Looking for a daily dose of joie de vivre? Don't delay; take a journey to Jeremyville now.
Meet Jeremyville, New York-based multidisciplinary artist harnessing the power of art to inspire change and positivity in the world. Welcome to his world, a creative state of mind that takes you to a happy place. Jeremyville is everywhere with his distinctive graphics and recognisable community service announcements. His work is always at the edge of your vision, from a floor-to-ceiling mural in a fast-food restaurant to a performance animation for a well-known fashion brand. In this interview, the artist reveals how he translates life through artistic practice.
Using graphic language and your own experiences growing up, how do you inspire others?
My struggles growing up involved finding a way to a life where I could truly be myself, not a pale imitation. I could never be someone others expected me to be. I needed to be true to myself. That's more difficult than it sounds. Life has a way of trying to make you something you are not. I needed my strangeness, and I made my weirdness work for me. Weirdness can become our 'fascinating individuality' if we create that alchemy.
I was a solitary child and didn't have friends growing up. I only had myself to create a dialogue with. This led to great clarity in my life by going inward in my mind to find the answers to my questions. WHO AM I? That's a question I still ask myself every day. The journey towards the answer creates my daily road map.
With my comic stories, I try to convey a simple path that anyone can take to arrive at their answers. Each of us has specific challenges and goals. I try to keep my messages open to others' interpretations. That way, anyone can connect with the messages in my art, assign meaning to it and make the journey their own.
Start your day with a touch of whimsy, and take a minute to make your daily road map. Find the Jeremyville "relax" daily calendar full of playful reflections for a positive mindset.
What appeals to you about the style of graphic art?
I aim to communicate a feeling or idea as quickly and simply as I can. I utilise an easy-to-comprehend graphic language. A recurring theme of symbols, icons and characters that tell a story to connect with.
How do you remain optimistic about life and what you can achieve?
My greatest obstacles are in my mind. If I can overcome them, anything is possible. If I can dream it and think about it, I can plan it and do it. What does society or others know about what I can and can't achieve? Only I know that. If I try and fail, then I'll just dream again and try again. Failure is fine, but giving up is not fine by me. My dreams and aspirations are very real to me. It's like if I can think it and imagine it, then that's 90% of the way there, and the 10% is in the doing. I stopped thinking too much and started feeling more. I believe in dreams, not reality.
"Let's get lost in beauty." Open your mind to Jeremyville's signature community service announcements; they're out in the world promoting self-love and happiness. You might spot one, and if you know, you know.
How do you plan around life crises during times of emotional confusion?
I start my day with a list; each day, it's my daily road map. All I have to do is write it down (usually the previous night in bed or first thing in the morning). I go through my day, checking off each task. My diary is full of completed lists. Life is just a series of incremental movements. For my emotional life, I find that by getting stuff done and keeping occupied, my mind does not dwell on difficult things I can't control. I'm too busy ticking stuff off the list. Once you shift that mental focus onto the daily task, you find that your mind has moved on from your emotional troubles. Action is a great way of shifting our focus to a more positive place. Just keep moving, just keep doing, no matter what. Just get stuff done.
In times of uncertainty, how do you find your inner self?
Art grounds me by taking me out of the every day into a place that feels like an eternity. Time becomes irrelevant, just an abstract construct. I reach a level of truth that I do not always find in life. Each of us can find something, anything, that provides a key that opens the door to a journey inward. For me, it is a session of drawing or painting. For others, it could be meditation, playing a favourite song, cooking a meal for a loved one or going for a run. Anything that takes us outside ourselves and makes the troubles we are experiencing less important, less of a focus.
Art is truth for me. Art is beauty, passion, struggle and resolution. Art and love are everything to me. It's my way of navigating this life. We all have something that can do that for us. If you haven't found it yet, keep on searching; it's there.
Seek your dreams, stop thinking and start feeling. Find your happy place. This is the message expressed in the unique Jeremyville language.
How is your work influenced by idealism?
The look of my art probably has a positive feeling on others, but for me, I see the struggle and tension in the art I create. It takes a lot of hard work and introspection to get me to a place of positivity. Mistakes are my greatest teacher, and all my lessons are hard-won victories.
Viewing art that outwardly is positive and discovering this comes from a place of deep learning for the artist personally is a reminder nothing in life worth having ever just falls in your lap.
How do you maintain your self-assuredness in yourself and your work?
From my humanity, from my struggles. There is always a way to reach a positive outcome in life. It just requires time, patience, hard work, introspection, and belief in yourself. Life is never easy, but we can choose a positive outcome if we want it enough and work for it. My confidence in life comes from a belief that anything is possible if we see life that way.