For today’s interview we sit down with Jah Jah Gray, an energetic producer of paintings and drawings in Houston – his kinetic style has been seen more and more as he expands his practice into the public sphere. Let’s get a sneak peek into what he’s got brewing for this year’s fest!
ZFH: Why do you create zines?
J: zines offer an effective portal through which I can slingshot my seeds beneath the soil. There they can grow just with a bit of water and sunshine.
ZFH: Why do you like zines?
J: Propaganda can mold a culture and society. When we submit our gaze to books, magazines, art and other visual or printed material we subject ourselves to influence of propaganda.
ZFH: The line work and shapes in your drawings are so intricate! What do you think about when you are making drawings and what else inspires you?
J: as soon as I touch the pen or brush to surface I become completely aware. A feeling of infinti settles in soon becoming the driving force. Momentum builds as I watch a world unravel.
Ive been inspired by many things. Shout out to Baltazaar. We’ve shared with each other our knowledge and findings of calligraphy, lettering, pen & brush making and ink making. we have collaborated on several pieces. Also I wanna mention Bizzy Biz and Uriel Landeros because they have been influenctial in my development with the exchange of idea and brushes strokes. I take not e of the work ethic of many of the people around me.
I admire traditional Japanese and Chinese calligraphy. I appreciate all forms of abstract art. My current method originated in the abstract. I am currently studying the styles of pin-striping form. I also admire Ghanaian wood works and coffins and kente cloth and other patterned textile. I watch the intricacies of the patterning on rugs. Painting is like swinging a pendulum. I used to draw lightning bolts and ak 47s and fire. I like the concept of a billboard but I hate how they are used.
J: I want to publish books filled with art.
ZFH: What is your favorite part of zine fest?
J: BOJAKAZ MGMT
ZFH: What is something that you’re looking forward to about the 2014 Zine Fest Houston?
J: zine fest for me is a check point marking a particular stage in the development of a great thing.
ZFH: What made you decide to participate in the 2014 Zine Fest Houston?
ZFH: Fair enough, haha. What is something you think people should know about DIY in Houston?
J: With DIY we always have work.
ZFH: What will be on your table at this year’s Zine Fest?
J: Illustration zines, original postcards, t- shirts and flags and banners. LIBRES Y LOCOS!!!
ZFH: What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?
J: Kalunga Ngolo offers Capoeira class twice a week @ SHAPE wed 7:30 and sat 2:00. We do performances and events. Music and movement.
ZFH: Why does self-publishing appeal to you?
J: I like controlling the flow of production and distribution.
ZFH: What is the concept behind your zine/zines?
J: To exhibit inspirational imagery while providing a positive and self impowering message.
ZFH: How long have you been creating zines?
J: For two months.
ZFH: What is/are your favorite place(s) in Houston?
J: I like seeing graffiti and tags everywhere. More propaganda.
ZFH: What do you think the zine/self publishing scene in Houston will be like in 20 years?
GOOD PROGNOSTICATING! We agree! Thanks Jah, we’re looking forward to your big debut at Zine Fest Houston!