We had the good fortune of connecting with Jam Jam Roberts and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jam Jam, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
I believe outsiders are unaware of how much thought and time goes into illustration, painting, and drawing. Some people are very inspired and create on a whim, but even still it is a summation of experiences, which breeds new art..also way more doodles than people think. I have a bookshelf with around 40 sketchbooks and notepads full of ideas and doodles.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Jam Jam Art is an Ujima Tribe. Which produces illustrations, paintings, murals, designs, fashion, and inclusive fine arts education through music and diversity in the arts. For me this is a cultivating of all the things that give me life and that I have found joy in.
I love making visual art, and my first love was doodling, so I would rather watch cartoons over human actors any day. But, my love for the quirky, wacky, surreal, far-fetched, and outright hilarious has allowed me to express these attributes in my art. as a critique of popular culture.
Also Growing up as a black kid, I wasn’t very aware of the black creators and artists in America. When I became a teenager, I learned that art wasn’t just in the US, but everywhere. From that point onward, I knew I wanted to travel the world and spread my love of all things visual arts.
My journey has taken me across the United States, time and space. As I grow older, learning how to have a greater impact on my community.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I like Supremo, they have some of the best Churros. I like all the unique donut spots, Revolution, Vegan Dream, Sublime Donuts.
I would go to Nuvo for brunch or late dinner, or I would go to Rosie’s if Nuvo is busy.
Hit BeatLab in L5P for some paint. Then go to Krog st bridge to Paint.
I would go to a drink & draw at ABV gallery, a Tech meetup at a local bar. I would also go to Metro Skate and rollerskate for an hour or so.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout is to all the nerds and anime geeks who grew up with me as teenagers. Having friends like Chris, Ben, Trevor, and more really broadened my idea of what art could be and what cartoons could be. I have always been interested in animation since the Looney Toon days. I also want to shout out to my parents for their impeccable vinyl record collection. It was always fun for me to go look through the myriad of ’70s and 80’s black music they kept well organized. Another honorable mention is to the healing power of natural medicine. I believe in the power of herbs, crystals, mindset, and energy and without my teachers and mentors of these practices, I would still have some toxic habits.
Photos Courtesy: https://www.instagram.com/fiveephotography/