6 Questions With Artist Jason Laurits

Born and raised in the state of Delaware, artist Jason Laurits' artistic impulses had taken him to far flung places of the world.

Started in London, now back in the American soil and base himself in the hip creative vortex that is Brooklyn, Jason has created a brand called Paste, and his career moves on an upward trajectory from there. Now he does graphics on t-shirts and on limited edition prints as well as special commission projects for select upscale clientele in fashion retailers, advertising agencies and museums.

Our creative director caught up with Jason during his trip in Australia and managed to get some tidbit about the throught process that goes into his art.

Where did you pick up your design sensibilities from?
My grandmother was pretty design savvy. She was a immigrant garment worker in the city in the 1950s, but she also sewed some beautiful pieces of her own. I remember her house being cluttered with paintings, appealing furniture, art books and a big, fabulous plant that took over half the living room and blocked at least three faces per every family picture. She had several full closets with boxes of fabrics, buttons, patterns, and thread. Come to think of it, she probably stole all that stuff from work, so never mind that.

Did you actively solicit the corporate entities to land the projects in your case studies or vice versa?
Most found me. I definitely got my stuff out there, whether at markets and pop-ups around the city, or a few tradeshows. I thinks that's always the key, is to just do your thing, make sure it's original, and make sure it's seen.

What were the creative process behind your designs?
A lot of times, I will sit with a pad and paper and brainstorm ideas; concepts that I can piece together through digital collage. But other times, an idea will just hit me like a dart, perhaps it was simmering in my subconscious for awhile, I don't know. Either case, I like to Google out a promising idea to make sure it has not already been taken. Great minds, you know?

What do you do to promote your products?
Not much. I sell it. Not sure if that counts as promoting my art as much as making a living off it. Frankly, I'm not the best at self-promotion. I'm pretty horrible at it, actually. Especially all the social media stuff. I really hate that artists have to be shameless, self-promoters, and their work can't speak for itself. Everything seems to need some sort of context or story or a gimmick these days. And a white wall. I thinks it's bullshit and tired. We are stuck in this Warholian era of branded art. Then again...I do have a T-Shirt brand.

In a world of saturated t shirt and print designs, your artwork stand out because they are cool and immensely wearable. Is it a conscious decision to design work that are different from what's out there?
Absolutely. If I was to look for ideas out there in my specific field when trying to design, I wouldn't really be designing, would I? And I'd be one step behind someone else. So for that reason, I try to wear blinders when it comes to other graphic tees and current print art. I don't want to market research. I want to design. My design influences come from other creative fields and eras, and it's my job to translate them into my medium in a way that hasn't been done before. The only downside is, the first one to go down a design path never gets the credit. I swear I did the first ironic, cat t-shirt! I swear it!

What's coming up next from Jason Laurits?
Just finished a novel. It's about a gold-digger and her bottomless, soul-crushing need to be fabulous. It's fun, really, a comedy. But apparently, since the protagonist is a woman, and there's humor, I unintentionally wrote a chick-lit novel, according to the literary world I've been submitting it to. And so my gold-digger needs to be less crass and more lovable to Shannon in Nebraska, even though gender norms in humor are blending and changing, even for Shannon, who is so obviously a closeted pansexual. She's not fooling anyone! So any agents or publishers out there that agree, call me! How's that for self-promotion?

Jason Laurits' Portfolio