Every Friday in the coming future. I plan to acquaint you with a whole bunch of amazingly talented people. I’ve asked an array of creative souls to answer a handful of questions to give you an insight to their colourful life and to fill you with inspiration for your weekend! I’m excited to kick off this Creative Friend Friday with Jay Khan aka Meraki Art Lab so without further ado….
I know you as Jay the extraordinary artist. How would you describe your work to others and what makes it so creative?
Thank you Rhiannon, yes I’m Jay and my brand/ platform is Meraki Art Lab. I’d describe my work as bold and passionate, full of energy and movement, and spontaneous. I am a creator of 2D and 3D abstract art and art installations. The word Meraki means.. (leaving a part of yourself in your work) which really sums up me my passion for art and how I work. What makes my work so creative is my inherent believe that you can be creative with almost anything at your disposal….. do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
When and how did you discover that you were a creative person?
I guess I’ve always been creative, certainly as long as I can remember anyway. As a child I’d be constantly drawing in my arms in biro, making mix tapes, altering/ customising my clothes…. and have always enjoyed painting, sculpture and art. I had a wonderful art teacher and since leaving school have always worked either in the interior design industry or for designers/ interior designers. So I’ve been working in an extremely creative environment now for over 25 years, learning new skills and picking up new techniques along the way.
What’s your most favourite creative piece to date?
I’ve been very lucky and worked on some amazing projects over the years but I’d have to say a my personal highlight or creative piece I’m most proud of would have to be when I collaborated with close friends Mikey Brain and Ernest and Andy at Plume for a 3D light box instillation ( mind pattern) we built for the Tabula Rasa exhibition a few years back. Collaborating is definitely my favourite way to work, and I remember we buzzed hard trying to execute that particular piece. I always find when you work with fellow creative’s you always instinctively up your game, it give you a serious kick up the ass, you have to deliver. Through that whole process we all learned so much and when you achieve something together it’s so much more satisfying.
What do you do when you experience a creative block?
I tend to work on many projects and pieces at any one time so I don’t really suffer from creative block as such, I can jump from one thing to another easily enough if I’m stuck. I learned a while back that the best way to work is with complete fearlessness and just go for it. If I’m Working on something and it’s not right I’ll just change what it was to something else, no problem. Most of my eureka moments have been born from mistakes or accidents…it’s all part of the process …. I just keep going until it looks right. I don’t really paint using sources, photos or pictures etc….. I just tend to paint how I’m feeling, that includes depths, textures, tones, colours and mediums. Sometimes I’m done in a few minutes, sometimes I’m still not done after a few months, either way is fine with me, when it’s done it’s done 🙂
How do you get your inspirations?
Inspiration can come from anywhere really, but for me it’s not really anything I see or note down etc, it’s more to do with being inspired by people, how they immerse themselves in their work… how they live their lives in the most creative way possible. I’m talking about people like David Bowie, Grace Jones, Vivienne Westwood….. I’m extremely lucky to have many creative friends, just being around them, everyone buzzing off each other’s ideas and plans, that’s massively inspiring too.
What advice would you give to other people who are motivated to become more creative?
The best thing I’ve learned I’ve the years is first and foremost have fun. Too many people take themselves too seriously and lose sight of what’s really important. Having a seven year old son had put everything into perspective. I quite often take Rocco with me to the studio and what I’ve learned from him is priceless. You see children when they are being creative are fearless, they are not afraid to fail, paint with complete abandon, literally what’s in their head ends up on paper, painted without a care in the world. Perfect :))
Any exciting projects planned for this year you’d like to share with us?
I have a very busy year ahead with a few festivals/ live art projects ( including Gottwood) coming together that I’m excited about. I’ve just applied at a local care home too…where Rocco and I will be able to paint with the residents every Sunday morning…. which is something I’ve always wanted to get involved in…. fingers crossed. I’ve have just moved to a bigger studio that’s more local to me….. buzzing 🙂
….A massive thank you to you Jay for giving us some of your precious creative time! Really excited to see your next projects! Keep up to date with Jays creations and follow him on Instagram and Facebook. 🙂