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Art Watch : Justin Mays

Justin Mays is in focus for our Art Watch for today. This section is brought to you by Art From Us and Divvya Nirula. The Artists we spotlight here can be from any field, across any discipline, and using a variety of media. We share here why we think they are important and worth watching. Be it genius creators of eras gone by. Or the upcoming contemporary artist who is yet to have their first show. All come under the purview of Art Watch.

Known in the digital, film, and animation world under ‘MAYSGRAFX’, Justin Mays is the creator of wonderfully psychedelic art prints. His works are easily owned as prints of canvas, paper, acrylic, iPod, iPad, and iPhone covers. In today’s age of online consumerism and tech, Justin’s creations are consumer friendly. They are a new sort of Pop-Art that has taken-up residence in the virtual space. Here the consumer is in control of how they want to ingest this art. Literally on which surface, shape and form.

For this tech artist who grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, he says that he owes his affinity to art to being surrounded by it from a young age. His mother was an art teacher herself. Throughout elementary and high school this influenced his sense of visuals. And in his formative years he took in the rudiments of colour and creation.

His grandparents lived in Mexico. He therefore recalls frequent family trips to the west coast and going boogie boarding in the ocean. It was a peaceful time and perhaps even till date he doesn’t connect his art to any sort of pain expiation. Instead he connects to a zone of pure creativity and brilliant visual and digital engineering.

Why Justin Mays ?

He studied at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, and here again Mays seems to have had what he says in his own words – “the five years were basically a constant ‘Spring Break’.” But he was talented and driven and he did receive two degrees for graphic design and motion graphics and started his career as a video editor making local car and furniture dealership ads in Fort Lauderdale.

After he moved to Miami, where he freelanced for Univision, making abstract background animations for the Latin award shows, he began to rethink what he had to offer to the world – could he have an audience and really understand that what he was creating was art. The next years were spent working hard and he burnt the midnight oil on the weekends working as a VJ at Cameo, the biggest nightclub in South Beach. He loved Miami and he was absorbing the culture – the sounds and the motion were going to later transmute into his works. The national economic crash forced him to move to LA where he had to restart.

Currently the Art Director at the mecca of design, Apple, Mays never realised that he was going to hit the jackpot – in terms of his career. Luck was on his side and he realized quickly that he was exactly where he needed to be, as it was the go-to for motion graphics.

There was no looking back for Mays after this. Being in LA has certainly given him the opportunity to challenge himself professionally, also it has helped him push himself in his personal art.

Influence & Inspiration

A huge fan of the eternal surrealist artist Dali he says that the surrealism and pictures within pictures have always inspired him and if one looks closely in the bleeding lines of many of the images he creates one can see echoes pf the great artist he caries within himself. His childhood trips to Mexico surrounded by vibrant art and culture the electric atmosphere of Miami and finally the lush life at California’s Sunnyvale has finally brought him to his personal place of work.

“I see everything moving into a more digitally interactive twist. Technology is opening so many doors to be creative it’s an amazing time to be alive.”

And he has worked towards this future, sometimes without knowing that this is where he wanted to be. Much like the works he creates he says that often he organically allows the design to take over.

For more Artists handpicked by Divvya Nirula – explore the ART WATCH archive.

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