January 14, 2014.
Justin and Jeremiah make up 2Square. They hail from Knoxville, Tennessee. This have become very prolific in the Wynwood Arts District and are very unique characters. Right now they are on a street art tour of Europe.
What do you write? Are you in a crew?
Jeremiah: 2Square. 2 in the crew
In what city did you start painting in the streets? Do you feel your work has influenced the community in return? If so, how? Is there a relationship between the artist and the community in which they work?
Justin: We started painting during the night in London. From there we took it thru Europe. I hope our work has had some influence on communities. I would say from Detroit on, it may have. Some communities I've felt very connected to at times, while in other places I've felt like an alien. Most places open up to you when you paint on the streets. A community has a way of taking you in if your open to it.
Jeremiah: Knoxville Tn. I started by just writing words or messages. The biggest realization at first is when you start over hearing conversations about your message. That's when I realized the power and the impact this craft has.
Did you go to school or are you self taught?
Justin: I’m self taught.
Jeremiah: Self taught also. I grew up in a really small town. Let’s just say growing up my school system didn’t put a focus on the arts. Skateboarding magazines were my first connection into the art world. It gave me a look at art that I had never seen. I fell in love.
How did you get started in the arts and why?
Jeremiah: Skateboarding, it was the gateway into exposing me to this world. From there it's been a long road to lead me where I am now.
Justin: I always took art classes and in high school I began to excel at them. I started focusing and having different shows in my 20's. I started painting on canvas but my first show was with mannequins and I have a ton kicking around. Then I went into large canvas and stencil work. I played with clothes for awhile. I've always written and it’s also been an evolution. There are a ton of errors but it’s the passion and ideas behind my words. People in Knoxville, TN used to tell me my art belonged in a larger city. It was true. The world is my city now and the streets are my canvas.
How long have you been working in the streets?
Justin: Hardcore for just over 3 years, but we were getting in the scene before.
Jeremiah: 4 years.
Who or What inspires you the most?
Jeremiah: Everything Inspires. The good, the bad, the ugly. My home boy Justin is one of my greatest inspirations. I hope we can continue to inspire each other. The goal is to make each other better, in all phases of our work. Dream team Magic Johnson. and Michael Jordan.
Justin: Women are an ongoing inspiration of course. Cities, travels, events around me. I'm always inspired, you either stay in the kitchen or you don't. I stay in that mug flipping burgers kicking ass with Chuck Norris. Of course my homie inspires me. Our journey has been an epic struggle and we are continuing the struggle here in Europe now on our European Street Art Tour. Berlin to be exact.
What should the general public know about street art? What stereotype about street art/graffiti do you hate the most?
Justin: We are real people and most of the time spending our own money to put out our works. It's a dangerous game from many different aspects the streets are the streets. You have to learn how to live with them as well as in them. I'm far from any comparable stereo type. I think Jeremiah and I have broken a mold. There are things I love and hate about the game but you have to live with it and adapt.
Jeremiah: I think the public should know what we have shown and told already. Every city has a story of writers, vandals, and street artists. It's all there for the public to figure out and they should. What I detest the most is that, everything needs a definition; street artists, writers, performers, etc... When we put people in a square they tend to live there. They build a house there and get comfortable in that box. They plan their whole life around the dimensions of the defined square. These are what words do. I wish we could just be and fuck the division of pre-opposed squares that definitions make.
Are you a full time artist? Do you have a day job? Is it best to be full time artist or not worry about it and make your $$$ elsewhere, that way you can paint what and how you want, which one offers a more creative outlook?
Jeremiah: When I was working for the man, all I could do was think about my art outside of the walls of my job. The freedom of living in your dream solely is priceless. The world will offer you its hand, just stick yours out first. Everyone has a path. There are many different roads to take. You just must find the one for you.
Justin: We are a full-time artist in the truest of forms on the road, in campers, vans, squats etc. 2Square is a full time job and you know our hustle to a degree(AK Foto) having seen us work around Wynwood. I think if you do you and you do it right, the money will come. We don't sweat the check but we always have a check in the box.
What are you working on now?
Justin: We are working on a number of things Jeremiah and I are men of many passions. Our European street art tour is in full swing. We are filming for something special right now as well. Sketchbooks, writing, photo shoots, general mayhem and mischief always mixed with flashy lights.
What do you hope to achieve or accomplish by putting your work in the street?
Jeremiah: Whatever the message of the work is, is what I want to achieve. If the person gets the message behind my works then I feel accomplished. I feel it’s a piece of my heart for everyone to reason.
Justin: I'm happy with traveling and painting. It's funny the more you paint and travel the more people you get on both sides. You become a talk of talks. I'm trying to take in the good and filter out the bad while evolving with this evolution. I'm trying to become a better man and we have some huge goals way beyond the realm of street art. If we can get the key to the door we plan to create a huge world around it.
Check out more of their work http://www.follow2square.com/