j.Erika interviews Artist friends.

Who are you?My Name is Duma; my surname. My first name is Thomas. I’m 6ft 6, eat a lot of badly burnt Brown toast, drink a lot of whiskey and wear a mask whenever I can. I’m 21.

What is you art hustle? My art hustle is Music, printing and painting. I draw & take inspiration from Music, Painting, Printing, Written word, Illustration and in a very limited capacity; Photography.

What have you been up to? Tell me about what you have been working on/worked on.
Recently in the last 2-3 years I’ve explored screen printing the most. I’ve enjoyed it as a medium hugely. I plan to soon combine print and paint in a series of portraits which I hope will assemble into a series which I can call a self portrayal. There will be no image of myself in there. Only images of material I consider to represent me in a descriptive light. This project is very much in its earliest most infantile stage and has nothing to show quite yet.

So tell me about a specific Project you have done that went well.The one project I completed was one that simply became to be known as “The lady”. I’m now in my 3rd year of University, “The lady” began at the start of the 2nd, and has to some extent carried over to where I am now. In one moment of snapshot decisions I found an image of an elderly very beautiful woman modelling some jewellery in a magazine, became entranced by it and decided to work with it…in some way. So I started working with the image. Drawing it, manipulating it, stretching her and warping her. Often at times drawing only clumps of her. Sometimes I forgot her face altogether, sometimes taking a week over a drawing, sometimes taking 30 seconds. Eventually I came up with the idea of screen printing her to be 9 foot high on different panels of canvas. Four of them, all situated at different, steadily spaced heights. Going up like steps if you will. The idea being that her hair would literally travel across the timber and cloth, moving across medium and surface. This was my final idea for the whole thing. Screen printing is an extremely long arduous affair. Essentially what I ended up with was a giant sludgy portrait of an unknown woman that just happened to be stretched across 4 canvas’s. all movement was lost. There was no movement. The one thing I had set out to do I had utterly failed in.

As to the final image I drew of the mysterious woman-now-named-Juliette; the single unbroken image works better than the one displayed at 9 foot tall on multiple panels.

Were there certain tools/medians you wanted to work with? My tools ranged from my fingers with paint, to spray paints, to inch think markers, to 0.1 mm pens. The latter is the favoured pen I used on my final depiction of her. I hit upon a style comparable to etching where my every pen stroke was small and vertical. This took just over 4 months.

Where do you get your inspiration in doing your work/what inspires you/things you love? I ADORE music. Though I cant play a note music is undoubtedly the most important element of art in my life and I try and absorb good sounds and musical textures constantly. I love hideous and tortured sounds, beautiful ones, one which tell stories, and those that don’t and force you to be you. When love and care has been placed in assembled notes and sounds it shows and I gravitate towards what I can relate to. If I could could describe the music perfectly however there would be no point in the music itself.

Anything else? I also love people. Some. I’m wildly private by nature and don’t let many in, but those I appreciate I love hugely and often they inspire me more than anything other. I love being able to love. It seems Love is like a flower, even the most beautiful kind dies and is reborn in time. Freedom inspires me. Travelling inspires me. Nomadic movement inspires me. Death and living inspires me. Love and treasuring are two emotions I feel inspired by. Extremes inspire me. Being shown the absolute extremities of what humanity and nature can be inspires me. The unknown and its discovery fascinate me in concept, mainly because I believe it to be impossible. It wears its own mask. We will never know the unknown. Simply because we cant. But for sure it doesn’t seem to stop us trying.

I've Photographed you, how did you find working with me?
Hugely inspiring and a fantastically easy process. It felt Like I wasnt even being photographed even when the camera was pointed right at me!

Are there any specific artists, people, blogs that have inspired you? Above all in recent months though this womans life style has inspired me to live like never before: Her Name is Rima. she is a nomadic hermit who creates beautiful pictures and stories.

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