Breaking Walls, Building Worlds: In Conversation with Jakestudyos

Introducing

Jakestudyos

Artist: Jakestudyos - Living in: Manila, Philippines

Jakestudyos grew up in the densely populated corridors of Manggahan, Pasig in the Philippines – a country in that a vibrant, yet often overlooked, scene full of creativity thrives, a testament to the resilience and artistic fervor of its inhabitants. It is here that we find Jakestudyos, an artist who has navigated through a tumultuous journey, one marked by personal challenges and a relentless pursuit of artistic expression.

Discovering artists like Jakestudyos epitomizes the very essence of the web3 ethos. For the first time, artists from less privileged backgrounds are granted the means to monetize and showcase their work to a global audience. Jake’s ability to sustain his life through his art embodies the very dream that has drawn many of us into this expansive cosmos. 

From his earliest memories, Jakestudyos was drawn to the world of art. His childhood was steeped in the colors and forms of street art, a medium that served not just as a backdrop to his everyday life but as a source of inspiration. His journey into art wasn’t a straightforward path; rather, it was a path marked by familial expectations and personal struggles. Urged by his family to pursue architecture, he found himself at a crossroads between societal expectations and his own artistic inclinations. 

However, the pivotal moment in Jakestudyos’ journey came with the diagnosis of dysthymia in November 2020. It was a time of introspection and healing, where art became not just a form of expression but a sanctuary. His art, deeply rooted in the aesthetics of street art and the hand-painted billboards of his youth, began to take on new dimensions. It became a voice for his struggles, a canvas for his resilience. 

In embracing the digital art world and NFTs, Jakestudyos found a new avenue for his creativity. He is minting NFTs on the Tezos blockchain, this choice was driven by accessibility and a commitment to sustainability. Jakestudyos’ foray into the world of NFTs is a story of empowerment and transformation. His art started to find a global audience, enabling him to contribute to his household and sustain himself even amidst economic fluctuations. His work, deeply personal and reflective of his journey transcending geographic and cultural boundaries. 

The essence of Jakestudyos’ art lies in its authenticity and its capacity to mirror the human experience. His works are a reminder of the power of art to heal, to connect, and to transform. Jakestudyos’ body of work is a vibrant pastiche of contemporary life and urban expression, a digital homage to the street art that pervades the everyday experience of many in the developing world. His visual language is an amalgamation of color, form, and cultural narrative that speaks to the soul of the Filipino streets – alive with energy and a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit. 

The aesthetic of his artwork is defined by bold lines and a palette that defies the somber reality of urban decay, instead, embracing a vivid spectrum that captures the essence of a generation’s scream for recognition and a whisper for change. Each piece is a chapter in a story, a fragment of life rendered with a mix of irony and earnestness. The figures in his work, often portrayed with disproportionate, cartoonish bodies, are emblematic of a society steeped in technology- hybrids of human experience and the digital personas we adopt.

Learn more about Jake in the following Interview.

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WTF is Happening? - Digitally drawn animation - Jakestudyos, 2024

How did the streets of Manggahan, Pasig influence your early perceptions of art and the world around you?

Streets of Manggahan have been a rough and raw place for a kid like me. Growing up seeing crackheads everywhere, sometimes relatives, and even police doing drugs. It was hard back then. Shootings, thefts and such. Like it’s not a normal day without a crime. This taught me to watch out for myself every time. And also, to not easily trust anyone. We’re the kids who’ve experienced both traditional and digital games and I think that thing was good for me. I learned about computers in the early 2000s together with the hustle and bustle on the streets. It’s like a perfect stage to prepare oneself to go out there and deal with other people cause it’s all in there. Like a training ground.

Can you recall a particular moment or incident from your childhood that solidified your passion for drawing and art?

As far as I remember, I was always in love with the hand painted cinema billboards. Even the hand painted letterings for maybe announcements or just street marks back then. Also, that one graffiti on one of the gates along the street where our primary school is located. It was so colourful. I’m always looking at it when walking from home to school and vice versa. 

Also, the drawing time with my cousin at the back of some office papers and scratches, from her mother. We’re referencing some bootleg cards(teks) and Pokémon cards back then. 

Your family wanted you to become an architect. How did this expectation shape or challenge your relationship with art?

 

I was convinced to do it back then but was not ready financially to pursue it. I’ve stepped into different courses before I ended up in Drafting which is the closest one to Architecture. Before it, I was confused as I was in love with computers and computer games. But then just for the sake of finishing a degree, I pushed the Drafting since it consisted of a lot of drawing activities too. Which I’ve ended up doing lamely because I was just borrowing some tools after my friends/colleagues were done with their activities. It was hard but I was able to graduate and finish my course.

How do you reconcile the pressures from your family with your artistic ambitions?

I remember hiding my drawings when I was growing up as a teenager. Like it was a mortal sin to draw or do art because we’re in a third world country and I was supposed to prepare myself for odd jobs and not do the art thing. They don’t know that all of my quiz papers and notebooks are full of sketches and random drawings.

Can you describe the first piece of street art or hand-painted billboard that left a lasting impression on you?

