By: Josh Maxwell Photos by: Aaron Garcia
Here in the Coastal Bend, we have a wide array of talents, and an artistic community, to boast about. Diving into the creative processes and the stories behind these local artists provides a unique perspective into how their final products come to be in the first place.
Jameel Johnston is the creative force behind Artsy Wire, a new favorite among locals and pop-up market events. Johnston takes malleable pieces of wire and turns them into beautiful pieces of abstract art, managing to captivate the eyes of whoever views them. Inspired by his art classes at Del Mar College, Johnston has managed to find his own artistic niche in the Coastal Bend community.
“Artsy Wire was born from a college assignment I had in school. I had Amorette Garza for a design class, and there was one assignment I really enjoyed doing,” Johnston says.
While it was only a single assignment, Johnston had already shown how passionate he was about his creations when it was time to present them in class. He thinks back to the day he presented his figures, remembering the feeling of looking around the room and noticing no one else had as many sculptures to present as he did.
Fast forward three years from that day, and Johnston hasn’t lost an ounce of momentum when it comes to creating his pieces. When scrolling through his Instagram page, one can see the vast diversity in his content.
“I thought it was really easy to make things out of wire, and that’s when I realized I should keep doing it. It started there at Del Mar – and now three years later, here I am,” Johnston says.
In addition to the creations he comes up with – such as various animals, a pair of Converse sneakers, plants, and more – Johnston has also managed to take custom commissions, which he finds are always in demand among his clients. He’s gone as far as taking a photo from a client and recreating it completely out of wire. Mainly, though, he receives commissions for pop culture figures and other popular animated characters. “Pop culture has a lot of influence over what people like; one of my coworkers wants pieces of Super Mario and Yoshi,” Johnston says with a smile.
Johnston makes sure to put his all into every piece he creates. Whether it is for personal enjoyment or a commission piece, Johnston knows that all his pieces embody his artistic views. While the pieces Johnston creates may not be large in stature, they still have an interesting and detailed finish that leave the individual wondering how he made them. Artsy Wire primarily remains a hobby, but his passion for art is definitely a full-time commitment. He one day hopes for his pieces to circulate more around the Coastal Bend community – and even past that.