Artwork Interview Photo Premiere

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Whoever said scribbling couldn’t make a masterpiece has been proven very wrong. Brooklyn’s Jeremiah Vernon, who also goes by the name of “oecn” is a distinctive artist, one whose artwork “goes with the flow” yet absolutely stands out! Since around age 5 or 6, he has been scribbling his talents onto canvases, leaving vivid traces of the images that run through his mind. Jeremiah is an amazing artist, to say the least, so be sure to check out my interview with him, along with more of his artwork below! Find out more about this aspiring artist and his inspirations.
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Tell me a little about yourself.

I was raised in southern California, lived in San Francisco briefly, and moved back to southern California… then had the opportunity to move to New York at the age of 20. Since I was kid I’ve loved art, most of my influences and artist role models began their journey in NYC, and I always felt in the back of my mind that somehow, some way I would end up out there and do the same myself. I’ve always doodled and tried to push myself as a younger kid, but did not start taking it seriously as a career pursuit until high school.

 

Why is it that you work under the name “oeceans”? Does it have any significance or influence your work?

oeceans or “oecn” means a few things. In general without going into too much detail, I’ve always thought of the ocean, of large bodies of water, when I needed to escape a dark place in my mind. I would close my eyes and imagine floating in a vast abyss of silence. It also refers to my approach in how I sketch/draw in relation to the ocean. I tend to just scribble very fast, concentrated focus, almost violently, but it becomes a calm and fluid result. Just like the ocean, it is both peace and rage in one. The ocean evokes a range of emotions which has been one of my aims through art.

 

When & how did you start drawing? And how did you start to create pictures out of “scribbles”?

I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. The way I draw, however, is directly reflective of the blur and scramble in my head. The scribbling is my way of searching within what I’m creating. It is something that grew and evolved over time and in phases, all reflective of what was going on in life at different times. When I lived in Southern California, life was of course pretty slow paced as opposed to what my life has become. So during that time I would draw considerably slower, paying very close attention to details and really being a perfectionist, as opposed to when I moved to the east coast, my style while still staying true to the roots, became extremely faster. I started experimenting sketching using only very quick straight lines in different angles, to where now currently it’s a mixture of that and also literal fluid line work to diffuse the hard jaggedness a bit, and create contrast between light and dark in a way. Playing with lines, and understanding the fact that a single line out of the hundreds and thousands used, can make the difference in the emotion and feeling the image as a whole provokes. It’s a fun thing to play around with.

 

What or who inspires you to continue?
Music is my main inspiration. It keeps me going and it’s almost necessary for me to have to even create at all. Music takes my mind to a different place and allows me to escape in it, whereas without it, my head is spinning too much and thinking too hard. My other inspirations have always been one of my aunts and uncles who have passed away. They both encouraged me as a young kid to pursue my dreams as an artist and as a storyteller through various mediums.

What is your fascination with drawing women?

Haha I wasnt expecting that! Well, I find women, (mainly of color) to be the most beautiful creation. The depth of black women is endless, the unseen struggles they go through, the effortless beauty and the strength they have. There are so many things to explore and tell through black women as the subject of any form of artwork. I’ve always gravitated to representing the women of my race. That’s not to say I strictly only draw black women or only women though. They are just one of my preferred subjects.

What other hobbies are you into?

Bicycling (I am everywhere in Manhattan and Brooklyn, my feet are always in cycling motion), reading, writing, filming, graphic design, and being with nature, whether is sitting among trees at a park, or at a pier looking out at the water.
Under what conditions do you work? Do you get sudden urges to draw?

I’ve come to be able to work under most/any conditions. It used to be that I would seclude myself. However, after living in the city and constantly drawing on subways and anywhere else, I’ve opened up a great deal and have come to actually prefer working under pressure and with challenges like the unpredictable shaking of the train, or with many people watching and staring, etc. I do get sudden urges to draw, many of those times are while listening to music, which there is never a time that I’m not.

 

Do you freestyle often? Or do you prefer to structure/plan your work?

It’s always freestyled. I would like to be able to actually plan out ideas but for the most part, everything I draw is entirely from no where and off the top of my head. What I feel, or
what I see in my mind, I translate it to canvas. That is also why I tend to draw very fast. It’s, in a way, me keeping up with what is coming to me. Almost like drawing blindly and rather more by feeling and instinct, no forethought or standards of what is considered right or wrong, what is “liked” vs what is misunderstood.
How do you feel when you’re drawing & how do you express that through your sketches?

I am always feeling something different when sketching. But I’ve come to learn that what I sketch is usually a response to whatever I am feeling at the time. The characters, women, etc., they are responding and getting me through, or even going through things with me.
What audiences are you targeting with your work?

Young black women, underpriveledged youth, and generally anyone who enjoys seeking deeper meanings and seeing things from different perspectives.
Where do you want to get with your artwork?

One of my goals is to be able to travel and make an impact on youth in other countries
that are less exposed to the arts; To teach and water seeds that are undiscovered and need a push.

Where can all your work be seen? And where can your services be requested?

You can see some of my work at http://www.woodscreams.deviantart.com/gallery/
Instagram: @oecn
Twitter: @oeceans
You can request services/commission via email: oeceans@gmail.com
(A personal website is in the works for 2014.)