Jeremy Thomas, the 21 year old painter from Maywood, Illinois, is not your typical artist.
From barely having anything — including a sketchpad, to playing college basketball, Jeremy has experienced much to get to where he is today. After posting some of his work on the internet, he has received praise for his art style and work ethic from various creative platforms. He even earned a spot on our recent 40 CREATIVES OF 2016 List. The creative has single-handedly created a signature and versatile style that has caught thousands of people’s eyes and inspired many more.
I sat down with Jeremy to talk about his influences and aspirations for the new year.
Read our conversation below and step into the mind of one of the most essential visual artists of our time.
First off tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
Well I’m Jeremy Thomas, I’ve been doing art since I was in 3rd grade and I started off sketching and really just drawing whatever came to mind. It started off as a way to pass by the time but as I got older I carried a journal. I was really the only kid super into drawing at the time except my friend who also liked to draw who transferred to my school and really inspired me to keep going and get better.
What inspired you to really take art serious?
Like I said, I’ve been doing art for a while but I won the most artistic award in high school and that inspired me but I really loved basketball like that is what I thought I was gonna do for most of my life but then after playing division three basketball and getting in trouble with the law I realized while I was alone a lot that art was a cool way to express myself and inspire others.
“My art has never looked the same.”
Biggest influences in art?
Andy Warhol, I’ve always been a big fan of him and the way he created pop art is amazing and Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) is very dope his work inspires me a ton.
What’s your preferred medium to create? How do your pieces come together?
Adobe illustrator. It all starts off with a sketch or an idea really. But with the popular ones like Chance, Cudi, and Frank Ocean, I try to go to the theme of the artists. I use colors that will resonate with the viewer like with the Chance one I used colors that were on the Acid Rap Cover. I want to depict how the artist makes you feel like I want to visually depict how the music makes me feel.
Where do you want to take your art?
I really want to take it as far as I can possibly go, I want to build my name and garner respect. I really feel like I m just in the stages of building the brand. I feel like the art is worth more than people are willing to pay, so it’s not about selling my work right now it’s more about creating relationships and showing people what I’m made of; showing versatility. My art has never looked the same. I’m also remastering stuff and changing my style. I want to be as big as the people who influence me.
“I didn’t have a job or income. All I had was Adobe Illustrator, and truthfully, I needed everything”
What are some goals you have for yourself in 2017?
Next year, see me level up in regards to art, progression really. I will be doing some cover art for big name people, always continuing to build, I don’t have any real set goals, keep gaining and maintaining really. I’m making the blogs I wanted to make but its great I’m here to make my fans happy and keep feeding them constantly. I really want to inspire people, the biggest achievement of mine is people saying I inspire them or they started art because of me, that’s really cool to hear.
Who really helped you get to where you are today?
That’s really hard because I didn’t have a job or income. All I had was Adobe Illustrator, and truthfully, I needed everything. Some of my friends were really open to helping me and paying for some materials, one of my buddies really helped me make it and bought me a sketchpad and things that I needed so I really appreciate him for that and also my mom because she has always been there for me.
Cover photo edited by Ryan Henry