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Jamie Earnest

Jamie Earnest Interview

Q: How did you start making art?

A: I was always creating and drawing as a child. The internal need to reflect on what was around me has always been inside of me. In my teenage years I decided I could not go without making and decided to pursue art full time. I often tell people that the reason I became an artist was so that I didn’t have to work for anyone else except myself. This is somewhat true, I still have a day job but I do get to create what I want to in my own practice and sell it to consumers and patrons.

Q: What does "being creative" mean to you?

A: This is a hard question. Perhaps being creative means exploring different paths of problem solving and thinking in less of a linear and traditional fashion. This process includes tapping into several nontraditional arenas such as aesthetics, emotional responses, and conceptual thinking.

Q: What is your most important tool?

A: Language. I say this because I often can explain an idea or concept more clearly through imagery, but that imagery stems from language. This is how my paintings are essentially made: taking language and translating it into something visual. In another sense, speaking about my work with others helps me to understand what I truly am exploring and how it resonates with others in that regard or in a way that is completely different.

Q: What would be your dream job?

A: AMy dream job would be to paint full time.

Q: Describe your first reaction to the piece of furniture. 

A: My first reaction was the connection of the shapes and lines in the chair to nature. I wanted to tap into the material in the chair, the shapes, and the spatial existence of the chair.

Q: Is furniture art?

A: Absolutely. When we sit in spaces with furniture, it shapes our experience. Often, I feel that this curated experience goes unnoticed or taken for granted, but it is always subliminally affecting the energy and interaction that happens in an interior space.

Q: How do you think art influences design of furniture and vice versa?

A: Furniture is a personal object. It allows people to curate their own spaces, to curate the energy, the experience, and the expression of their spaces. In a similar sense, art does the same thing. I feel that sense furniture is a physically functional object (our bodies use it every day), it is seen in a different light than art. With art, you are not supposed to touch it, but yet it shapes a room and experience within a space just like furniture does. Furniture has a side that a lot of art does not, it allows for a truly physical experience between bodies and the pieces.

Q: What are some of the most inspiring things happening in design today?

A: I think the idea of fully curating an entire space for a multi-sensory experience is exciting. For example, the piece “The Beach” by the architecture firm Snarkitecture created a monumental design, installation, and art experience for its participants. In the National Building museum, the firm filled a 10,000 sq foot enclosure with over 750,000 plastic balls. They allowed viewers to experience this “ball pit” in any way they chose. It was brimming with good energy, it was silly, inviting, investigative, and exciting.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you've been given?

A: “Be the shark.”


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