Interview With Artist Jason Phillips

3 Nov

Artist Jason Phillips

Whatever event I’m attending,  before I shake hands, waste pass out business cards, and start speaking to randoms; I observe the room and take in my surroundings.  Some people stand out more than others,  in this instance it was a little girl around the age of 7. She had beautiful brown skin, black curly hair blowing in the wind standing  under a clear blue sky. There was a sense of euphoria in her expression; I was immediatley drawn to her,  so much so the spring breeze was cool, and the smell of lavender and Daisies were intoxicating…She didn’t have to say a word, the brush strokes  spoke for her.

Art can be many things; inspirational, beautiful, truthful, but no matter what it is, it’s always a true form of self-expression at its best. Jason Phillips is one of those artists whose work surpasses just paint on canvas; his work is interwoven with culture, and meaning…..

Q & A With Jason Phillips!

CS: The oh so famous and unavoidable question that is asked before names in Atlanta is; so what do you do?

JP: I am a visual artist. I paint, draw, and have been doing print graphics for over ten years. I’m more known for my oil paintings.

CS: At what age did you decide you wanted to be an artist? And what was your first piece of work?

JP: There was never a big epiphany that occurred that made me say “Hey, I want to be an artist when I grow up.” Art was something that I always did. I started drawing at a very young age. I have been creating ever since I could hold a crayon. My mother says that she knew that I had a gift because I never drew stick figures.

I would get in trouble with my parents for drawing portraits on walls and later sketching in my note books in grade school, instead of taking notes. By the time I was in college, I didn’t care what occupation I had, just as long as I was designing something. 


"Detroit Dilla" 24x30 in. /oil on canvas

CS: Where were you born and raised, and how do you think this influences your work?

JP: I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. I often say that art saved my life. I grew up in a single parent household. My mother would work late leaving me with a lot of time unattended. My passion for mastering drawing and painting skills kept me in the house and out of the troubles of Detroit streets.

“Detroit is also the home of MANY talented renown artists. I have learned from many directly and have been inspired by the works of others.”

CS: In the world of fashion we are inspired by the world around us. What other forms of expression inspire you?

JP: Music, dance, and theatre.

CS: What is your greatest achievement, and what do you hope to achieve in the near future?

JP: A) My personal favorite achievements involve working with Children. Whether its speaking at schools about my career, or mentoring young artists.

 B) I will be aligning myself to do more public art in the near future. 

CS: At the art battle “Paint, Sketch, or Draw Blood” you seemed to have a specific point of view about Atlanta’s artists. Do you have it out for Atlanta’s artists?

JP: LOL Motown Showdown is all about Detroit art/artists. Showdown is also a made up character who will talk crap about anybody and back it up…..

I personally don’t have it out for any artist. Atlanta or elsewhere. I have had the pleasure of meeting many talented artists down here. We all have our own Style, strengths, and niches. 

CS: What do you find special about Atlanta’s art scene here? And what would you add or change?

JP: I had no idea how many African-American artists who’s work I was familiar with, actually lived in Atlanta until I moved here. Most are transplants like me. There is a nice network of artists that create events that attract people to come out to art events that ordinarily would not take the time to do so. This is crucial for the continuation of support of visual art…..

“I would like to one day see an actual guild formed that could help document and promote the artists therein.”

CS: As of lately it seems like everyone has an alter ego, do you have one? (If yes, please introduce who and what that alter ego is, if no explain why not.) 

JP: Only for the WWAF – Motown Showdown. He’s a Courvoisier drinkin’, street hustla’ from Detroit, who dabbles in the arts. He believes that he is the coldest artist to touch a brush and has no problem putting the smack down on ANY artist who contests.  LOL

It takes 45 minutes for me to get into character. I am normally chilled and low-key.

CS: Artists are known to have superstitions and quarks to give them good luck, do you have any before you paint, or before a big event?

JP: No superstitions No quarks.  When creating a real piece (not practicing) I never approach a canvas without a plan. Series of sketches are created before I approach a canvas. If you know what you’re doing, you don’t need luck. 

My favorite painting, and the little girl I fell in love with! "Cool Breeze"/Oil on Canvas 40x40

 To see more of Jason Phillips work, or to purchase any art that you’ve seen, visit:


One Response to “Interview With Artist Jason Phillips”

  1. Tahir 11/03/2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Awesome interview!

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