Johnathon Michael Espinoza is a Visual Artist straight from the dirty streets of Houston, TX. When this young buck first added me on facebook I thought it was just another artist trying to get his name out. Until I actually took time to look at his work and work ethic. Johnathon Michael is young talented artist with a relentless drive. If you look at his work, some of the images may seem a bit demented, but that’s what makes it so unique…
B.C. - How would you describe your artwork to a first time viewer?
J.M.E. – Usually when people view art they look for a meaning or purpose. Something that is logical or reassures their sanity. Their are many different ways I can approach their reactions or questions. It all depends on how I read their body language if they are in person, or the depth of their question if they are not. Believe it or not, before they can result in a judgment I have already concluded my own in which helps me approach them with what I feel is necessary or intriguing to them. I can either make up something on the spot that correlates with a current event, relate it to life in general, or totally turn it around and ask how it speaks to them. I like to really hear how my art grasps the viewer and if they feel a connection, by all means, tell me your story. Some people are more timid and want to dissect, better yet, decipher me. I have the most interesting conversations with these people. Back and forth well go until one of us gives in and spills true emotion. Like drawing first blood in battle.
B.C. – What does the quote: “To Understand Art is to Over Stand Everything” mean to you?
J.M.E. – The quote: “To understand art is to over stand everything” has a great deal of significance to me. If you take a second to look around you and just considered the amount or art that it took to create such a mind bending atmosphere, you should be in awe. Every single person uses a form of art is some way or another. Thoughts, communication, innovations, etc. It all started from a blueprint or creative compilation of ideas. Art is what unites us all and helps us express ourselves in order to cope with life. Art is a word with no definite meaning because nobody understands it but God himself. That is why He is everything. When I get creative bursts, I feel I am nothing more then his tool doing his work. It flows so fluently and comes with ease. So natural and compelling in the same instance. An emotional state that will hopefully make its way to my viewers, because words will only deteriorate the full intentions of my vision.
B.C. – Are you into art for the money or the love?
J.M.E. – At the beginning of my career I told myself I would never become one of those artists who never payed attention to their fans or communicated with them personally because I was too busy. Probably because I was one of those persistent fans that would try and get a hold of the “famous artists” for questions or simple acknowledgment. At 18 I was thrown in the fire, I couldn’t really comprehend what the actual art scene was about because I never knew it even existed. Now I feel the pressures of all these people wanting to know about me or what I’m up to. It’s never been about money for me. As long as I make enough money to continue my art I am a rich person. I now realize that without these people I wouldn’t be in this very position. Knowing that people actually care and want to be a part of my life makes me feel like I’ve obtained that unobtainable status. In this industry, money to me isn’t the goal, it is a bookmark. It lets me know where I have come from and gives me self worth.
B.C. – As a visual artist, what do you focus on the most when you’re creating?
J.M.E. – I try not to focus on anything that will alter me being myself. Most will look to something for inspiration or a lead. I think the best ideas or visions are instilled in my heart or brain already. I do what can easiest be explained as a meditation. I scurry to a quiet place away from anything and everything. Every emotion just bleeds from every pour and spills onto an empty canvas or paper. I search inside myself for free, deep, unconscious thoughts, evil and angelic alike. I try to focus on what I can mostly relate to. Anatomy, repetition, pattern, design, free forms,nature, religion, significant live changing moments, feelings, words, controversy, violence, sex, war, money. My sober thoughts are more potent than any drug. It’s literally bringing a dream to life.
B.C. – Originally you’re from Dallas, TX. and now you reside in Houston. How would you compare the art scene’s?
J.M.E. – I was actually conceived and born in Dallas but raised in Houston. Unfortunately, I was not presented with the opportunity of being influenced in any way by Dallas or its art scene. I do in fact feel it is a goal of mine to reach out to Texas in all. In somewhat of a vengeance I’d say. We are considered far behind in Art and Fashion, as an artist with ties to both worlds I feel I can make an impact in a positive way to being acknowledged with the competitors. I strongly feel their is a movement being conjured by the Houston artists in every field and Houston Fashion Week is prime example thanks to Shawn Kingsley.