As I’ve said, the graffiti on a gate from the street where my primary school is located. I’ve witnessed it before and after. Until now, I’ve dreamed of doing graffiti and I know there’ll be a right time for it. I’ve been a fan since then but never did any.

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🔪🎈 - Digitally drawn animation - Jakestudyos, 2024

How do you feel street art in the Philippines differs or resonates with global street art culture?

Filipinos are crazy and insane when it comes to ideas. May it be political, funny, or just wild street art. In my observation, street art in the Philippines is both progressive and inspiring. It always comes with a solid message.

Which other inspirations besides street art do you have?

Cartoons! 2d cartoons, computer games to name a few.

Art has been a healing medium for you, especially after being diagnosed with dysthymia. How does your art speak to this journey of healing? And does your PDD influence your artistic voice, what you want to express with your art or do you use your art to flee it and enter a different kind of world?

Recently I’ve found random hand drawn glitches to represent the mental health issues experienced by those who have it. And somehow normalizing and showing that we can see beauty in it if we learn how to handle it. An organized chaos.

At first of course, I’ve mostly used my art to escape and go to different kinds of worlds but when this thing becomes a ‘career’ or a work; I have to find some other ways to escape drawing. PDD is chronic. It’ll go back and forth. So doing and creating loops with organized chaos can show that I/we can handle things and we have power to alter what will come next in our lives.


What drew you to the world of NFTs, beyond its potential for income?

The fact that my digital works found a home. Aside from these social medias that definitely have an ending. I think blockchain is a good place to record and archive my works as I’m mostly creating digital art the past few years until today.

How do you see the relationship between traditional street art and the digital realm of NFTs?

As Crego once said, not exact words; Web is the street in the digital realm. When you post/upload something on the web, it’s open for public. It’s like I’m just tagging on a bigger wall or different walls that one day, people on the net will encounter or come across with.

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Influencers Discussing Royalties - Digitally drawn animation - Jakestudyos, 2024

How has the Tezos community impacted your personal and artistic journey?

When Jarrett Cross onboarded me to Tezos. HEN days, I was amused and shocked with the different perspectives and styles of these artists. As if I’ve discovered another world through it. Observing their shared insights through art are overwhelming and inspiring. It opened me to explore and dig deeper about myself and my message.

Can you describe the feeling of getting your first iPad after your initial successes in NFTs? How did it change your artistry?

It was a gamble. I have no savings. I can say I went to zero before I jumped into NFTs. Then after having some continuous sales way back in 2021, there was a light after this dark and long tunnel. It’s a gamble cause I went to zero again after the purchase; but I have an iPad and a dream. I’ve planned to draw daily to practice and somehow generate funds again. Crazy cause many opportunities came after it. My phone, where I was drawing back then, died after a couple of weeks when I got the iPad.

Your only access to art school was through Drafting Technology. How has this formal education, or lack thereof, influenced your style or approach to art?

The different views of an object, top, rear, right, left and such; helped me with my current works; frame by frame animations. I was able to imagine different angles of a face or what not. Not that much because I was practicing my communication skills more than anything when I was in college.

How would you describe your style of Art and how did you find your unique artistic voice?

I think to describe or to have a style is to limit. Until now, I’m exploring and trying new things on my works. All I know is I want to do animations. I remember envisioning myself working alone and doing animations, I thought I’ll end up with some established cartoon producers but here I am doing animations on my own with the web3 tech but who knows. It’s too early. I’m ready for any opportunities that’ll come along the way. And until now I’m still polishing my artistic voice slowly. But it’s obviously came from the roots and streets of Manggahan and the people I’ve encountered there on a daily basis back then.

What is the most important message that you want to transmit with your Art?

We can create a whole new thing even if we are broken into pieces for once or countless times. We’re created to create.

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Last Window - Digitally drawn animation - Jakestudyos, 2024

How do you view formal art education in the context of your own self-taught journey?

I think it’s just the same but a self-taught journey doesn’t come with papers and certifications.

What does success look like for you in the next five years?

Having and achieving a safe space for artists like me who don’t have that much support but want to create and not only consume. A Studio; JakeStudyos.

Are there any dream projects or collaborations you aspire to achieve?

For now, I’m always looking forward to doing an animation series, film/ short films with my drawings. With a storyline written by me or my other writer friends.

As someone who has been both influenced by and an influence in the art world, what message or advice do you have for budding artists in challenging situations?

Be kind to yourself. Appreciate your progress. Don’t ignore those validations and affirmations you’re getting. And always have your feet on the ground.

Jakestudyos’ art is an ongoing commentary on the human condition in the age of the internet – a digital tapestry woven from the threads of traditional street art aesthetics and the ever-evolving language of online existence. His works are like digital murals, each pixel charged with the electricity of the city streets, each image a part of the artist’s journey from the throes of personal struggle to the heights of artistic expression.

In the end, Jakestudyos’ art is a narrative of resilience, a journey through the complexities of human emotion, a reflection on the society that shapes us and a glimpse of what web3 potentially can do for the lives of many creators around the globe. His work invites us to see beyond the canvas, to understand the artist, and to appreciate the power of art in navigating the landscapes of our own lives.

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