Jason Naylor keeps HOPE alive
By Alixandra Rutnik on May 12, 2020
One Club Member and NYC graffiti artist is planning an electric Insta takeover
Contributing to our Creative Month content, artist Jason Naylor will be taking over our Instagram @theoneclubforcreativity on Thursday, May 14 at 12pm EST. Jason is known throughout New York for his talent, positivity, and fluorescent wall murals. During his Insta takeover we will be getting a sneak peek into his colorful life and I’m hoping that a few cans of bright-colored spray paint will be involved too. To get everyone pumped for Jason Naylor’s Instagram Takeover we asked him to color in the lines– here he shares backstory into his latest campaign and his success as an artist.
Your artwork exudes an overwhelmingly positive message — which we always need, especially right now — talk to us about the “HOPE” murals you’ve been creating all over the city recently.
Thank you, positivity is the goal! It is always important, I agree. I try to infuse it into my work as much as possible– we need positivity now more than ever. Hope is an important concept in difficult times, and to me, the word hope is the most succinct way to describe faith, optimism, and positivity. Hope is the thread that keeps us going– sometimes it’s all we have. I feel strongly that hope needs to be accompanied by action, and that’s where all this art starts.
In early March, when things started to escalate, I had a few mural jobs cancel and suddenly had some extra time on my hands. When the city started shutting down, I quickly designed the Graffiti for Good messages, cut the stencils and went out painting them everywhere I could. (Don’t worry I didn’t destroy any property– I mostly put them on construction walls.) The goal was to spread positivity not only to those on their way home to “shelter in place,” but also to those still having to be out working and keeping this city functioning.
The small stenciled messages were a hit– I didn’t even put my name on them and they were being spread and reposted. What I really love is leaving large scale and impactful messages filled with color, so I painted a mural on a building in Bushwick (that I am allowed to paint) that says HOPE. A simple and quick read. I didn’t need a phrase or message, because the word HOPE has the whole message already. It was perfect.
Then the Atlantic Center Mall reached out, saying they wanted to do a colorful mural on the facade of the building, so I proposed doing another HOPE mural. They loved the idea and I painted that one. It stands 25 feet tall right across from the Barclays Center and it took one very long day to complete.
Everyone is always looking for an "artsy" Insta backdrop. Where are these murals located?
Very true. I love that people pose in front of my work, it makes me so happy! The large HOPE is on the Atlantic Center Mall in downtown Brooklyn, right across from Barclays. You cannot miss it. The other one is on the corner of Starr and Wilson Ave in Bushwick.
When and where is the next one going to pop up?
The next one is going to appear in the next week or so on Bowery at Hester. Stay tuned!
When did you get into street art and graffiti murals?
I have always loved graffiti and street art, so I started my career as a graphic designer. As a designer, I loved working on environmental graphics, especially for the larger than life impact of walking into a room I designed or seeing my billboards. Seven years ago while working with a client on an installation for SXSW, the graphics vendor fell through last minute– like a few days before the event– and we were in such a bind with the design of the space. I offered to paint a mural live on the wall during SXSW and the client loved the idea. So I painted a 40 ft mural over the course of a week with attendees watching me. It was so crazy and I had no idea what I was doing. But it was a success, the client was happy, and I realized how much I loved doing it. Since then I’ve been chasing large scale walls full time, and I could paint that 40 ft wall in a day now– I’ve learned a few tricks.
"Color really can cause us to stop in our tracks and put smiles on our faces, and the greatest reward I have as an artist is knowing that my work has the power to do just that."
What and who inspires you to make the art that you do?
I am fascinated with the psychology of color– how it affects us, which color means what, and how to use that information in my work. My favorite part about color is its relationship with joy. Color really can cause us to stop in our tracks and put smiles on our faces, and the greatest reward I have as an artist is knowing that my work has the power to do just that. I think that is what drives me most, I want to spread good vibes as far and as wide as I can, and doing so brings ME joy. It’s like the idea of “if you love something, give it away...” I feel inspired knowing that something I’m doing makes me happy, but is also making others feel good too.
Neon colors and positive messages are a huge part of your brand... why?
I am an all-around, upbeat person. I am very optimistic and always have been. I could find a silver lining in a mud puddle, so infusing my work with positivity is a no brainer. I like to take it even further and make positivity the subject matter for my work. Bright colors support this idea and positive messages MUST be colorful to achieve the full impact. I love fluorescent and neon colors because using them makes the message seem confident, assertive, and bold. When you experience actual joy, it’s not a quiet, passive feeling, it overwhelms you, even if just for a moment– that moment is vivid. It’s electric! So the colors in my messages are electric as well.
What can we get excited for when you take over our Insta during Creative Month on Thursday, May 14 at 12pm EST?
"Get ready for all the sprays, all the peels, and all the feels."
I am excited to invite everyone into my studio on Thursday to show off a few of the techniques I use to make my work. Spray paint is an amazing tool that is often misunderstood, and I want to highlight a few simple ways that it can be used to make letters. So I’ll be showing off four techniques commonly used on the street for painting murals. Get ready for all the sprays, all the peels, and all the feels. It should be a very #satisfying takeover!
Creative Month is a four-week online celebration of everything that The One Club for Creativity stands for– for the entire month of May– follow us on Instagram to tune into Jason Naylor's Instagram Takeover.