It’s safe to say the artist being showcased this week has creativity pumping through her veins and passion for days. Her ability to keep things fresh and crank out GOOD artwork on the reg - is nothing short of amazing! Read on to find out what Venice-based artist Jules Muck is all about in this edition of the Weekly Feature:
Name: Jules Muck
Place of Residence: Venice, CA
Current Jam: Cali Swag District- Teach Me How to Dougie
Favorite Food: Mac n Cheese with bacon
Mode of Self Expression: Pop Surrealism
Ark: Tell us a little bit about yourself Jules!
Jules: I was born in England but grew up mostly in New York. So between New York and Europe I moved around a lot and I never planned to be an artist. I was actually not into art at all as a teenager, but I did do graffiti. Most of the time I used to go out and try to wreck murals and stuff, and put my name everywhere. Slowly by doing it over and over again my name got more and more intricate. Over time this woman who is an artist in the Bronx took me on as her apprentice. I just did it because I wasn’t thinking, and I kind of became her right hand man and she showed me how to make money as an artist and make a living that way. Basically she gave me the confidence to do it since I never thought it was a possibility, and it worked out really well.
I’ve been doing canvas and fine art since 2001 and have had a bunch of shows. I showed at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Fuse Gallery in New York, and then out here at the Pacific Design Center, and I’ll be showing at the Stephen Cohen Gallery in April in a show called Ward of the State.
I paint between 1 and 6 paintings a day. 1 is on a bad day, but most days it’s between 3 and 4.
Ark: What and/or where are a few things you draw inspiration from?
J: I’ve had people ask this before and it’s somewhat hard to pinpoint. There’s a drive that I have to constantly be painting and when I’m not doing it, it’s almost like negative reinforcement. If I don’t do it all the time it doesn’t feel right.
A: Who are a few of your favorite artists you’ve looked up to over the years?
J: I’m really into Robert Standish right now. He does photo realism and I just got in this show with him which is blowing my mind because I never thought I’d show with someone who has collections in the LACMA and stuff, so it’s amazing.
The woman who trained me was Lady Pink. She was one of first street artists who have became a fine artist, and I really look up to her. There are also a lot of people who I am really into and when I was younger I used to look at [Salvador] Dali’s stuff a lot. I love Jeff Koons‘ stuff too. It’s weird to me because he doesn’t paint his own work, but I love the way the pieces look finished.
A: Was there a specific moment in your life where you realized you wanted to pursuer a career as an artists, or was it something that just kind of happened naturally?
J: I don’t even remember when exactly the thing was solidified that I can’t exactly do anything else. The last time I tried to do something else was about three years ago when I decided I should try and do something worthwhile and I tried to go to Med school. I was doing really well and then the art took over when I got a big show and dropped out of school and worked on the show instead. That’s when I got into the Bronx Museum. So it’s just been this thing where I have weeded out everything else and really focused on the art.
A: Could you tell me a bit about the creative process you go through when you’re getting ready to do a new piece, or does it differ every time?
J: Most of the time it’s just some image that pops into my head then I look for reference material to find it. The other day I was thinking of Married With Children and I remembered Peg Bundy. I thought I need to do a huge oil painting of her just because it would be hilarious, so that’s what I was working on last night. I found the picture and I’m painting it, so I changed the background and some of the colors to fit the picture that’s in my head.
And I like to pay homage to photographers I respect like Esteban Oriel. I’m doing a bunch of his photos into oil paintings then changing them. Like changing the borders and putting graffiti frames around them and stuff- you know, things that I think enhances the photos.
Sometimes I’ll just see an image that is next to another image it I think they just go together. I’ll be reading a magazine and see it next to a billboard and get ideas from there. It’s almost like doing collages when I put them together.
A: What is your favorite medium to use when you’re creating artwork?
J: That’s a hard one. So I’m going to say it’s split down the middle between spray and oil.
A: Tell us about your most memorable, funny, awkward… (fill in the blank )encounter you’ve had over the years with your art.
J: Well I went through a period of painting porn and I don’t know why. Like I said, things pop into my head and then I’m like ok I have to paint it. I went for an audition to do a Sprite commercial as a graffiti writer and they asked me what I was working on. Sprite is very family oriented and want a wholesome image, and I start talking about porn. I didn’t get the audition but it was pretty funny.
A: What’s it like to be part of the Venice art community?
J: It’s amazing. I’m actually closer to a lot of musicians that are around than a lot of the artists. I don’t know many artists, but I know a ton of musicians that will sketch and stuff and I will take ideas from their sketchbooks with their permission of course. When I see something that someone is doing in small ink then blow it up in color as a huge oil painting with a different background or something. I like to incorporate other people’s work into my stuff all the time.
A: Alright, now it’s time for the “lightning round”. If you could please answer as quickly as possible, I’d appreciate it!
*Jules’ answers are in RED
- Acrylic or aerosol? – Aerosol
- Street art or fine art? – Street
- Beach or mountains? – Beach
- Dive bar or night club? – Dive bar
- PB&J or grilled cheese? – Grilled cheese
A: What are a few other hobbies you like to do besides creating art?
J: All I do is paint. Everything else has fallen by the wayside. I used to write, I used to read, I used to try and play music but now I just obsess over the painting 24/7.
A: Thanks Jules. Any last words?
J: Thank you and thanks for doing this for me too!
*Scope out a few piecess of Jules’ awesome artwork below! If you’re interested in seeing more of her work you can visit her website www.julesmuck.com or reach her via email at email@example.com