1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hi! My name is Juj Winn. I’m a pixel pusher and content creator from Kansas City, MO.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
My work tends to be very colorful, sometimes quirky, often funny. Some people call it whimsical. I like considered, clean design. I’ll spend an hour getting a line perfectly straight if that’s what it takes.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
My favorite tool is the camera but my medium can be anything. Since I present my work as a photograph people tend to think of me as a photographer, but for me it’s more about the process. The photo is secondary to the construction of the props or the layout or design.
4. What is your artistic process like?
My typical process consists of a lot of list making and gathering of random things. I might read an article that will spark an idea or a word association and I will go on the hunt for the items I need to illustrate it, or I might see something in the store (usually in the toy department) or on a walk and the object itself will spark an idea. I call myself a “magpie” because I am constantly bringing home ‘shiny objects’ or collecting twigs and feathers along the side of the road. I keep a journal filled with ideas that I will probably never find the time to produce, but I am constantly trying to find the beauty in ordinary things.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
It sounds so cliché but literally everything inspires my work. Trips to the hardware store, pieces of rash on the sidewalk, daisies at the farmers’ market, an snippet of conversation overheard in line at the grocery… I’m also really inspired by all the amazing artists I see on the internet. There are so many amazing people just making stuff and putting it out there every single day for no other reason than that it’s fun to do. And then I’m a sucker for artist like Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Mapplethorpe, Imogen Cunningham, Joseph Cornell, and Jasper Johns and contemporary artists like Jim Golden and Ursus Wehrli, and oh my gosh! I could literally go on forever!
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Art is such a part of who I am. It colors the way I see everything. I’m a very visual person so I’m constantly looking and thinking about how I can take something and isolate it and present it in a way that maybe someone who has never noticed it before will see it as if for the first time.
7. Where did you study?
When I was young I went to university intending to study theater but I didn’t like the program and I dropped out after two years. Eventually I went back to school to study art and art history and graduated from UMKC with a degree in studio art with a concentration in painting.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?
In 5 years I’d like to still be doing what I’m doing, but doing it for more and more clients. I’m not adverse to working in an agency but I’m pretty disciplined and productive on my own and I do enjoy going barefoot in the office!
9. What about in ten?
In ten, in twenty… I’m pretty sure I’ll be making pictures the day I die.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I just want to make people smile. Maybe make them slow down for a minute and notice something or think about something they hadn’t before. If I can inspire someone else in the process all the better.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Oh my gosh! I love food. I don’t have a favorite. I am plant based so I prefer fruits and veg, but as long as it’s not lima beans I’m a fan.
12. Favourite book?
My favorite book is whichever one I’m reading at the moment. I recently devoured everything by Anna Quindlen. Right now I’m reading How Not To Die by Michael Greger, MD and Better Than Fiction by Don George. I’m reading them at the same time because they’re easy to switch between. Normally I stick to just one at a time. I tend to alternate between literature and non-fiction about nutrition or ecology or travel, but I also like biographies, especially ones about my favorite artists.
13. Favourite genre of music?
Rock, blues, (old) country, singer songwriters… and I listen to a lot of podcasts. Are podcasts music? Haha
14. What are your hobbies?
I like to read and do yoga and take walks outside with my partner and my dog. I love watching cooking shows like Chopped and Top Chef. And I love to travel – if I had my way I’d be on the road every day. My art would probably look a lot different if I was.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
If I couldn’t create I think I’d probably be some sort of researcher. I love digging into the history of just about anything. Or maybe I’d open a food truck. Vegan, of course.