Jeremyville, a well-known American artist from New York, is famous for creating motivational messages in his trademark surreal, cartoon style. He visited Hong Kong for Fashion Walk's Dine & Shine 2014, a two-day carnival that took place in Causeway Bay in September.
The theme was "Let's Get Out and About", and Young Post's junior reporters made sure to take the advice. They "art jammed" with Jeremyville, learning about both the artist and his work. This is what they thought…
Art for the community
Jeremyville's art is bold and iconic, with plenty of references to popular culture and cartoons. He smiled behind dark sunglasses as he doodled with a Sharpie. For Jeremyville, at the core of every piece is a message that is open to interpretation.
"My art is actually quite simple. I try to leave it open," he said. "Art is really just a form of truth that depends on context."
He is best known for his "Community Service Announcements", which are single panel drawings that carry positive, motivational messages. But some of his pieces are much more abstract.
"Art is like a language, a visual language," he said. "It has its complexities, too. I try to achieve a balance with darker themes, and have as broad an appeal as possible."
And his art does appeal to all ages. At his recent exhibition in Causeway Bay, five-year-olds stood next to adults, all engaging with and enjoying his art.
But what about his name? Is there a meaning behind it? And why does he refer to himself as a place?
"We wanted to create a sense of community. It's almost as if it is an actual place that anyone is able to enter into and be included. It's a community, an inclusive, actual place," he said.
Searching for the truth
"Art is about bringing the truth out of yourself and from other people," Jeremyville said as he placed his own version of tarot cards on the table.
He has described his simple and surreal style of art as being similar to a song, because his drawings are open to many interpretations.
The card I selected featured a picture of a pencil sleeping in the shining night sky among the stars. It was captioned: "Just doodle."
"There are many ways to go about this, but I think it's telling you to take action, go for it," Jeremy explained. "The sleeping pencil means hidden potential, and when you doodle, you're just going for it, you know?"
Besides the cards, the rest of Jeremyville's art carries abstract meanings like "invite people to think" and "give strength and positivity".
Although Jeremyville has completed two works on Occupy Central while in Hong Kong, his art is very different to, say, David Low's satirical cartoons.
Instead, it is more of a lighthearted dose of positivity. It is surely something we can all benefit from during our stressed, busy lives.