Feature, InterviewMerek Davis


Feature, InterviewMerek Davis

Every once in a while we encounter an artist creating such unique work while utilizing Mextures that we simply cannot ignore it. Jhovany Quiroz (@jhovanyquiroz) is one of the most recent examples of that. His art is wild, untamed and insanely mesmerizing. We haven’t seen anything like it on Instagram and his pieces perpetually surprise, intrigue and amaze us. It is truly art that is difficult to look away from. Jhovany was good enough to share some of his time with us so that we could dive into learning more about how he does what he does, what inspires him and how he uses Mextures in the process. Have a read!

My name is Jhovany Quiroz. I'm an artist living in Los Angeles. I'm a single dad to a really cute 6-year-old name Sophia. I'm an artist in a very broad sense. I create both digital and physical works ranging from cutouts and abstract paintings to digital images and sometimes merchandise. I love creating. I love being able to use any medium that I feel appropriate at any given time to express a thought or emotion. My current passion is creating as much work as I can, which may be an obsession. I currently work for a marketing agency that works with non profits. At the end of the day making art for myself helps me balance life.

How did you first become passionate about creating art? What drew you to it?

I have made art for as far back as I can remember. As a kid I drew a lot and my dad let me play with his camcorder so I was alway playing with something. In high school I got really into filmmaking and wanted to pursue that as my career right after high school. I ended up not going to college and doing a lot of photography - which I never studied - but I figured it would allow me to learn composition while I saved enough money for a video camera. I did some stuff off and on until in my early 20's I became a dad, started a wedding photography company and did that for a couple of years until my marriage ended. Throughout that time, I created things here and there for myself but nothing that I was truly proud of.

By the end of all of that, I felt like I had honed a visual style. Actually, finding Mextures was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. Early on it was the best way for me to find balance between my new life and my corporate life. I needed the release. So, after work, I would sit at a Starbucks for hours just playing with random photos that I had taken throughout the day. You can see the evolution of my work with Mextures on my Instagram feed.

Creating has always been a way for me to express my emotions. I have alot of feelings and thoughts and though I can articulate them, some times, most times, I'd rather share them visually because it's more interesting. I'm at a point in my life in which I can't go a day without making a new piece. It's a great feeling to have the motor for that. I dont believe in a creative block. I read somewhere where Hemingway said something like, "Finishing is the hard part." I agree and I take it to heart. I do as much as I can even if it's shitty.

You were recently featured in an article by THE CREATOR'S PROJECT regarding an art project you created using the human eye as a model.  How did that come about?

The eye project started with realizing that the eye is very expressive even at its most basic. It was a lot of basically editing the eye on Mextures first to get good depth and contrast so that the emotion would still be there when I processed them with Glitché. I mean, I can't say there was in immense amount of planning. I made a call out for eyes and a small group of people responded and I created based on the subjects.

What prompted you to begin to use Instagram as an outlet for posting your art?

The old itch for recognition. That's what got me into Instagram. I'd be lying if I said that likes and comments don't give my mood a boost. I like knowing that what I'm making appeals to people and that, in some way, I'm able to have a conversation, or make a statement.

The work on your Instagram feed is fairly diverse, but what does your typical editing process look like?

My editing process has changed a lot over time. It used to be that I would be glad to get photographs or a photograph of a person and run it through Mextures and make it look pretty and move on. These days it's a lot more complicated.

Since a lot of the images are created via light, there are many rounds that have to be done using Mextures to add different layers to the images so that I can go back-and-forth between Glitché and Mextures endlessly until I find the right combination. From time to time I will create formulas and use those for specific series, but for the most part I tried to create images that can stand alone as well as in groups.

If I could give you a rough idea of some staples for my editing it would be using the Radiance pack to add depth to an image and then a variation of Light Leaks - usually Digital Darling or O G. I also love using the Emulsion overlays and I even wish that there were more like the Franklin overlay as I use that the most. It's so explosive. I like to use the Difference and Exclusion blend modes often. They give me those spacey, cosmic colors that I use often. Landscape Enhance, Anomaly and X-Film are becoming regulars. It's great that you guys update so often. Finally, I adjust levels and add contrast and sharpen the images.

What goes into creating a piece like the one above?

This piece actually started as a photo of a girl and myself. I manipulated it using Glitché until I found a suitable form that represented how I felt. Then, when it came to bringing it in for color I added a variety of overlays. Most notably light leaks and then adjusted the temperature and contrast and added the Vignette overlay to add to its depth. I took it back into Glitché after that and played with the new structures built from the light layers and edited for composition. Lastly, I added the Franklin overlay from Emulsion to give it that deep, cloudy, ghostly feeling.

There's one more step that is a secret worth keeping. It's a color trick but it's definitely one that I'd like to keep. It's hard to run through an entire process because there are hundreds of small adjustments that are hard to describe. You know... it's like hundreds of brush strokes except they're thumb swipes.

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Have you ever saved any of your Mextures edits as formulas?

Here are five for you guys!






Do you feel like Mextures offers anything unique to your editing process?

The thing about Mextures for me is that it's basically a color palette and a paintbrush at the same time. It allows me to add layers of light to my work, which no other app out there can do. I feel like once I found Mextures all other apps were obsolete for me as far as editing. Mextures has been my obsession and will continue to be a great source of inspiration. I have a deep respect and admiration for what it has allowed me to do over the past year.

Is there anything in particular that you hope to accomplish through your art?

I can't say that I have a particular agenda. My work is sort of therapeutic for me. It gives me a release - the way writing used to do (and still does, but not as often). If there's anything that's slowly become a goal, it is that people could see my work and relate to it. To have it inspire and to have it be a catalyst for bigger ideas - for thoughts that bring about discussion and clarity. I guess that's striving for a lot, but that's why I'm interested in reaching more people and challenging people's ability to connect emotionally without the need for words. In the future I hope to create work that is both impermanent but also part of a pilgrimage - something you have to seek to find and once you find it have it help you move forward.

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What are the things that inspire your creativity the most?

The things that inspire me to create vary. They can be experiences or memories, sometime though, and probably more often, my thoughts inspire me. Usually an abstract thought. I can't tell you what it is or how it's formed. But moods can bring about small bits of thought that help me create a feeling visually. Thus the random titles for my work.

Often times I will create because of a lack of creating. When I recognize droughts, I make a little rain dance and make it rain.

Also, beer, gin and whiskey.

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Who are some of the people who have truly inspired you?

Some of the people that inspire would be @nasa - because... obviously.

@minimicrograms - because she does the opposite of NASA and myself - she looks at the microcosm.

I also follow a lot of designers - @jacquesmariemage makes amazing glasses and @abasirosborough makes amazing mens clothes.

I follow a lot of real people - sort of a voyeur in that way - but I've made some really great relationships because of it.

In the art world, I'm influenced by Matisse, Calder and Kandinsky.

There's one contemporary painter I love right now - @b_moneu_baby - her name is Beata Chrzanowska and she does these amazing abstract paintings that just blow my mind. I'm sort of envious of her skill.

My friends inspire me to create- but inspire me as in they believe in me. They believe in my mythology and that is sort of the best inspiration.

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Do yourself a favor and check out more of Jhovany’s wonderfully unique work here!