so why subject yourself early to one genre. That goes for all artist...thats how you find yourself. I don't know what kind of artist i am and I'm ok with that. 

Out of all the solo shows (6), which was your favorite?

My favorite one is Petty Thoughts. That was a big deal. That was my first full conceptional show. It was my vision and it came to fruition. The opportunities that came after it made it special; from sponsorships by Sprite and being featured on magazines. All of that came from that show. That was all me... I cant forget my first show at A&M (Alabama A&M University) because it was my first show. It was like my Reasonable Doubt (Jay Z's first CD). That was the one that made me realize that this is what i was going to do for the rest of my life. The reaction and the buzz around the school made it real. 

How has your style changed over the years?

When you practice you start to develop certain habits that are good so throughout the years I can see myself being able to explore with different materials, subject matter and testing my limits. The more I do it, the more comfortable I get. 

What/Who is your biggest inspiration?

As cliche as it sounds, my mother. Thats it right there. She's the strongest person I know. Through all the adversity, she always remained positive and keep it moving. I feel like thats worth more than anything having her around as a support system. Her ability to laugh through hard times and find happiness gives me strength to get through anything. If she can, I can. Thats as big as its going to get as far as inspiration...that's my girl right there. What inspires me the most is the idea of making a living off what i love to do. The fact that its a possible and i know. I believe that the small victories will eventually lead to a big break. 

Why is it important to create this art?

I dont know anything else to do. If I'm not doing anything else, I'm thinking about art. Im painting. Im writing out stuff. This is what I put my time into. This is my outlet. Life is crazy so you have to have an outlet...something you can get lost in. For me, this is my escape. I love the ability to create. I love to wow myself on the fact that not everyone can do this. You yearn for that feeling. It's apart of me.