Meet Jarmél of Jarmél (@jarmelbyjarmel). The ceramics artist and creative behind our planter pottery and fruit bowl in support of the month of Pride.
What’s your background as a creator?
I set my mind fairly young on being an artist. I almost immediately dropped out of art school. I traveled a lot. I worked in kitchens and I trafficked weed. I got caught doing the latter and it's what allowed me to pause and realize being an artist is all I ever really wanted. I always made art because I had to. It was never an option or something I could get from a certificate. I used to think that I couldn't be an artist because I didn't finish school. I don't think that anymore. I do ceramics, illustration, and design. I did production design once!! It was for the music video 'Boyish' by Japanese Breakfast. I hope to do more of that type of stuff in the future.
What inspires your work?
The way the sun feels when it's warm on my skin. Nature, friendship, and the mundane parts of life. The angels and the jerks in this world. The beautiful days and the dark days. The things that make me feel like I'm floating on a cloud, but also the things that make me feel like a deflated balloon stuck in a mud puddle. Adventure, togetherness, mayhem. Oh, and rainbows.
Do you have a special routine that you get into before you start creating? Any kind of music you listen to, do you make yourself a cup of coffee, etc.?
I wake up early because that's when I do my best work. Those morning hours right before your brain is in full bloom can be pretty magical. I drink 2 cups of coffee spaced out: early morning & late morning. I drink a ton of water. I like lemon in it. I start a clean space, so if I didn't do a good job cleaning up the last time I was working then that's the first thing I do. I listen to a mixture of audiobooks and music. 9 out of 10 of the audiobooks are sci-fi. Some artists I listened to while working on this project are: Sza, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak, H.E.R., Arlo Parks, Harry Belafonta, Elizabeth Cotton, and Dolly Parton. I listen to audiobooks when in production mode but any other time, music is on. It gives me space to think and connect with my work in a way that audiobooks don't.
What do you hope that people get out of your work?
The feeling that you get when you get to see the super bloom in Joshua Tree. That excitement when a butterfly lands on you and doesn't immeditaely fly away. I want to help people find the sunshine amidst the darkness in the world. i also want people to acknowledge this sick, sad world and be encouraged to add sunshine and rainbows to it.
What's your proudest moment as an artist?
There are so many moments that have caused me to be amazed and feel so proud. I got super excited when Parks Project reached out to work with me. I wanted that to happen, and couldn't believe it when it did. My face hurt from smiling when the Philadelphia Museum of Art asked me to host two events. I thought about how thrilled 12 year old me would have been. One of the events was a drink and draw. I decided to do a powerpoint called Jarmel's Designs For A Different Future to go with the special exhibit: Designs For A Different Future. When I was done they said it had never been that quiet in the Great Hall. In that moment I felt like I had exploded into a million pieces of confetti, but when I think about it now, I feel really proud. When it comes down to my proudest moment as an artist, it's that I've been able to do this full time and haven't had to go back to the food industry.
What's your favorite thing to do in the summer?
I love to camp. I want to be in the water all the time. I go on this camping trip to Worthington State Forest in the Delaware Water Gap. I've gone with my family every year since I was 10. We hike up Douglas Trail to SunFish Pond. It's a rock basin lake that runs along the AT (Appalachian Trail). We camp right on the Delaware River, which I spend a lot of time in. I love to do a lot of things in the summer, but this is my favorite.