Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Jeremy Flores is as local of an artist as they come. What began as graffiti art has transformed life for the self-taught artist, who’s found his place in the world of art and culture as a muralist. The artist views his work as a way of expressing himself and connecting with the community. A few notable murals Flores is responsible for include the exterior of Dokyo Dauntaun, the “Greetings from Corpus Christi” mural and “The Hummingbird” mural at Studio 44 Apartments. Flores also played an integral role in the city’s first Mural Fest, which allowed for the creation of six new murals located in Downtown Corpus Christi. The infinitely talented artist sat down to update us on what he’s been up to, projects in the community and what fuels his passion for public art.
Tyler Schultz: How did you originally develop an interest in becoming a muralist and what did that journey look like for you?
Jeremy Flores: I am a 100% self-taught artist and that’s really important for me to let people know. Some art can be taught in schools, but a lot of true artists live their craft. I started as a graffiti artist and traveled all over Texas and California learning different styles. Once I reached a high level of skill, I wanted to push myself further and bring my talents back to my own city. That’s when I really began doing large-scale murals, and I haven’t looked back ever since.
I’ve had the pleasure to travel from the west coast to the east coast, painting murals of all different sizes for all kinds of organizations, but nothing feels better than bringing my talents and passions home.
TS: Murals are one of the most impactful forms of public art, making art accessible to nearly everyone. What do you feel the importance of public art is and what do you hope to communicate through your own work in this realm?
JF: I believe art is one of the things that truly tie a community together and creates a culture for that community. That’s why I named my business Cre8ive Culture. Art has a unique way of bringing people together. It’s like a breath of fresh air and really uplifts the energy of an area.
I want to communicate beauty through my work. I want people to take a second from their busy day and stare and appreciate the artwork. Not because it’s mine, but because it sparks something inside of them. That’s the true power of art.
TS: What does your process look like when you take on a new project?
JF: Every project is different and I really like to work with the client to ensure their vision comes to life. What’s even better is when a client truly trusts my judgment and lets me use their wall as a canvas to make my best masterpiece yet. Every one of my best works has been when a client has trusted my instincts and then I know I have to do my absolute best. I like the pressure of that. Pressure brings out the best in me.
TS: One of your most recent projects was in Uvalde, honoring one of the victims of the recent tragic shooting. Can you tell me a bit about how you became involved with this project and the impact it had on you?
JF: Jose Manuel Flores Jr., it was an honor working for this young man and his family in Uvalde.
Art has been an escape or what I call a “filter” for my emotions since the passing of my brother on December 19th, 2014. When this project was presented to me, typically I try to stay as far away from sad topics [that] bring up those emotions, but this one was different. Or maybe as I’ve grown, now I’m able to look at it differently.
If I could use the skill I have acquired from using art to escape my emotions, I can use those skills to help this family escape from their emotions a bit, even if it’s for a second. I’ve yet to pick up a can or paint brush since this project but I will be very soon. What I took away from this experience was: Cherish life and love your family…time isn’t to be taken for granted.
TS: It’s clear that developing and improving the community is important to you and that you’ve personally invested in our communities. Could you tell me a bit about this and any projects currently in the works?
JF: Currently I’m really focused on bringing life and beauty to underserved parts of Corpus Christi. I’m working on a project called Art on Ayers. We actually just completed our first community project which was a backpack giveaway for the kids of Ayers Street. We had free food, backpacks and a DJ. It was a real vibe out there and the community couldn’t be happier. That’s the type of energy we are trying to bring to Corpus Christi.
I don’t come from money, nor does my family, but, if I can use what I have made and learned to reinvest in the place I love, then I’m all for it! Art on Ayers is a city-wide project and we want everyone to get involved, no matter how big or small. If you own a business or are just interested in donating to this project visit the website. I can really use the support of everyone who loves art in the city.
TS: Lastly, your username, @thedaskone, I’ve gotta ask, is there any significance or story behind that?
JF: When I started painting graffiti people would ask, “What name do you write?” At the time I didn’t want to get in trouble, so I would simply say, “don’t ask,” so to me “dask” is shorthand for “don’t ask.” That’s what later turned into my Instagram name @TheDaskOne.