"I love drawing and painting on canvas but I also love working digitally and with new media, the difference between traditional and digital art is that you don't have to wait for pixels to dry and layers can be independently adjusted, I try and fuse different mediums wherever I can, I mix my own colour palette and take samples for my digital work or photograph my own textures and objects to use in them, the more I can use that is real the more I feel that the piece starts to come alive"
"Someone said to me, You work digitally? which made me laugh, It takes just as long to create something digitally and there isn't a button you push that does everything for you. If I took a photograph and meticulously painted over it digitally does that make the photographic part of it void? Emailing isn't cheating compared to writing, its just a different way of conveying a message, besides who determines how good something is based on the time taken to create it or how it's created, some of Picasso's sketches took seconds but you try and replicate one, it's not that easy, anyone can learn to draw or paint but it's how you use that knowledge and what you create".
"A lot of contemporary street artists use stencils created on a computer, we all use technology in some form. It's not all about the medium, it should be about the image, the idea or the message. In my case a lot of my messages are well hidden and I am not afraid to admit I use technology as one of my tools to express them, I embrace it"
"The key is not to take yourself or your work too seriously, just to have fun creating and experiment and ignore criticism and keep your feet on the ground, otherwise it gets too complicated and it ruins your creativity, I create artwork for other people to enjoy and I don't attempt to save the world with a message that I don't truly believe. I donate to charities instead through the sale of my artwork who really do know how to make a difference" - JJ
JJ Adams is a new media and mixed media artist from South West England and Cape Town, South Africa currently living and working in South London.
"JJ Adams is the Frank Zappa of the UK Fine Art scene. I no longer walk past a gallery without looking in, he's taken icons and buildings we know so well and added a drop of his own brand of LSD".
Featured in Vogue & GQ and having worked alongside clients like Rolls Royce and Bang & Olufsen, JJ Adams is rapidly becoming one of the UK’s most talked about and collectible artists. He is bold and confident in style often completely transforming celebrity images or iconic landmarks with his own inimitable edge and blurring the lines between new media, pop, fine art, digital art and photography.
JJ has also been involved in raising money for many UK charities through the sale of his artwork. In 2014 a small 30x30cm painting sold at auction raising over £5000 for the Willow Foundation and in 2016 he raised over £3000 for the British Liver Trust when he released a portrait of David Bowie.
JJ Adams was a finalist for the 2016 Fine Art Trade Guild's "Best Selling Published Artist Award".
The rebellious son of a baptist preacher, JJ emigrated as a child from Plymouth in the UK to Cape Town in South Africa in the early eighties. He spent much of his youth around the studio of South African contemporary artist Derric van Rensburg, where he discovered his love of bright colour and graphic art. JJ studied graphic design at Cape College while working as a part-time apprentice in `Wildfire Tattoos` a busy tattoo studio in central Cape Town. JJ finally returned to the UK in the mid-nineties with the aim of becoming a tattoo artist.
After a number of years living in London and working in Camden Town Market and struggling to make ends meet, JJ moved back to Plymouth to further study commercial printing at the Plymouth College of Art and Design. Over the next several years he worked as a self taught graphic designer in the South West of England and also moved into professional sign making while experimenting with art in his spare time. In 2009 after selling a few of his acrylic paintings through a local gallery he decided it was time to move back to London and finally pursue his art career. In early 2011, using his experience he had gained working in the tattoo industry, he produced a series of black and white tattooed celebrity images which set the ball rolling.
Adams uses a range of new and mixed media in his work from spray painting to hand painting acrylics, stenciling, screen printing, collage and digital composite and matte painting as well as photography. He admits being influenced at art college by artists like Derric van Rensburg, Norman Rockwell, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Sir Peter Blake and more obscure illustration artists like Drew Struzan, Guy Peelleart, Storm Thorgerson and lowbrow artists like Coop and Jim Phillips.
JJ Adams lives and works from his studio in Croydon, South London.
He is married with four children and two dogs.
When he is not creating artwork, he can be found writing music, attending comic conventions, browsing record stores, hunting down retro video games or restoring his 1984 Porsche 944.