JASON JaFleu FLEURANT’S IGNITION!
JASON FLEURANT is from West Palm Beach, Florida and lives there actually. But as he says “the artist JaFleu is who I am”. After the devastation of his homeland Haiti, Jafleu was born out of the hurt and started expressing the un-expressable.
Jason, welcome and thank you so much for particpating in this project, I feel privileged and honoured to you accepted my invitation and answered the following questions for our readers.
No. 1) What is art to and for you? (in general and personally)
Art for me is therapy, an escape from reality. But then again, it lots a times forces you to see what’s really going on. It’s the view point of every individual, its people’s souls poured out via whatever media. Art is life. Art for me, is my answer to the question of “Why am I here”. I think without it, I’d of gone crazy. I feel like it saved me from myself, and gave me a better understand of who I am.
No. 2) What inspires you?
I think an easier answer is what doesn’t. Life in general inspires me. I always say that sometimes it feels like God puts me in certain situations or at the right place at the right time to ignite me. Music, poetry, simple conversations can inspire me. Whats going on in the world today, my nephews, a photo. Literally anything, I’m easily triggered.
I could be standing on a 12 foot ladder at work, and something might just hit me like “Yo this would be a dope concept for a painting”. Luckily I haven’t fallen off any ladders when I gets me. Often times I might sit in my little studio, music playing and inspiration finds me. It’s like a quote Jay-Z said “You put the right artist on the right track in the studio and leave the door open to let God in.”
No. 3) When you are creating, painting, where does it take you? I mean where does your mind travel?
Honestly I don’t know a lot of times it feels like I’ve literally blacked out through the process. As if God took over and did his thing. If it wasn’t for me occasionally recording videos of me painting, I’d swear sometimes I physically didn’t do it. I literally just go into some kind of zone, I’ll have music or radio playing. Even sometimes a movie, and I’m really not even paying attention to them, I just kind of like the sound waves bouncing around. I do know one thing, at the end of the ‘travel’ I can often times see in the painting feelings, emotions I hope no one else does.
No. 4) Do you think music, painting and health are related and if so, how?
I think it’s all related. I think it’s all about the energy that you’re putting out there. For instance, maybe not even 20 minutes ago I saw this amazing video. This lady that worked at a nursing home had an elderly man that livef there that normally wouldn’t react. He just kind of stared, and she desperately search for a way to reach him. She found out about in his youth, he had a passion for music and she brought an Ipod with some and it drastically changed him for the better.
I think people’s spirits react to the energy that’s being given. I think art in all forms helps connect to your soul and gives or even takes away the power you need to survive. But that’s just me.
No. 5) How do you feel when you are painting?
Peaceful I think, because again for me it’s kind of an out of body experience where I just go off. I link it to something like when it’s the last minutes in the fourth quarter and Michael Jordan just takes over the game. Completely zoning out and going into another level. Not saying I’m the MJ of painting, just that I really just become so into the process I couldn’t tell you how I feel.
No. 6) Do you identify with your subject, and if so, on what level?
Definitely, because a lot of times it’s based on themes directly from my life. Others it’s about issues I feel strongly about. Or emotions I’ve kept hidden. I could of painted a rose, and it looks like a simple rose but for me it has so many deeper meanings because it’s feelings I had hidden within me that have leaked with each brush stroke. I almost feel naked, when I see people looking at my art because I often wonder if they see what I see.
No. 7) Under what conditions do you work best?
If we’re talking surroundings. I prefer to be alone in this room. Music or something playing, no one around to see me as I go about creating. Because I feel I probably mess up a lot in the process and I don’t want anyone seeing my mistakes. Plus I’m just not a fan over someone looking over my shoulder if you will.
Other than that, I work best when I’m just inspired to create. When there is no pressure, it’s just me doing what I was born to do. I hate doing commissioned work like portraits because I always feel, even if you tell me I’m free to do what I want that there is some kind of expectation. It feels like it because work. And once it becomes work, it means I have to actually pay attention instead of zoning out and letting the brush speak for me.
No. 8 ) Does painting help you connect with your “higher self” whatever that may be for you?
Well like I had mentioned earlier, painting is like an out-of-body experience for me. Yet I do feel, since I’ve become an ‘artist’ I’ve become a bit more in-tuned with who I am, what I represent and what I want to be. I feel I’ve tapped in to a deeper side of myself that I may have suppressed or subconsciously hidden.
No. 9) How do you feel about creativity in the public school system?
I think it’s extremely important that schools have these outlets for children. The arts, creativity is so important in our day to day lives. Being able to think outside the box and channel your energy. Imagine how many kids that have grown up to be lost souls would have found an alternate more positive path in life if they were engaged in something in school.
Not every child wants to be a scientist or a pro-athlete. We can’t ignore those people and let them fall between the cracks. We have to nurture their talents and in turn nurture their minds because they become more engaged. They have something to reach for.
No. 10) In your opinion, what could be a simple solution to improve creativity in the public school system?
I have to be honest, I’m not sure. It’s something I’d have to think about. I know funding in public schools has been getting cut when it comes to The Arts. And when I say the arts clearly I’m speaking about drama, dancing, music, art etc. It’s a shame that it doesn’t have a higher priority seeing how we have a whole side of our brain dedicated to creativity. I’m pretty sure God deemed that important.
No. 11) What are you hoping to convey through you art?
I often get this question or some variation of it. My answer is really, I have no specific agenda. Well that’s a lie. I have this saying, Notorious B.I.G once said in reference to how urban youth can get out the ghetto “…to get out, you either gotta sling crack rock or have a wicked jump-shot”. I on the other hand just want to show people like me, the regular people around the way that there is a way out that isn’t stereotypical.
You want to know what’s one of the greatest feelings I’ve had since being a artist. And I’ve only been painting for two years now. A young kid, probably 12 years old hit me up on Facebook. Now why he has a Facebook at 12 baffles me but then again it doesn’t. This kid I have never met before a day in my life sent me a message saying he loved my work and was inspired by it to try do it art himself. That touched me, deeply.
I just want to create great art. I want to paint like NaS raps, or Adele sings. I just want to make something that will touch people, inspire people. Something that will be here long after I’m gone, and will setup a legacy my future kids can be proud of. Nothing more, nothing less.
Again, Jason, thank you, you have been very generous in sharing your feelings and thoughts and passion with us. I hope we work together again in the near future. Until then, I wish you well. Be blessed!
TO THE READER :
You are cordially invited to visit JaFleu’s links below to learn more about him and his wonderful work. Your comments are most welcome and appreciated, thank you. Enjoy!
My blog: Jafleu.blogspot.com
online gallery: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/jason-fleurant.htmlMail this post