For most artists, their love of art first blossoms from childhoods spent pressing crayons to paper, or from formative years spent in and around the art world. Jax Jackson is not like most artists. Unlike many of his peers, he didn’t discover his artistic side until adulthood, when he found himself striving for a way to express himself and regain control of some parts of his life.
Now the owner and curator of Jax Abstracts and Acrylix & Kanvas, Jackson has become an accomplished abstract artist in Charlotte and beyond. He even dedicates his time to the community by helping individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities create art through collaboration programs. Jackson sat down with us to talk about his career and artistic journey.
How would you describe your art style and technique?
I would consider my style gestural painting: unpredictable splashes of color that create composition. Energy directs me in the path in which it intends for me to travel. I challenge normal practices by combining materials that are unlikely to be combined and colors that are unlikely to mix to create an unexpected work of art. I then add details like paint splatters and additional brushstrokes to build more depth toward the end.
What do you enjoy most about the experience or process of creating art?
The conversation my work and I have is [about] what I enjoy the most about the process. Experiencing that is interesting because it requires me to listen to silence in a room full of sound. I get out what I put in. So, in order for my work to reach its full potential, I have to be completely transparent with myself.
How has your background or family shaped your art? What made you decide to become an artist?
No one in my family was an artist, so we never talked about it. In 2014, I started painting, but a couple of years before that I had experienced one of the toughest periods of my life. I lost a lot of my livelihood… I needed an immediate outlet. There were certain mistakes that I didn’t want to make again in life. I discovered something that I enjoyed. The money wasn’t the reason I enjoyed it. It was the ownership of something valuable, having something that the world couldn’t take away. No matter what mistakes I’ve made, I created it. Whenever I sell an original piece, it’s a major step in the right direction. It feels like five steps away from the past.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from being free—never wanting to feel captive again. I also draw from my life experiences. I used to struggle with expression. So I kept a lot of emotions tucked away in order to eliminate the consequences of expressing myself. So now, when I’m in front of a canvas, I have a lot of emotion to pour out. Being able to voice my feelings and thoughts with pure freedom and no judgement—that’s what inspires me to create my work.
Information about Jackson’s commissions and current paintings is available on his website jaxabstracts.com.