Chris Ousley is an artist and illustrator in LaVergne, Tennessee.
I first saw Jonathan’s work on facebook. He had posted a sold piece in the Murfreesboro Creative Group. I saw it and thought it was really something different. I tracked him down on Instagram and asked for an interview. My motivation for an interview was actually just so that I could figure out how he did what he did. I’m glad I reached out, because what he does is so badass that I had to share it with you.
Your process is a little different. Can you walk me through it for our readers? Do you start with an idea or do you just jump in?
Jonathan has another video and a few more pictures of how he does what he does on Patreon that are worth checking out. You can also follow Jonathan on twitter or instagram – both accounts are @NSFWJonathan. And I know you want to follow him after seeing him blow up paint for art.
If you like his stuff let him know by commenting below or sharing his work.
I have admired Norbert Thiemann’s work for quite some time. In fact, every time I saw one of his photographs I thought it would be perfect for Furies. He might be one of the reasons I came back to Furies; to be able to bring attention to local talent like him and work like his.
I was lucky that he reached out to me to be the first interview for the rehash of Furies Magazine.
What inspired you to start taking pictures?
Both of my California cousins took still photographs before they became immersed in creating motion pictures. Seeing their different styles and approaches was very inspiring. It helped a lot that they are both so talented.
They also influenced my appreciation for watching fine films. The name Cinespire Photography came from my realization that the photographs would in some way be influenced by things I had witnessed on the big screen. Not surprisingly, I also gravitate toward the art and photos of times past.
When did you get your start as a photographer?
My plunge into photography started somewhere around 2006 or 2007. Initially, I bought the camera with the intention of producing works in stop motion, in conjunction with film making. After a few sessions with models I was simply hooked on taking stills.
How does today’s politically correct obsessed culture effect your content and the people who model for you?
Some of the work is erotic, but the majority is not confined to that definition. I aim for my work to be both body and sex positive. It can become empowering for those who seek it. I’ve essentially witnessed two types of feminism, which are sex positive and sex negative. One just seems more healthy and inclusive.
Do you plan out your shoots ahead of time or do you let the subject inspire you?
It turns out to be a combination of both. I generally have various loose ideas for a shoot, but I stay open to my subject, location and potential props. A lot of my photographs were spontaneously created out of an inspired moment.
I notice that a lot of your work is black and white or has very subtle use of color. Why is that?
Great phrasing of this question, because I had to pause and think about it. I love everything about black and white, especially mingling in the shadows. It’s my opinion that black and white aids in making experiences more universal, instead of being solely about one specific person.
Although we had color TV’s when I was young, we still had the odd black and white portable model. In the early years, it was rare for us to go to the movie theater, however we did frequent the drive-in. I’m sure I was influenced by all the black and white and muted colors from when I was growing up. Watch some great classics and movies from the 1970’s to get my drift.
Are there any local artists that you’re inspired by?
For local, I would be remiss not to acknowledge Bill Steber.
What are your goals as an artist?
Recognition is big for every artist I’m sure. I mainly wish to be more prolific, and to keep growing.
If you could shoot anything/anyone you wanted, what/who would it be?
Beauty comes in many forms, and variety is so important. For some time I have been drawn to the presence of an international model who has gained notoriety for being utterly unique. Her name is Melanie Gaydos, and she has done some very fine work.
Actually, I’m happy to keep shooting with lots of different people, because of the importance I place in variety, and beauty in all it’s forms.
FURIES : When did you get started as an artist?
Early. When I was a kid, maybe 7 or 8 I started my first comic called super dog. It kinda spiraled from there. I’ve never really had any difficulty with drawing. They way I approach any piece is so open to change. It can feel like a maze.
FURIES : Is art hereditary in your family?
No. Music runs deep in my family, and my mother has an artistic side to her. However drawing, sketching, painting, things of that nature were not in my family. My step-father’s family has a strong artistic streak. So I did have a family influence through the years.
FURIES : What’s your work space like?
Where ever I have enough light or time to do it. Mainly my bedroom. It’s cozy and perfect for me to settle. I have an easel for painting, not a great one, but it does the job.
FURIES : What current projects are you working on?
I have 2 new marker based images Im working on, as well as a new painting. I post all my work when it’s finished on my website. I really never know when I’m on a new project until I’m working on it. Then it’s done. Hopefully I will be turning more out at a quicker pace. J
FURIES : What kind of music do you listen to while you’re working on a project?
This can be a wide range, depending on my mood. I love listening to the Gorillaz, Biggie Smalls, Lady GaGa, the Beatles, and one of my personal favorites, Hugh Laurie’s Let Them Talk almbum. There’s tons of other artists I enjoy listening to while working. Those are some top ones. My vinyl collection receives a lot of attention while working in my room. Some of those eargasms are provided by Steve Miller Band, Pixies, Beethove, The Commodores, etc. Point is, if I’m feeling it, I can use it serve my muse.
