We are very proud to present you the interview with the extraordinary and renown artist Jimmy C. The universe he creates is pure and powerful, and it is impossible not to stop on the street when you notice one of his works. The art of Jimmy C takes you to another dreamy dimension, somewhere where you feel joy just like a child, but think as a grown up…
In our interview, Jimmy C talks about Paris, love, spirit and the connection of all things, and about bringing diversity, colours and surprises to the people.
How did you start painting and creating? Was your family supportive of your creative initiatives?
I always enjoyed drawing and painting when I was younger and as far as I can remember my family was supportive of this.
Do you remember your very first creation as child and afterwards your first work as an artist?
I don’t remember! I wish I had my mum around, as I am sure that she would be able to tell me. My first work as an artist was probably in the art class at school, where I made some nice surrealist style paintings when I was about 14.
How would you describe your style and your technique? Tell us about your creative process. How long does it take to complete a project, what materials do you use, etc?
Right now I am working with a kind of pointillist technique or layering of lines using quite a lot of colour. I am mainly working with spray paint. Each painting on a wall or a canvas takes on an average about 3 or 4 days. For the creative process, I first have some kind of idea, then make the drawing, then go from there.
Is there any other new techniques you would like to learn?
Always! I don’t know what they are yet, and they will need to be discovered through experimentation.
Tell us about the central characters and objects of your works. What inspires you to create them? What inspires you in general, in your everyday life? Who would you call your personal inspiration?
A lot of my work used to be inspired from real people, friends, or people I had met on the street, but now a lot more of my portraits come from the imagination. I used to be more inspired by the exterior world, but now it is more coming from the interior world. What inspires me in general is love, spirit, and the connection of all things.
Do you think street art enhances the city? What in your opinion does it bring to the everyday life of people? How do you think your work in particular influences the city?
I think it does, but this of course is subjective. It brings diversity, colour and surprises to the people. It is an unmediated and very direct art form, therefore very effective for communicating a message. My work brings colour and and hopefully a sense of the human spirit through the portraits that I paint.
What is your message to your public?
Love, spirit, and connection (to the universe, to the earth, and to one another).
Is there any work in particular that you are mostly proud of?
There was a painting I did in Berlin which was an imagined female portrait incorporating circular geometry, which intended to evoke the ideas of strength and harmony. Many months later I received an email from a girl who lived in Berlin who said that the painting had given her strength and optimism when she needed it most. Sometimes you realize that it is through the response of others that the painting becomes significant.
Would you call yourself a street artist? Who would you like to collaborate with from the street art world, who did you collaborate with already? Tell us about your experience at Tour Paris 13 project?
The last collaboration I did was in Sao Paulo with the artist Sliks which was a collaboration organised by Instagrafite. This was good fun, because we did not speak the same language, but communicated through the language of paint. Even though we have very different styles, we have similar ideas and interests, so there was a shared energy and a unity to the work.
For the Tour 13 project I was invited by Galerie Itinerrance along with many other artists to come and paint there. I created a kind of conceptual portrait of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud using painting, sculpture and text. When I first painted there I had no idea how the rest of the building would be transformed by the other artists, so it was quite amazing to come back seven months later to see it all.
In your opinion, what is the best part and the worst part of being an artist?
The best part is the incredible freedom that one has and that creativity has no boundaries. For the worst part, I am really not sure, but perhaps it is spending too long on an artwork and forgetting about other important things.
If one day you would have to stop expressing yourself through art what do you think you would do?
I would find another way to express myself and communicate, probably through writing.
Tell us about your upcoming projects and your Parisian projects. Where can we see your works in Paris or in other parts of the world?
I have been travelling quite a lot this year, so right now I am taking my holidays in London and enjoying the summer. It is possible that I will visit Paris in the next few weeks. The only work I have in Paris at the moment is a small wall at le Point Ephemere in the 10eme and then a couple of walls at Vitry sur Seine. I also participated in the In Situ Art Festival this summer. In other parts of the world I have walls in London, Berlin, Belgium, Barcelona, and Sao Paulo.
How would you describe the city of Paris? Do you have your favorite place here?
Paris is a very beautiful city and I lived there once for a short time. I was in the 10e around the Canal Saint Martin and I still like this area. The thing about Paris is that there will always be another hidden and beautiful street to be discovered somewhere.
What exhibitions do you like to visit in Paris? What museums you go to in Paris? Is there any place in the city you would advise our readers to visit?
When I was an art student I made a point of visiting all the major art museums in Paris. When I visit Paris now, it really depends on what exhibition is showing, and I often find myself at the Centre Pompidou. When I was a student my favorite painting was le Radeau et le Meduse in the Louvre by Gericault and I stood for many hours in front of that painting.
For places to visit for your readers, there is a path that I take my friends on when they are visiting Paris, which starts at Bastille, goes through la Place des Vosges, through le Marais, over to Ile Saint Louis, then to watch the sunset over Notre Dame near le Pont de la Tournelle, watching the Pont Archeveché sparkling like gold.
Of course on that route is where you will find many tourists, so it is worth exploring other areas because some of the best parts of Paris are the more quiet and less well known areas.
What would you advice to young street artists that just start their career?
To try to develop your own style and ideas, and to think about the reasons for why you want to paint on the street. After that it is about having patience, working hard, and having fun.