Artist interview: meet Chris Jonathon

Artist interview: meet Chris Jonathon

Chris Jonathan art from future

Hello Chris, we’re delighted to have a chat about your background and your artistic practice.

Chris, could you tell me about yourself and your background?

My name is Chris, I was born in Aleppo, Syria. I’m 21 years old and currently an art student at Villa Arson - National School of Fine Arts.

When did you start making art?

I started when I was really young, can’t remember when exactly, probably around the age of 8 or 9, and I mainly was drawing dresses that I wanted to create when I grew older. I really loved fashion at the time and wanted to become a designer one day. After that, I became obsessed with hair and makeup. I deeply enjoyed braiding, straightening and curling my mother’s hair. Something about the fluidity and the adaptation of hair grasped my interest. Which later became the main thing I drew in portraits.

Can you tell me more about your artistic journey to where you are now?

I’ve always found beauty in colors, my personality is pretty dark sometimes so I think colors give balance in my life. I was always drawing or painting alone in my room, I was and still am introverted and find it hard to socialize. Art was a habit which has turned into an almost religious ritual that kept me company. Obviously leaving my country was extremely bizarre and rough as a kid, not knowing where I was going just following the plan life has created for me. I found great meaning in the way things just flow and nature takes control over us. That process has extremely affected my work at the time and has led me to where I am right now.

Chris, Afterwork, the series, 2019, pen ink, 9X6,5 cm, 150€

"I am also not scared of making art that is considered “beautiful”. We as humans are very connected thanks to art, whatever form it takes shape as, it has always played a huge part in bringing us together."

What is the story behind your artworks?

Abstraction is not something we can control, to a certain level maybe, however we can never fully know the final results. Nature in itself is very unpredictable and purely abstract, so my practice is about unleashing the nature that is within me.

I am also not scared of making art that is considered “beautiful”. We as humans are very connected thanks to art, whatever form it takes shape as, it has always played a huge part in bringing us together. For me, creating those waves is a natural process that consists of observation and application. Applying colors and choosing which direction they flow to is like therapy, letting go of the pressure and control we have inside of us and embracing what we all share as humans which is our instincts. I invite each and everyone to experiment and find out what brings them inner peace and freedom of creativity. 

 I love the details in your drawings. How long does it take you to create a piece?

Thank you! I appreciate your attention to details. It really depends, usually a format as small as 9x6,5 cm takes from 3 to 9 hours, depending on what movement and/or texture I want to achieve. However, my recent works that are much bigger (29,7x42 cm) take days and sometimes weeks to finish, depending on the material I use of course. However, a bigger format doesn’t necessarily mean longer time. The ones that take the most time are done with ballpoint crystal pens.

Chris, Shades of blue, 2019, pen ink, 9X6,5 cm
By the way, what is your studio like? Could you share some pictures with us?

I tend to work in a “comfortable” atmosphere, while drinking coffee and watching my favorite show (which I’ve already seen multiple times). I realized recently that I need some sort of repetition that can trigger my senses in order for me to work on my drawings and paintings. Hence why I no longer work in my studio at my school, instead I work at home on my desk with a very comfortable chair.

Who are your biggest influences and how do they influence your practice? 

To be frank I have to say that the most help I get to improve my work tends to come often from people who aren’t familiar with the art world. I get my inspiration from artists I follow on social media / read or learn about at school, they definitely help me find more efficient and practical techniques, however, when it comes to the overall process I always start with a plan in my head, then I ask along the way for opinions and points of views of different people from my family and friends.

Do you have a role-model?

I never idolize one person only, but I do have a huge amount of respect for anyone who is independent and works hard on their craft. I definitely value things based on their background and story rather than the final results. 

If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?

Oh man, I hate to talk about money or give it value but there’s no denying that money can solve a lot of problems. I think I would donate most of it to organizations and charities, then buy my family and friends all the things they once dreamed of having, and then keep just the right amount for me to live a normal comfortable life until I grow old. 

How do you see yourself in 10 years?

I’d love to see myself working and making enough money to be independent and spoil my loved ones, working in tattooing, traveling, taking dancing classes and surrounded by love. Of course I don’t need to wait 10 years for any of these to happen, but overall I just want to keep creating for my own pleasure no matter what happens and be happy.

Thank you Chris

Click here to view the Art From Future profile of Chris Jonathon

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