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?UESTIONS: Oddist Jones

Updated: Jun 18, 2022


Unique, warm and thought provoking!

Please share with us who you are and what do...

I create art under the name Oddist Jones. Why? Because it's better than my real one. I'll be 48 this coming June, that makes me one of those wacky Geminis, you know, double the pleasure and all that. I'm married, been with my wife now since 1993 and we've been married since 2000. We have two great children and 3 very hungry cats.

Primarily I create analog collage art but have and will create works digitally. Analog collage just means that I cut out the images I use for my collage pieces by hand. From picture books, magazines, basically anything that has great images can be used, I've even used images from calendars. I then assemble them by hand. The only digital step with creating them this way is scanning the piece when it's done for making prints. I also create assemblage/found object art work.

I love these two styles because of the hands on tactile nature of them both. Idle hands are the Devil's playthings after all, so I like to keep mine busy.

Can you tell us about your process?

Both art forms, the collage and the found object/assemblage art have very similar processes. When it comes to my art I like to think of myself as a hunter-gatherer. As a family we go to thrift stores very often, my wife is an online reseller and that's where she finds most of her inventory.

I go to hunt for books, magazines and various little pieces of bric a brac, ephemera, jewelry and other baubles and stuff. I so love that part, the hunting. Aside from the previously mentioned thrift stores, I visit library sales (so many books and magazines to be bought at very low prices), swap meets, yard sales basically anywhere and everywhere I think I can find the good GOOD that I'm looking for.

I'm also an avid walker, I'll take long walks alone or sometimes with my daughter and along the way I pick up stuff that I find in the streets, the roads, trails wherever it is that I find myself that day, If I see something that grabs my attention I'll scoop it up and bring it home. I gather everything together and bring it home where it can sometimes wait for years to be used. I've got little bits and bobs I've been carrying around for over a decade!

After the hunting and gathering for me, in regards to books and magazines and such I'll pore over them and select a few pages that catch my eye right away and I'll use these to cut out my images for later. I'll easily spend hours at my cutting table working the images from the page with my trusty cutting blade. I totally lose myself in this part of the process. It's definitely one of my favorite parts. It's very zen as you take your time and breathe deep and evenly as you make your delicate cuts. I find it meditative and relaxing.

While I'm cutting I'm saving images for later but some just jump right out at me practically begging to be used right away. I love when this happens as the piece almost puts itself together. Some pieces can just happen like this quickly and easily, others need more time to gestate and be born.

I try to let the my work come about as organically as possible, like I'm tuned out and someone or something else is using me to create...I love that experience and the feeling of taking a bunch of different items and things that, on their own, mean little to nothing and then putting them all together to make something new and unique...the power of and feeling of creation is a hell of a drug.

What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?

As far as my collage work is concerned I would have to say that is "Page 37". The piece is so haunting, the barren skeletal tree branches suggest the coldness of winter. The floating arms and lips, they speak of something there and not there at the same time, ghostly. The flower being held delicately, it's a dark grey but you know in your mind that you should see color, but it's grey, not dead but not alive at the same time.

I left in the text from the original page along with the page number, where the piece gets its title. To me, this piece conjures up the thought of a reader being so enthralled with what they are reading that they entered the page and got lost in it, never making it to page 38...

I just feel like it really speaks loudest to my morbid sensibility, wholly I think it's a very striking and beautiful work.

Has your skill or ideology changed over time?

I would say what's changed most for me is my patience. Now that I'm older I've learned not to rush pieces, like it's ok to start a piece and leave it until it's done, not try to force it all at once. It used to be that anything I was working on needed to be done that day at the very least, regardless of the effect on the work. This led to many missed opportunities I'm sure, artistically speaking.

Working fast like that made me a strong graphic creator but I think a lot of my earlier work lacked content and voice because of it. Back in the day I did all my art digitally, I wanted color changes fast and easy. I wanted whatever design or image I was creating finished fast and with no clean up needed and not having to wait for paint to dry, let alone glue.

These days I'm not afraid to start a piece and walk away from it if we (the piece always has a say in the process now) are not feeling it at the time. I still don't have an abundance of patience to watch paint dry but I'm certainly getting better with it.

What music do you like to listen to when you work?

Well, actually, I find that when I'm working, cutting paper especially, I tend to listen to people talking. I'll listen to a true crime Youtuber or podcast, sometimes it's history. I'm a big fan of history docs and the like. I find the added voices comforting and calming as I'm doin' my thing. I don't always even wind up really paying attention. I just really find that I like the additional voices. I guess it's the feeling of company maybe, someone watching over me. Either way they really help drown out those troublesome voices that come from inside the head...know what I mean???

Now when I do listen to music while I'm working, and this is mainly during the design phase I would say that my favorite bands are Faith No More, The Misfits, Mr Bungle I'm mostly into hard rock , heavy metal and punk but sometimes you want something little more mellow, like say Fiona Apple and Regina Spector or maybe Amy Winehouse. I guess it really all depends on the mood, the day of the week and which way the winds ah blowin'.

Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?

As far as plans go I'm finally going to start selling my work online. I've sold a few things here and there online but I have no real designated sites that I do it from. Mainly someone seeing something on Facebook or Instagram and hitting me up about buying.

I've primarily, over the last many years, done all my selling outdoors at markets or indoor in solo and group shows, so I'm thinking that I need to get over my lack of knowledge and experience selling online. I have set up an Etsy shop and started a profile with the print on demand site Society 6 and I'm hoping to have my first ever website up and running by this summer. You can find me on any social media platforms and online selling sites under the name Oddist Jones so all you have to do is search my name.

I'm really planning on trying to make this art thing my full time work, not just my passion. I wanna finally combine the two things. I wanna give following my dreams a try so if your readers like what they see they can help support my goals, I'd definitely appreciate it.

As far as projects, I'm really excited to get started on this new assemblage piece. It consists of some old porcelain doll parts, an old, distressed wooden hinged box and a model of a human heart. The doll parts came from an estate sale a few years back but the wooden box and the heart were both found recently at local thrift stores.

I've been waiting for the weather to get warmer so I can work on it in the garage and since today Spring has sprung on us I feel like that time is rapidly approaching. I still haven't figured out what I'm going to name it, picking titles for some pieces can be so daunting, like this one here. I'm at a loss for a good title so far...maybe your readers might have a few suggestions?

All images/art courtesy of Oddist Jones

Instagram: @oddistjones

Facebook: Oddist Jones


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