Our first LUSH interview is with Troy James, also known as Tiki Jay One–an L.A. based urban artist, illustrator, designer, and art professor currently living in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tiki is successful in creating and spreading his original art “brand,” containing a personal coding system and symbolism. At thirteen years of age, he became hooked on the style, honor code, competition, and adrenalin rush involved in the creation of street art, and has quite seriously claimed it as his own ever since. Tiki Jay One creates street art meant to thrive within the fabric of the urban landscape, along with commercial design that exists as a functional and marketable counterpoint to the world of the street. His work reflects an array of styles as much inspired by pop culture as art history. Each piece in Tiki’s body of artwork speaks to its own unique, momentary circumstance, whether shaped by client needs or by obstacles encountered within the urban landscape.
Talk to us about what inspired the piece you created for the LUSH exhibit?
The piece created for the Lush show seemed pretty obvious when I first read the lyric…Forgive Me America….sounds like something Donald Trump should be asking for. In my particular case appointing Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education has directly affected me as an art teacher as she enabled EDMC and Dream Center to go bankrupt and walk away with millions of dollars from students, not to mention all the jobs lost due to the bankruptcies.
Here is a link to the article:
Who or what influenced your most recent work?
The most recent work is inspired by political protest. Non-aggressive peaceful political protest.
How important is design in the piece you created for LUSH?
Design is a key element in the making of this piece. It allows the vernacular for the artist to communicate the message. Design allows a visual communication allowing others to understand ones statement. As an artist I have been looking for a way to protest this presidency. Though my Mom and her husband support Trump, I feel we need a new leader. I wanted my piece to be subtle when looking at it. Trump is wearing a mournful expression with the words that are an underlying statement that I think we (America) all need to hear.
What is the most important design element for you to follow and why?
I like solid values. I love making stencils. This piece was intended to be a stencil print, perhaps in the future it will be. When doing vector styled graphics it’s important the all the values play a role to create a 3D styled image through the use of flat colors.
Join us for our closing reception on Friday, July 12 at 6pm to 9pm at Escape Artist Studio.
RSVP for the event here:
LUSH Closing Reception