B.C. – You recently participated in the “Streets Have Soul Show” in Houston. How did that go for you?
J.M.E. – The “Streets Have Soul Show” was a big stepping stone. Few people know but me and my good friend Victor Dominguez alongside a few others played a big role in development of this event. I was approached with this idea about a show. I have always wanted to curate my own art show. After doing so I was hit with the bittersweet reality of it all. As an artist you want to give other artists participating an opportunity they might not be offered at other shows. I had the chance to experience it all from both prospective’s. We were able to offer reasonable prices for quality space as well as have the artists give their opinions and meet with the administrators for advice or ideas. It was for a wonderful cause benefiting the Ecclesia Homeless Ministry. This is going to be a bi-annual event so I’m happy to be a part of its early growth. At this point I don’t know if I’ll be a part of the administration in the future, I’m just glad I could be of assistance. It was a successful night and I’m positive the event will only get better in time.
My sober thoughts are more potent than any drug. It’s literally bringing a dream to life.
B.C. – When you hit a creative block, what do you do to get past it?
J.M.E. - No matter how outstanding of an artist you are, its inevitable, creative blocks will sneak upon you. I am a huge fan of my own art. A bit arrogant it may seem but I impress myself. This is why I am at constant competition with myself. I try and top what I have previously created. I think to myself, I am a God creating my own world. Anything I want happens. Anything I say goes. With all this power comes the pressures of what, when, who, where, why and how. Along with all creation having a purpose. Creating art isn’t something that should be rushed or forced. The greatest masterpieces will be fluent to my fingertips. I just stay positive, letting my mind breath and my hands speak. When I feel I’m ready to get back to work I return with fresh thoughts or a different approach. If I still see a blank page I use my anger or frustration to create. I will find beauty in everything if that is my over all intention.
B.C. – Besides being an artist, what other hobbies of interest have you taken up?
J.M.E. – In order to become successful at what I do I have to have full dedication to it. Other hobbies are a good thing to have even though art is my passion. The more outlets I have to express myself the better I can think and get to know my own self. Football, basketball, family time, exercising and fun with friends to me are significant to maintaining a peaceful state of mind and a relieved, relaxed demeanor. I’m still young and open to mostly anything so I’m sure more hobbies will find a place in my life. The more the merrier.
B.C. – When you first entered the art scene, was it hard for you to get gigs? Do you have any upcoming shows?
J.M.E. – Coming into the art scene I was desperate for a name, establishment as an artist, recognition. I would take any show that came along, a hole in the wall place, a club, bars. Now that I have been through all of that I can finally pick and choose which shows I want or feel I need to be in. I still needed to go through all of those places to be where I am now so I don’t regret any of them or take having options for granted. I am focusing more on creating bigger and better art. Gallery shows are my main priority at this point although I feel it is vital to do shows where I am needed and wanted because they are the foundation of my career. But if I had to say, it would be the new KAXM Gallery in Houston, my next point of interest thanks to Deborah Shelton.
B.C. – What can we expect from you for the rest of 2010?
J.M.E. – For the rest of 2010 you should undoubtedly expect nothing less then my full potential. A concoction of my passion and business will be in the works. I need money to survive but I need art to live. I will strive to produce more artwork at the best quality for the best prices. Technique and creativity will be present in all my work. I want to earn the respect from my fans and stay true to the style everyone has come to love. The only way I know how to do that is to keep doing what I’m doing now.
B.C. – Who would you like to thank?
J.M.E. – God and my family are the core to my success I believe. I’d also like to thank all my friends that expected and believed I would obtain my goals. Everyone plays a major role in my life no matter if you think you do or not.
B.C. – Is there anything else you would like to say to the fans?
J.M.E. – Just as every other business, the scene is corrupted. I fear becoming an artist who doesn’t think first about changing a persons life or giving back with my gift. If in any way I can help you with my art don’t hesitate to let me know. It is in my best interest to help you so that I can help myself. Communication with all of you keeps me in sync with myself. The more that is revealed within my art the more I’m able to understand about myself. I love you all.
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