The best of odd and amazing, artist Jared Africa creates unique illustrations that captivate you from each corner, from the electrifying colors to the hyper detailed subjects and characters. It makes you wonder who is behind these works. Check out our interview with the artist and learn some of his current and back-story.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Q: What would you say is one of your favorite movies and why?
A: Just like everyone, I’m a huge David Lynch fan and Mulholland Drive is definitely my favorite of his movies. Each scene is perfect to me, and it can be terrifying and hilarious without missing a beat. The scene in the theater where Rebekah Del Rio sings that cover of “Crying” is something I think about often.
Q: When did you realize you had an awesome knack for artistry?
A: Not until high school. I used to draw the Rocketeer a lot when I was a kid, and comic book stuff with my friends, but none of my stuff was very exceptional. In high school I became obsessed with Dragonball Z and really started to learn how to draw from that. I remember there was another kid who could draw Dragonball better than me and I was very dedicated to being the best at it. I don’t know how good he is at drawing Dragonball now.
Q: Who and/or what inspires your unique artistic style?
A: I would say Ralph Steadman, Sergio Toppi, Katsuhiro Otomo, and Francis Bacon (among others) are huge influences on my stuff. With a lot of my stuff I work without a clear idea in my head of what I want to do and so a lot of it tends to be related to whatever I’m feeling or thinking about at the time.
Q: If you had to explain/describe your artwork to a blind person what would you say?
A: I try and do a lot of different things but I guess a lot of them are very colorful and anxious. I used to just describe it as “psychedelic horror” to make it easier but I don’t know if that’s really accurate anymore.
Q;Your art is so intricate, what’s the longest time you’ve spent on a piece?
A: It’s tough for me to really know for sure. My favorite way to work is to start a piece, work on it until it I start to get a little bored, work on something else, and then come back to it. I know very recently I worked on something that took about 12 hours and that is almost definitely the longest I’ve worked on something in one sitting.
Q: I notice many faces and people in your work, who are they?
A: A lot of what I do is probably influenced by anxiety and people would be a huge part of that. So faces tend to pop up very often.
Q: Where can we find you and your work?
A: I post most of my stuff at my Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaredafrica/. Also at instagram: http://instagram.com/creepmansion/. You can buy prints and shirts at my Society6 store: http://society6.com/jaredafrica