Jonas Gerard is a self-made painter from Casablanca, Morocco. Although he has traveled all over the world, he maintains a strong connection to the African continent. Presently, he operates two large galleries that are equipped with state-of-the-art studios. The style which Jonas Gerard relies on is mostly connected to spontaneous abstract expressionism. Of course, he has experience with other areas including the illustrative, three-dimensional, and even narrative approach.
Additionally, he is heavily influenced by the music around him, and it is what facilitates the vast majority of his ideas. Some of the most popular mediums that he uses are acrylics on canvas and found-objects collage.
Would you consider yourself a process-oriented person?
Absolutely. Being an artist is all about the process. You dedicate your time, soul, and efforts to the work that you are engaged with. Although you care about the final product, you do it because you enjoy it. This means that the process comes first and the end result is simply a byproduct of your creation. Also, being process-oriented helps to learn how to remain focused for prolonged periods of time. I had pieces that took me many months to complete and those that were done in hours. Throughout all of my work, however, I learned that high-level focus is easily achieved when one enjoys the process.
As an artist, how do you find your inner self? Additionally, how do you advise others to do the same?
Well, I let my creativity run wild. I further inspire it with various cultural references, my experience, and music. This combination of inputs allows me to generate outputs that define my inner self. For example, being exposed to the Afro-Cuban rhythms in Miami led to some of my best work. Luckily, I think that this approach can be optimized for everyone else who may never engage with art.
The way to find one’s inner self should be all about looking for factors that motivate the spirit. I, for instance, am heavily influenced by the music and people in some area. They allow me to generate new ideas that give an insight into who I am as a person. So, people should look for motivators that promote the freedom of thought.
How important is charity work in your profession?
As important as it can possibly be. I always prided myself in constant involvement with the community. I do my best to give back through tangible and intangible assistance. This can include everything from quantifiable monetary donations to actual volunteering that helps improve the community. When you look at the world today, it is easy to get lost in the notion of people chasing success. After all, everyone wants to achieve their goals as fast as possible. And rightly so.
What should matter equally, however, is people’s ability to see others who may need assistance along the way. Thus, if I am working on a piece that will be presented in a popular gallery in New York, I will never lose sight of my surroundings. No matter how busy I may be, I always look for ways to help people in need that find their way into my life.
You mentioned that music inspired a lot of your work. How do you find the connection between listening and creating something?
I rely on music with my sense of hearing. As an artist, however, all of my senses are intertwined to a point where I can almost see or feel the tunes. This allows me to jump-start my creative process and begin making something unprecedented. Generally speaking, having a lack of inspiration can be the most devastating attack on someone’s creativity. I advise everyone who struggles with this to try referring to some popular music in their area.
Do external challenges ever affect your work?
Well, not anymore. In the past, I used to struggle with eliminating concerns that are on my mind while I paint. After all, it is hard to think of a person that can just put an end to their challenges. As time passed, however, I learned to prioritize. This allowed my concerns to take a backseat to the creative process.