Drawing Outside The Lines: ArtbyJeremy
Written by Enrique Perez
With art ranging from Hood Chronicles to XXL Freshman Balloon series, Jeremy Thomas is a master of portrayal. His social media is a well-kept archive of works that could only be created by one individual. Scroll a couple of yards with your thumb on any of his social media accounts and it’ll become obvious to you too. What you’re seeing is this consistency in all of his art that can’t be described but only consumed. Don’t over think it, just enjoy. You live in a world where all real artists have the opportunity to not go unseen. Don’t let Jeremy Thomas go unnoticed.
First off! Did someone really try selling hats with your artwork printed on them?
Yeah man , that was really just a crazy experience. It all really started from him direct messaging me about a possible collab. I appreciated the love but I wasn’t fucking with the collab. Next thing I knew he DM’ed me a picture of my Aaliyah piece stamped on a hat. My team reached out to him , but he still ended up selling close to 90 units.
What is it you would say you do that makes you a trail blazer?
One of the biggest things that I've emphasized since jumping in the art game was that I am always going to try to give the game what I feel it needs. It's so many talented artists out here nowadays, you really have to be innovative. Gotta separate yourself from the pretenders. I really eat, sleep, and breathe this art shit so I have an understanding of its history. You can’t make new waves if you're oblivious to the ones that already exist.
What city are you located in, reaping, etc?
I was born in Chicago but raised like 15 minutes away in a small town Maywood, Illinois. But I've experienced both because I went to CPS school all the way through 8th grade and I planned to for high school but I ended up going to high school near the crib. Both made me who I am but I'm reppin Maywood hard. Where I'm from it seems like basketball or taking risks with illegal shit are the only ways out. I'm trying to inspire creativity.
"It's so many talented artists out here nowadays, you really have to be innovative. Gotta separate yourself from the pretenders. I really eat, sleep, and breathe this art shit so I have an understanding of its history. You can’t make new waves if you're oblivious to the ones that already exist."
Do you agree that you have made it your thing to put rappers faces on the shirts you drop? Why faces?
I think a lot of people have done it, and done it well, so I'm not gonna call it my thing but the shirts where I have put faces on them have been received really well. When I make clothes, I always think about the consumer but I also make shit based on what I think deeply interests me. The faces are placed on the shirts to of course directly represent who they are depicting but more importantly it's about the persona that comes with the face on the shirt.
What can you tell us about ABJ FUCK EM WE BALL DEPT. ATHLETICS?
First of all s/o Curtis Snow. Snow On The Bluff was a classic movie for real. It’s a scene in the movie where he actually said “Fuck Em, We Ball” and its stuck with me ever since. “Fuck Em, We Ball” just describes how I'm feeling at this point of my life right now. I'm blocking out all negative energy, fuck any and everybody who doesn’t believe in the dream, Ima ball regardless. I just feel that it's something that everyone can relate to. Be on the lookout for that clothing collection releasing this Fall/Winter.
How would you say your pop-up shop went? What did it consist of?
My pop up shop was lit, especially for it to be my first event ever. I sold out of both clothing and canvas prints before the event was even over. One of the highlights for me though was getting one of my favorite photographers Alex Zandro to come through and shoot the event recap.
In the recap video, the song playing is "Seatbelt" by Jayaire Woods. You made the cover art for his mixtape "Trees42morrow." What else can you tell us about you all's relationship? Any other songs you suggest?
Trees42morrow is a classic, I had fun working on the cover art for that project. Me and Jayaire linked up based on mutual respect for each others craft and we made something that I feel is important to the culture. Nowadays I’ve been working closely with members of the Decent Militia, a music collective from Chicago with a crazy sound. I also manage recording artist, AlliKnow who is set to release music very soon.
What can you say about the art/covers you make? They are all undoubtedly in their own lane, it isn’t hard to tell if you created the art?
My goal everytime is to visually portray the vibes that the listener is getting from hearing it. I think my approach is different from a lot of other artists, and I set out for it to be that way. I don’t like using tags, I want my style to resonate with the viewer to the point where they want to find me.
What do you have planned in the near future? What are you looking to accomplish?
I plan to really apply pressure in the months to come. It's a lot of people that know who I am and what I do now but it’s a lot of people who don’t. I didn’t jump in the art game to get to a certain point and be content. I'm trying to go as far as my talents will take me, God’s still writing the story so I can't give too many previews. But just know bigger moves on the way, a lot of art on the way, and hella merch on the way. S/o Modern Life Mag for the opportunity.