Creativity/Originality

Jhon Douglas

Jhon how did you become an artist, or a multi-artist? What is it like to have inspirations from so many sides and apply them to so many different channels and supports?

I didn't become an artist. It was a natural consequence of the choices I made at a certain point in my life. I chose to make a living from Art and I think that today there is a huge possibility of doing it because there are several platforms and places where we can show what we do to a lot of people. We have to constantly look for these dissemination sites to be able to show more people what we are creating. It wasn't exactly a choice, I didn't once say “I'm going to be an artist!”, I was running away from not doing what I don't like.

We know that, due to your path, the issue of multiculturalism, emigration and inclusion are very relevant to you. Do you think Portugal is a country with room for this melting pot of cultures and influences? How is this reflected in your work?

It directly reflects. But the question of having a space for the melting pot is a yes and a no: it's a yes/no at the same time. In other words, there is a great space to create for Portugal to present itself as a multicultural center, with focus and talents in various areas of Art; but, on the other hand, we have to be in constant activism to make it happen, being a foreigner. I think we shouldn't just use the doors that open only because you're a foreigner, we should value more equality in the cultural issue here. But I also think that there is a space here, in Lisbon and Portugal, due to the language and other issues that expand these possibilities, and I think it's positive. However, I also think it's a struggle.

How do you see prejudice in Portugal? Do you think we still have a long way to go or do you feel that the Portuguese people, especially the young, share this idea of​​ inclusiveness and diversity and to what extent can this be applied to the world of plastic arts?

Yeah, I think it's the whole world actually. We are going through a drastic period where issues of prejudice are coming to the fore. We have people coming out of their shells, and I think this is a crucial moment for Art as well: to be able to educate, in a way. I also think that artists should become more messengers about this issue of prejudice and several other things - which is the dirtiest thing you can have in human beings. So, the world is like this. I think in Portugal it's no different, and you have to fight about it all the time. I think Art is the main communication tool to make a difference.

Do you feel that Art is still not very inclusive and that it could share a more multicultural and multidisciplinary discourse?

I think there are few artists who want to include popularity in Art. In other words, popular art should be more inclusive so as not to place itself in a position of elitism that still hangs over this area. There should be greater equality on these social issues, there should be more inclusion for both parties: Art and the public. That's what I believe.

What do you see as the role of brands, such as Overcube, in the voice that modern Portuguese culture should have when it comes to art, innovation, disruption, inclusion and so many other areas essential to development?

I think the role of brands, and also of artists and opinion makers, is that they now have to have a responsibility for what they are going to offer. And that's everywhere, because just being cute won't be worth it anymore. You have to have some responsibility and higher ethics than what is being presented, whether in the form of art consumption, or any other product. Advocating work.