Justin Alexander, better known as J.Stino, from Detroit, Michigan, is an abstract artist who draws his inspiration from an imagination of life beyond the stars, letting go of all laws and rationale to create the masterpieces that only he can bring to life. A mind of no boundaries is integral to creating the work that he does. He expresses, “You can’t force anything to look or be a certain way, you have to let go of reason and logic when making the absolute best and to allow the creative process to take its toll.” Here, MADE caught up with the rising artist to discuss his thought-provoking artwork, the trajectory of his career and more…
MADE: We love that your art is so vast and unique. What inspires your artwork?
J.Stino: Definitely has to include space and just the vastness of the universe, for all of the endless possibilities of what could actually exist outside our view of space. I would also have to say just everyday people and the widely recognized population of society who pushes through to pursue their visions and manifest their ideas into reality because it’s just crazy sometimes what you can accomplish with the mind, and to be able to flourish in a world like ours gives reason for living I feel.
MADE: How has your art changed over time?
J.Stino: One way I can say my work has changed is that I’ve gone from trying to create to impress myself artistically to starting to focus my efforts on what I can produce for the souls of others and to help contribute some good vibes and imagination to whoever is viewing it. I’ve also went from starting out with colored pencils on canvas to painting personal items along with a mural, to producing my visual ideas within the graphic design field.
MADE: Is there an artwork of yours that you’re most proud of? Why?
J.Stino: Most proud of would have to be my third official piece I did called “Do you feel me?” I would consider it my first complete abstract piece, and it’s when I really discovered another side to what I could do. It felt like it was the beginning to me pursuing an entirely different life, and when I decided to start taking risk to go after the visions I had for myself.
MADE: Your art is very detailed. How do you know when your work is finished?
J.Stino: I can say my work is done when I fell like I gave it 110% and did everything I could to make it whatever it’s suppose to be for someone else. And I have to feel it in my soul, that its absolutely complete and I can feel great about it.
MADE: What’s the biggest challenge you face professionally?
J.Stino: Probably being able to reach the masses of my particular audience, but I feel like it’s definitely getting easier with the use of technology and social media, and the endless resources that are out here for us to use, so it’s not many I feel for you to reach your own audience.
MADE: In your opinion, what role does the artist have in society?
J.Stino: I feel like an artist role is to be a representation of their true self, and to utilize their gift or talent to inspire the rest of the community to discover their own talents, and creativity to bring us closer together and to help and learn from one another, because I like to imagine a world where everyone pursued what they were born to do, what could life be like?
MADE: What memorable responses have you had to your work?
J.Stino: I had a mural reveal with 8 other artists chosen to paint murals in a newly renovated addition to Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit. On the day of the reveal, there was this kid who came into my room about 2 or 3 times showing people my work and exclaiming what he liked about it. That had to be probably the highlight of the reveal for me, because the younger generation is so critical and special, and if I can bring some piece of imagination outside of the box for more then 10 kids to help them aim higher, or just to pursue a path that involves them to utilize their unique creativity, then I feel like the spark that I want to ignite the flame of inspiration for the rest of the generation and whoever it’s suppose to reach only grows and spreads from there.
MADE: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
J.Stino: In 5 years I see myself having allowed myself to transition from my 9 – 5, to working for myself full time in order to sow back into the people and to also live the best life I can . I want to have the luxury of time to travel, experience and learn as much as I can about life and what lies out in the world, and to of course take all of that life and produce it into something that I can contribute to the world.