“Anything petty is defined as trivial or of little importance. We all have thoughts that we discard because we don’t think people will understand or we simply lack the courage to speak out. This show is for everyone that is crazy enough to believe [that] their petty thoughts can one day change the world and how we view it…”
The words above were written by a wise man, who took his petty thought and used it as a guide to direct him into an unknown world. One that many are afraid to travel especially alone. Regardless, Jermaine is riding “shotgun” and he is fueled by focused faith. This man is living in a world full of “what ifs” and possibilities. And even though he isn’t completely sure what the end result will be he still “aspires to inspire,” the people around him.
One evening Va mag traveled to Jermaine’s neck of the woods and found him at his art studio. He greeted us with handshakes and a warm smile but the Alabama A&M grad didn’t begin to focus on the situation at hand until he moved his artwork around the room and pulled a “Mr. Rogers.” He took off his Nike Blazers’ sneakers and reappeared with a pair of construction Timberland boots on his feet. Looking comfortable and ready for whatever, with his mini untamed Afro positioned at a stand-still, he poured a shot of Wild Turkey American Honey bourbon, took a seat and began to rap to us about his obsession with art and hip hop.
Jermaine’s dream is to ultimately become a successful artist, but coming from humble beginnings in the city of St. Louis isn’t necessarily the ideal situation. There was no savings to pull from or even another artist nearby to show him the way. So Jermaine created his own path with nothing more than a dollar and a dream. That path led him to Atlanta, and in just two years he has managed to gain a massive following and host two successful art shows on his own. He spoke to Va mag about this venture:
“When I came down here I had a mission. And to be on my third show doing it how I want to do it…I’m not relying on no big name gallery or no big name push or someone who is known, quote unquote in the art world or whatever…that’s a petty thought in my mind.”
Ironically, the title for his new exhibit is called “Petty Thoughts,” it was inspired by Rapper J. Cole’s song “Miss America,” from his latest album: Born Sinner. Jermaine is a wordsmith and a major hip hop head at heart. He said he wants this art show to resemble the feel of releasing a classic hip-hop album just like a legendary rap artist. This goal is highly attainable considering the fact that Jermaine and his team have put in serious footwork to make his vision become a reality.
His guerilla marketing techniques are comparable to a rapper’s hustle back in the day before social media took over. Underground music artists could be spotted passing out mixtapes and flyers all over the city. And their street teams were notorious for striking every light pole with a poster debuting an upcoming album. Jermaine’s hunger to make it is no different.
This is evident when you enter his one bedroom apartment that he transformed into an art studio. Spray paint cans, palettes, paint brushes and artwork serve as his decor. This brother lives and breathes art. It is his lifestyle. From painting 15-20 pieces for the “Petty Thoughts,” show to designing t-shirts, participating in a photo shoot with Imknotshy Photography to serving as the source for a promotional video for the event with Director/Editor Kendrick Kirkpatrick of Cut Close Films, all the stops have been pulled out to drop a major flame on October 12th at the Petty Thoughts show. Jermaine is confident that this exhibit will be monumental. In the past he has experienced a little bit of success in reference to his artwork but he is aware of the fact that there is still work that needs to be done.
“I’m no where near where I want to be but thank god I’m not where I used to be,” said Jermaine. And when it comes to those who are still battling with following their passion and stepping out in an unknown world the artist has a few words of advice:
We are all full of wonderful ideas. Embrace them. Put them into action, and make a change. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent…Dream. Try. Do good. “