Every month, the redaction of Zeweed meets with an upcoming artist that we feel acts as an ambassador of weed culture. This month it’s Jay-t, a young Italian graphic artist working on visual puns around weed.
Can you give us a quick introduction to your work ?
I’m a graphic designer, or rather I studied graphic design. Jay-t is my “most artistic” alter ego, I really enjoy manipulating images, I almost always tend to create a visual association that can directly refer to the image you are looking at or visually create a totally new one.
How would you say weed has impacted your creative work ?
Certainly marijuana was not a predominant theme in the beginning, I am a fan of design, graphics, streetwear, art, music and whatever derives from it. I have been smoking marijuana for over 15 years, it is a “constant” element in my life, so it came very naturally to use weed as the main element in my work.
Where are you from and what’s the law regarding cannabis there ?
I am Italian, born and raised in Sicily, I now live in Milan. Well, the laws in Italy are tough for those who consume marijuana. Obviously in Italy smoking, selling and growing marijuana is illegal. It is really difficult even today to make people understand the potential of this plant.
What is your opinion on the matter ? What’s your personnal favorite ?
I believe that here in Italy there is a strong desire by politics and the mafia to keep this business illegal for obvious economic interests. Legalization brought so many positive aspects, as seen in other nations, I think the best thing would be to legalize it and regulate the sale and cultivation.
Tell us about your best (weed) trip ?
I don’t know, I don’t have one in particular, but once when I was 17, I really smoked a lot, I don’t know how but I searched for more than half an hour the TV remote control until I found it inside the fridge!
When did you find and how would you define your personal touch ?
I don’t know if I’ve already found a personal touch, I still don’t want to identify myself with a style. I honestly cannot give an exact definition, it might seem very simple since the typographic part is missing, flat colors on the background, no background, but it is a direct style, many works do not even need typography, they express themselves.
Where do you draw your inspiration from ?
To be honest I take inspiration from everything that I see, that I feel and that happens around me. Sometimes just a word is enough to illuminate me to create something, or often by listening to music or watching movies, to me everything can be an inspiration.
Who are the artists that influenced you the most ?
The ones that influenced me the most were surely Tony Futura, SuckerTom, Paul Fuentes, Les Creatonautes and even Salvador Dalì with his surrealism. Obviously, as far as graphic works are concerned, I am influenced by totally different characters.
Do other forms of arts collide with yours ?
Yes, I really like working with wood, I have always helped my father work in the countryside. He transmitted his passion for bricolage and manual work to me. I tried to to paint with my girlfriend but unlike me she actuaklly knows how to paint, it seems that only strange abstractionisms come out when I try to paint.
Are you planning on having an exhibition soon ?
No, I’m not planning on it, but I’d love to be able to exhibit my work to the public, I hope one day to get the chance, for now Instagram is my gallery.