Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Cornelius speaks with Bobby Jones of SON OF ELLIS"

So again FutureForward and A.A+W fans, this is Art Month, and I have nice treat for you today. Yes, I'm featuring an A.A+Wsome artist in homage to Art Month.  I've been holding onto this interview for over a month now.  I just felt it was perfect timing to feature this amazing talent for our Art Month.  The amazing talent I'm speaking of is Mr. Bobby Jones (not the Gospel Recording Artist - I'm a fan of his as well), however, I'm speaking of the Visual Artist, Bobby Jones, who is the mastermind behind SON OF ELLIS.  He's a self-taught digital artist, Tennessee based, whose work is rooted in realism with influences of today's pop culture.  
I think you'll enjoy this read today.  Also, check out an amazing example of  his artwork below. Itmay remind you of someone very familiar .  
photo by Studio Two Eleven

Where are you from and how did you get your start as a visual artist?
I am from a small town in Mississippi, Holly Springs,which is about one hour away from Memphis.  Growing up I was always interested in drawing and art as far back as the age of three . I remember my first drawings being very crude and stick figures, and my grandmother showing me how to correctly draw the human figure. We lived in a very rural part of Ms. so art was like my getaway, to other places. My grandmother also made her own clothes and a lot of my fashion designs at the time . 

Tell us a little about Son of Ellis's birth and its core mission.

In high school, I would always help with set decorations or parade floats and signs, anything that needed an artistic flair. I decided that I was going to be a fashion designer around this time, so I made up a name for myself, Boulovani and that name held for quite a few years. I decided in late 2006 that I had to change my direction, because of a lot of things that I wanted to happen weren't happening. I changed my name to Son of Ellis and focused more on digital artwork, sort of a New Millennium Andy Warhol. I still do my fashions and 
I'm working on a doll fashion line actually. I also felt that people of color were not getting enough exposure, so I focused my art on the people who I felt needed to be seen and who are featured in all of my books.

As a visionary where do you plan to take your art?
I enjoy art, and music. I just want to keep drawing and keeping listening to music. I cannot sing though, but when I draw I have to have my music to inspire me. I would like to take my art wherever God allows me. In the past, I always tried to forge my own path, but I realize that sometimes you have to allow God to guide your steps as you make a difference in the World we live in.

Vibrant portraits and the use of color is prominent in your work, can you share with us the connection to color and the use of African American subjects in your work?
 I think that African American people are beautiful, gorgeous and Vibrant. I wanted to reflect that 

in my work. The diversity and the strength of African American People is very powerful.  It's important that we realize this and embrace the possibilities .

For those of us who are not familiar with the art genre of 'realism' please share the meaning of that term?

I don't per-say, think that my art would be considered as "realism". I keep it pretty simple in regards to the overall image. I want the colors to speak for themselves and it's important to me that the eyes stand out , as well . I want people to be drawn in when they look at my work. My work has been referred to as "realism" in the past, but I think its more  the vibrancy and the stark cleanness of it which makes it stand out.  

What's next for Son of Ellis?
In 2006 my work was featured on BetJ's Soul Sessions and  in several magazines.  I would like to continue along that path. I have five coffee table books available and I'd like to do more. I would also like to do more fashion design.

Specifically speaking about Bobby Jones.  What inspires you on a daily basis?  And what is your Vision, for your life, in the next 5 years?
I'm inspired by everyday things, the sky, grass and people. I always watch what is going on around me. If, we were to just sit still sometimes and take in the beauty of the world around us, there would be a whole lot more artists. As for the next five years, I want to continue creating,inspiring and growing. Making a Million, wouldn't hurt either..LOL

This a Future favorite one guilty pleasure
Just one? LOL  I guess , shopping. I have stuff everywhere, clothes, music, art. I need to downsize in all the above categories.

SON OF ELLIS , formerly known as Boulovani, is a popular Tennessee based contemporary digital artist who has garnered much recognition for his passion for art. Self taught,his work deals in realism and is full of feeling , inspiration, and depth.SON OF ELLIS' art is reflective of today's pop culture. He is most known for his vibrant portraits and use of color. His preferred mediums are a combination of pencil and ink, which he then digitizes to color. You may also view his work at

Bobby Jones

facebook-son of ellis
myspace-son of ellis

So who is that guy in the picture?

Well that's all from my end.  See you next Wednesday and have an A.A+Wsome day!

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