This week’s Featured Artists Friday isn’t a typical fan. Jason started drawing from a young age. How does one go from normal drawings to finding drag? ‘Well drag kind of found me.’ Something we can all agree on is the power and beauty of drag have allowed people to express and showcase their talents. Not only has Jason treated us all to his stunning creations but has actually met mama Ru in the flesh. Along with that Jason has some fantastic advice for the younger artists out there too! Welcome to the stage… Jason. (Mjrdraws)
Dragadventures: You are an illustrator. How did you get into drawing, and could you tell us more about your work?
Sure. I started drawing around 12 as a hobby and then decided to major in Illustration in college. I found I liked to express my feelings/thoughts “visually” and so it seemed an obvious path to take.
I have worked in a number of mediums over the years, and I much prefer the “dry” ones (i.e. colored pencils, pastels, charcoal) because I work rather slow. Currently, I work with copic markers and colored pencil. The copics allow me to “paint” and lay color washes down faster than pencils. They are the closest to a wet media I feel comfortable working in. After I lay my copic washes down I tighten up the piece with colored pencils and sometimes some highlighting using acrylics or even Photoshop.
DA: How did you find drag? Most memorable drag-related moment?
Well……drag kinda found me! I actually use to do it on a regular basis. Being artistic, I just saw my face as another canvas to paint on. And boy did I run with it! Most of my heroes and role models have been strong female characters. Drag was a way to channel my “inner diva”. And release her (gulp) on the world!
Probably my most memorable drag moment was meeting Rupaul for the first time in San Francisco, 1997. She was such a charming and welcoming person. Really made me feel special and took the time to talk with me. This was around her second record (Foxy Lady) and she had a signing at the Tower Records in town. Such an awesome and positive person!
DA: Favorites to draw and why?
Favorites? That’s a hard one. So many of the RPDR Queens have such fun and appealing personalities but if I had to screw it down to say a top 5 probably: Willam, Alaska, Alyssa, Jujubee, and Tammie Brown. I love all these girls personalities and aesthetics. That interest in itself is enough to want me to paint them. But really it’s kind of a “mood” thing. I like to rewatch old eps of RPDR/All Stars and sometimes I’ll notice something new about a Queen that motivates me to want to draw them.
DA: Has there been a star-struck moment when the Queens have reacted to your drawings?
I’d have to say it was when Courtney Act responded to a recent portrait I did. Courtney was the first to ever comment or react to my work and it really resonated and inspired me to draw more of them
DA: Some of the Queens even follow you on Insta. What would your dream goal be when thinking of maybe collaborating with one of them (merch, pins….)?
Oh that would be a thrill wouldn’t it? Of course I would love to collaborate with any Queen. I think some of my illustrations would make fun shirts or prints. I’ve reached out to Drag Queen Merch and Huntees a couple times and hope they might consider using my art down the road. We’ll see….
DA: What would you say to a young person wanting to get into art?
I would encourage them to listen to their “inner voice”. The thing about art is it’s personal expression and that’s what this world needs more of! Hone your skills and let your imagination go wild. Like with any goals, lots of hard work and hard choices will have to be made, but if you want it bad enough it will happen.
DA:Art related goals for the future?
Well like I mentioned above it would be awesome to work directly with a Queen or under one of the labels (Drag Queen Merch/Huntees). I have an Etsy store that I’m currently “remodeling” and hope to have prints of some of my “dragistrations” up for purchase. Maybe even a calendar. For me, just keeping the creativity flowing is most important!
We’re sure everyone will agree that Jason is incredibly talented. We hope to see his art on merch in the future. Keep up to date with Jason’s recent and upcoming art on Instagram (@mjrdraws).