While most artists we’ve featured on Foreground have innately known they were an artist, Wisconsin-based J.Mael Clark is different. For the longest time, this American illustrator had his heart set on becoming a singer.
“I’ve always wanted to sing rock music,” recollects Clark, who was also received several honours for singing in high-school as well as being a member of the Oklahoma State Choir.
Even when his heart was leaning towards music, J.Mael Clark was constantly exposed to drawing, since childhood. His father; an artist himself, taught J.Mael a lot of techniques growing up.
However, rebellion, a touch curiosity and a little serendipity that let Clark begin a journey that would lead him become the artist he is today.“I took the leap and I ran with me decision to join art school. At the time, life had backed me into a corner and it was the only option I had. I knew that it was something I could practice and develop regardless of how much money I had,” says J.Mael Clark. “I haven’t looked back or second guessed myself since.”
In the six years since he has become an artist; J.Maelstrm Clark has given several outlets of art a shot. Be it glass blowing, printmaking, photography or installations, visual journaling, and even collages. Before settling on his current style of pop surrealism.
Today, Clark largely uses black and white inks to portray a meaningful and diverse body of work that is full of individualistic voice and flare.
“I was influenced to use white ink and the unbleached titanium paint by the incredible Sterling Huntley,” says J.Mael Clark, stating that he now has more options with his work, and has the leeway to build more layers. Currently J.Mael is working on a project titled, Kenji’s World-a comic book that explores young adult fiction about metaphysics, mental states, and doppelgänger.
“I can’t say too much because it’s in development. But, my goal is to grow this project beyond a comic book. There will be short stories, illustrations, and concept art. All the monthly bundles of art and writing will be free, and open for donations,”says Clark.While he has drawn many pieces, one of Clark’s most cherished hopes is to one day redesign the artwork of coins for the United States Mint.
As for his body of work, J.Maelstrm Clark hopes they resonate one message clearly.
“I think art should be thought of as a collective experience. I’m just one voice of my generation. I hope my work resonates with like minds. I hope I’m capable creating things to represent people who have yet to see themselves reflected in media and arts,” says the artist.
Whether it’s creating new worlds, telling new stories or engaging art lovers with form, flare and fantasy, J.Maelstrm Clark is certainly on his way (if he’s not already there) to becoming an extraordinary artist.
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