Meet The Artist: Jaymy Lee Hamer
nevernot: You approached nevernot regarding a cooperation. At the very time we were planning the 'Make love - spread love' kit. The kit consists a pack of tampons and the lubricating gel. Two euros of this will be donated to the great organization “Social Period” which fights against period poverty. It was one hell of a match and we got together. You created our sexy illustration for the lube. What did you had in mind while designing it?
Jaymy-Lee: People have always been a topic in my work. The human body fascinates me. It has those soft, flowing lines, yet exciting shapes and aesthetics. I particularly find the body's ecstasy interesting when one let go of yourselfs mind and the body only follows feelings and no longer thoughts. I think that switching off your head has become so damn difficult for many people these days. If you can indulge yourself without restraint, that is probably one of the most beautiful forms of self-acceptance and self-love. With the illustrations I address the users to feel free loving themselves, to celebrate their bodies and to feel loved.
nn: nevernot was allowed to share your beautiful Illustrations benefit. You are a full-time graphic designer who currently also works on a carrer as a photographer. What is the focus of your photographic work?
Jaymy-Lee: Stories. I try to give new perspectives on what seems to be familiar views. I love to understand and convey the change of perspective and "the behind it". For example in my street photography I often photographed pictures at St. Pauli in black and white. As a result, one was not distracted by colorful flashing neon advertisements and illuminated panels. The view of the clubs was scaled down, the pure asphalt and the crumbling or shiny facades were the focus. It's the same with humans. There I focus on the story behind the person. I love authentic personalities. Whether conspicuous or withdrawn, you have to be true to yourself and don't care what other people think. If there's one thing that really interests me, it's a person's secret 'otherside'. Being able to be a part of it and capture these moments on camera my heart skips a beat. Working in an office by day and crawl along the Reeperbahn in the evening? I love it! Do what you love!
nn: We are both from Hamburg. A large part of your work takes place around the Reeperbahn. Why? What does St. Pauli mean to you?
Jaymy-Lee: St. Pauli represents freedom for me. Every direction, interests, goals and dreams shake hands here. The whole of Hamburg simply comes together here. And my beloved opposites collide here. The Reeperbahn and its adjacent streets are like a village. Everyone knows everyone here. I like that there are clear boundaries here, and at the same time there are no boundaries at all. It's always a dance between happiness and unhappiness in life and the art of getting the best out of everything.
Nightlife always had a very special charm for me. I was fascinated by working where others go to party. Especially the Reeperbahn in Hamburg is famous and notorious for exciting neighborhood stories. Colorful birds, loud music, laughter but also people in tears and bright advertisements, wherever you look. That shaped my passion for the colourful, loud and very unusual. It also sharpened my second glance since not everything is as it seems. Since 2012 I've been working on and with St. Pauli and have had the most extraordinary experiences - funny as well as tough moments. I think the district just shows me how pure life can be. Again and again.
nn: Illustrator, graphic designer and photographer, clearly you are 'a creative person'. When did this occur to you and how did you decide on your professional career? Do you have any tips for young people who would like to follow a similar path?
Jaymy-Lee: I believe that everyone can go their own way and should trust their inner voice. I went to business school, was supposed to make a career in business, studying business administration and politics. Though, I was sure I didn't want to work in an office all my life. There was this creativity in me, wanting to design, create and get started with that life! I applied to an art school and began my colorful career. I had a college that covered every aspect of being creative. Starting with illustration, editorials, advertising, video and photography to coding and typography. The studies helped me to find out what job opportunities exist in the design field, developing my strengths and to gather mor self-confidence for myself and my work.
During my studies, I finally found the connection between my art and the nightlife I loved. As part of a semester project, I did the first Kiez illustrations and so began my artistic career. I always followed my own style during studies and I'd recommend it to everyone. Bring out what's in you. Don't let anyone tell you what's best for you. If you know what you want: Go for it! Look around for opportunities you have in your area and how you can achieve your goals. Don't hesitate, just do it! Your passion is the reason that allows you to achieve everything, have the courage to get started!
nn: It doesn't matter if you're behind the camera, in front of a computer or using a brush. The way you design is always very unusual. What do you enjoy the most about it? And what's annoying?
Jaymy-Lee: It's the best feeling when you're hitting your flow. For example while painting and illustrating: I listen to music, something powerful; Techno, heavy metal, or salsa. Sometimes I'm just outside with chirping birds. I get myself into some kind of tunnel vision or maybe more like a pause button? Only this moment exists at that time and I forget everything around me. It allows me to be creative and empathize with my project. There is only me and my art. Otherwise it's hard for me to switch my brain off, you have so many things on your mind that still need to be done and it's annoying when you feel like you can't shut down.
When my passion runs free, whether it's on a shoot, on a tablet or in front of the easel, I feel fulfilled somehow being in my element. I can be loud, colorful and creative.
nn: Some of your work makes a quite dark impression and yet it sparkles with life – it is empowering. How would you describe your style?
How much did it change and how?
Jaymy-Lee: A while back I heard a great quote that really got to me: "A star can only shine in the dark." It fits quite well to my work. I have had many beautiful moments, especially in recent years, but also many strokes of fate. This makes you think and appreciate what you are doing right in your life and what takes your energy away. Exactlyt these contrasts in life encounter me so much. I love to capture these impressions with my art and inspire everyone to go their own way and make the best of their life, no matter how hard it gets. My motto: After the ebb, comes the tide.