We had the good fortune of connecting with Jimmy Easton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jimmy, what inspires you?
As a creative, I spent a lot of time on Tumblr in around like 2012 and there, seemingly I was exposed to a whole new world of art uninhibited basically. Prior to that I used to read a lot of Shonen Jump Manga and lived for JRPG style games and the mega company Square Enix always fascinated me with the their cutting edge art style and edgy fashion choices that look like something you’d probably see at a runway show. I always thought that was the coolest thing because it was like pushing the barriers of video game stereotypes at the time and building something with a mainstream appeal by bringing diversity and representation in a way that made nerd culture seem cool. Being a sort of misfit nerd myself, I wanted a way to express my feelings and harness my creativity in a way that would be able to help and empower others. Briefly in high school, my cousin came to live with us and we were pretty close like we both finally had someone around our age to navigate the world and share experiences with. This is around the time that my cousin got me into “vaporwave” and “sadboy2002” aesthetics and since I was already rally into Tumblr, my mind exploded with ideas and started making collage style digital art strictly for like the fun of it and aesthetic purposes, but it ended up being pretty well received and I thought that was the coolest thing to basically deconstruct a photo in its entirety and then piece it back together to create a completely new imagery and feeling. Fast forward to high school, I began taking art classes and researching art history and various photographers and one who has always stood out to me from the moment I first seen his work and even till this day one of my biggest inspirations is David LaChapelle and his use of imagery, color composition, and set design all in a highly stylized fashion forward format left me breathless and astonished. viewing his work gave me the confirmation that I really do want to be not just a photographer, but a creative director in its entirety. putting together productions, playing with lights, colors, and fashion all while evoking deeper feelings of emotion through symbolism in his pieces. After that, I never looked back.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art expanses across various mediums from Digital photography, Drawing, painting, DJing, Styling, and Directing. What sets me apart is that i’m always expanding upon myself and creating new outlets to express my creativity so that when i’m never boxed into one category. I’m most proud of the fact that everyday I wake up and i’m living my dreams. I’ve met a lot of people that I once looked up to and see that even they aren’t perfect and go through a lot of dark stuff especially when it comes to the fashion/entertainment industry and that’s led to one of my biggest challenges of being authentically myself and letting creativity flow without regard for how anyone else might feel and how it seems counterproductive in an industry that is based off subjective opinions of others. That was kind of intense but if 2020 taught me anything, its to let go of that sense of control and fear of the unknown and allow yourself to feel and let the universe guide you in the right direction.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If you know me you know that i’m a Taurus and I adore good food and maximum levels of comfort! one of my favorite restaurants to eat at is a little place called “Noodle” its quaint, lowkey, reasonably priced and the food is actually delicious. After that you know, my next favorite thing is nature and there are so many really nice nature preserves throughout the city, but one of my favorites is Arabia Mountain. It’s an extremely expansive mountain that’s not quite as high as Stone mountain, but expands significantly further and if great for grounding in nature and sometimes you might even see some nature rituals going on out there if you’re into that.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Throughout my creative journey i’ve met so many wonderful and helpful people along the way that have taught me so much in one way or the other, but someone who has been there since I first started taking things seriously and has always supported me and seen my potential early on is Quanna (@quannamc) from the “CarefreeBlackGirl” organization. I met her in 2016 at a pop up pizza party on Edgewood and that night I was capturing footage of her and Yung Baby Tate. After that night I sent Quanna the photos and ever since then we’ve gone on to shoot various Track covers for her, she entrusted me help behind the scenes with some of the creative direction of various shows that she put together and even gave me my first major DJ gig. This woman has done so much and gone above and beyond for me and honestly I am eternally grateful and blessed at the chance opportunity to meet such a revolutionary and be a part of her movement as well as my own.
Image 1: (left to right) Chanel Iman, Ruth E. Carter, and Mary Elizabeth Olsen Image 2:(@montreofficial) Image 3: @mickivicious @iamursensei @the_mona_lyssa__ @deux.lens Image 4: Miia Yang (@miiayanggang) Image 5: Megan Thee Stallion Image 6: Lord Narf (@lordnarf) Image 7: Justin Ricks (@ricksraff) Image 8: Amanda Allen (@amandamonae)