FURIES : Has your art ever interfered with your personal life, or vice versa?
It seems like my art doesn’t always get the chance to thrive like it deserves. I grew out of my art for a good chunk of my teenage years. Music dominated my every move in those days. I’m just now getting to a point where I can focus more on creating.
FURIES : What are your plans for the future?
The future will hold many things. I hope that I will find a way to incorporate painting and drawing into my career. There’s talks of going to the west coast next year. May a way for me to focus intently on my path. Right now I pick up a pencil, brush, or marker and keep at it.
You can check out more of Chris Carter’s colorful world by going to his webpage or his facebook !
Furies Magazine: When did you get your start as an artist?
Dan Peters: I started making art at a young age, but it wasn’t until I took a painting class with Deborah Barr-Brayman in college that I developed a strong drive to pursue art as a passion and career. A major moment was the day she pulled me aside and explained what it takes to make it as an artist, and also that she saw enough potential in me to encourage me to chase it. Smarts were never really a problem, but I’d just never felt driven to apply myself to anything at school, and until that instant I frankly had no future direction whatsoever. I can’t thank Professor Barr-Brayman enough for that moment, and I’ll certainly never forget it. Afterward she continued to encourage me to chase my passion and develop my own style, and I learned a ton about how best to do so. If it weren’t for all that, its genuinely possible that I would have never found out that art is what I want to do.
FM: Is art hereditary in your family?
DP: Considering that both my grandpa and my Mom are really talented painters, I’d have to say yes. My Mom does some awesome landscape paintings, and though my Dad will deny possessing any creative ability until he’s blue in the face, he’s a really naturally talented photographer. My aunts and uncles are also extremely creatively talented, and I think being lucky enough to grow up around creative people has been a real advantage for my own development.
FM: Do you force yourself to work or do you wait for inspiration?
DP: I think it depends on the situation. If I have a deadline to make then I force myself, but I always prefer to work from inspiration. That doesn’t mean not having inspiration is a good reason not to work, because pushing yourself to work can be a great way to get through a creative block. Sometimes though, you have to set down the brushes or sculpting tools or whatever and return to it later with fresh eyes in order to get the most out of it. A friend of mine recently gave me some advice that I think really applies here: “If you don’t love it, set it aside and work on something else.” I’ve tried to let that guide my work habits ever since.
FM: Where do you turn when you’re lacking inspiration? Is there a book, a movie?
DP: Action sports have always played a large role in my life. Something like skateboarding or snowboarding takes a lot of focus, so it can provide a solid break from thinking, and at the end of a session I always feel refreshed and ready to work, and the ideas flow more smoothly. Other than that I’ve been reading a lot recently, and that certainly provides some inspiration. My friend Ian turned me on to the hilarious satire of Tom Robbins, and while I’m no “foodie,” I honestly like the writing styles of Anthony Bourdain and Eddie Huang.
FM: What type of music do you like to listen to when you’re working?
DP: I would say It depends on the mood I’m in, but I usually listen to hip hop, punk, reggae, or some mixture of those. If I’m in a more amped up mood and want to get something out, I like fairly abrasive, even confrontational, hip hop and punk. Regardless, something with a good beat and strong lyrics is what I want on the stereo when I’m working: anything with a good groove.
FM: What is your work space like?
DP: I usually have anywhere from three to six different projects going on at a time, so it can get pretty cluttered. I try to be as cleanly and organized as possible, but I think I fail at that most days and most people who’ve seen it would agree.
FM: What do you need to focus?
DP: I find that listening to music while I work, especially through headphones, enables me to reach my highest level of focus. The headphones allow me to really tune out whatever might be going on in or around my work space and zone into the work. I also prefer working late at night or early in the morning when the neighborhood is quiet. But really, the biggest key is to be working on a piece that I can really get lost in. When that happens, it’s like time stops and nothing matters except the piece, and that’s total focus. I chase that feeling like a junkie.
FM: Has your work ever interfered with your personal life?
DP: I think I’ve missed out on social opportunities at times. Luckily, I have some really understanding and supportive friends and family. I don’t think my art has ever interfered with any relationships, but it definitely turns me into a bit of a hermit at times.
FM: What current projects are you working on?
DP: Currently, I’m working on five new large paintings for The Pancakes and Booze art show in Los Angeles on October 18th and 19th. It’s going to be an epic event with live music, live painting, and, of course, pancakes and booze. If you’re in the central valley and can’t make it out to L.A. (though you should), I will also be showing some work at Christina’s Coffee in Turlock, California sometime near the end of August 2013. I’ve been working on a lot of new stuff, so I’m definitely excited about these shows and the chance to get some of it out there.
FM: What are your future plans?
DP: My goal is to continue pushing my art as far as I can take it, and hopefully that will lead to the ability to live solely off of producing various kinds of artworks. I would also love to get into teaching or doing workshops someday because I feel like anything I could do to help the next generation of artists find their voice would be time well spent. Whatever the case, I’ll need art supplies.