173: Jason Naylor – Creating A Brand Around Your Art
“To exhibit that you recognize that you are not alone in your creating of art, that keeps you humble and that’s a quality that I love and admire.”
– Jason Naylor
Does creativity come to you naturally?
“Creativity” or “creating art” doesn’t only mean the ability to paint or dance or sing like a nightingale. It can also play a huge part in the art of making a sales pitch or cutting rocks into beautiful shapes and forms — creativity is ubiquitous. That’s why most of us are creative in our own right.
Now that we realize our creative prowess, the next question to ask ourselves is: How can we create a brand around our art?
For most of us, our skills seldom translate into art, but what we then require is a change in our perspective. Creativity is the driving force of my life, and I love making things and creating things. I love everything about it, but it takes practice. It takes work along with the reward of the creative resonance that comes with work.
Thankfully, today’s guest is here to help us build our identity alchemy. His name is Jason Naylor, and he’s a really dope street muralist artist who comes from a graphic design background. A lot of his work is driven by and created on the computer first and then translated to murals. But it’s not just his creativity that fuels his art — a lot is also owed to his state of mind.
“You’d be surprised at how far you can get in life just by being kind.”
– Jason Naylor
Before we delve deeper into that thought, let us first get to know Jason first.
Who Is Jason Naylor?
Jason Naylor is an award-winning artist, designer, and creative director based out of Brooklyn, New York, US. After completing his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Brigham Young University, Jason moved to New York and immersed himself in the creative independence offered by the city.
He started his career in the creative department of M-A-C Cosmetics, which helped him learn about the business of art and design. His learning and experience motivated him to give life and color to every project that he had the opportunity to work on.
Jason’s whole ethos is creatively positive and positively creative. His work regularly contains messages of love and positivity. Many experience a shift in their mental state when they view Jason’s work, and I think that’s hugely important.
I love the kind of work that Jason does because I think being creative is about changing your state and pushing through the resistance to create. When you can get your mental state shifted, that helps in a huge way by allowing you to have more positive control over your work and life.
Without teasing your curiosity any further, let’s dive right into this episode with the one and only Jason Naylor.
It All Starts with a Little Humility and Self Belief
Because he started small and only eventually reached where he is, Jason learned a lot of life lessons on his journey to the top. Now, he considers it his responsibility to share the good things that he found within with people around him.
“Something that I find important to me and my work is humility, and it is also something I admire in other people. … People who are doing things that they’re proud of or that bring them success or money, sometimes forget to be thankful or to express gratitude. … The point is to try to make decisions based on humility, being grateful and thankful for all that you’ve been given, [and to acknowledge] the privilege that it is to be you, … to sort of exhibit that you recognize that you’re not alone, and that kind of keeps you humble.”
– Jason Naylor
It’s like living in alignment with yourself and kind of expressing who that true self of yours is. But humility is not the only thing that will get you far — it’s also how you see and feel about your own work.
“It’s also like forgetting about the humility bit for me, and the best way to do that is to forget about what else is happening. It doesn’t matter what other people think or want, and it’s not easy to forget what other people care about, [but sometimes you] just [need to focus] on what’s in you, … and that’s what really matters. That’s kind of … an everyday goal. Just forget about everyone else, and worry about yourself, not in a selfish way but in a way that lets you stay aligned and in tune.”
– Jason Naylor
Jason is correct in implying that if you pay heed to what everybody else is saying, you could get swayed into doing something that’s not aligned with yourself. If you are able to attain this balance of humility with self-belief, your work wouldn’t even feel like work because it would be something that you love.
And once you fall in love with something, that’s when the time is ripe for that one glorious opportunity.
An Unexpected Opportunity is All Jason Needed to Turn Things Around
After working with a big brand like M-A-C Cosmetics for almost six years, Jason decided to carve his own path. Working as a freelancer and filling in for multiple brands allowed him to hone his skills further and also experience and overcome new situations and hurdles. Then an opportunity struck, and from there the only way Jason could go was up.
“In 2013, I got a call from an event producer who was working with the Microsoft brand. … [She approached me] to paint a mural [at the last moment] … after one of her vendors fell through. … I had the experience of painting a mural only once before but, that was a planned-out project. … So I did know that I had the tools, so I just said yes, which brought me to Austin, where I painted a live mural over the course of one week, … and it turned out to be magical. It was not just about the finished product but also about the process which was so good.”
– Jason Naylor
Once we are confident about our potential, then all we require is a little conditioning and training to be able to make the most of our abilities. This is what Jason discovered out of this project, and he has been grateful ever since. He gained the experience he did not know he needed and moved ahead in his path.
“[That project] broke the seal and made me feel like this is something that I really love doing. It brought so many new things out of me, I found myself a little bit in that process. And since then, I’ve just been hustling to find more walls.”
– Jason Naylor
This experience brought about another remarkable realization for Jason —
“Just saying yes to things … is one of the keys to success. Being willing to try new things and putting yourself out there is scary and makes one nervous. [But once you do it] you grow and you develop new skills and end up with more confidence. … Saying yes to opportunities even though maybe they’re out of your comfort zone or out of your skill, that is key.”
– Jason Naylor
From having inadequate experience in murals to falling in love with the art — that is how Jason’s journey has gone. Realizing the right opportunity and not wasting too much time or energy in finding reasons to not take it is how Jason broke the chain from just being a freelance graphic designer to transforming into an artist with an incredible craft. What opportunity do you need to say yes to?
The Formula for Identity Alchemy
My discussion with Jason was just so insightful, and I hope that his wisdom inspires you to form your own formula for identity alchemy.
Most artists don’t even think about their art as a brand. But to stand out in this day and age, you have to create one for yourself and have the tools for it. The other side of it is being able to rise above and really create a distinction of who you are.
Build your personal brand and create identity alchemy for yourself, and together that will drive you on your journey.
Alchemy is defined as the process of transforming something ordinary into something extraordinary, in ways that are unexplainable at times.
With that being said, I define Identity Alchemy as the process of deconstructing who you don’t want to be in order to realize who you want to become.
Through it, you’ll be able to identify your shadows or the things you don’t want to be true about you and shed them slowly. I believe that the deconstruction process of life and your inner world is such a huge piece of understanding who you are so that you can curate who you want to become. In general, I noticed for myself that the more inner work that I do — the deeper shadow work that I do to understand myself — the better life becomes on the path of wholeness.
If by now you too have become a fan of Jason, his work, and his approach, then do connect with him on social media. He is available on Instagram and Pinterest, where he posts often. Jason also has his own website which you can access here.
I hope you enjoyed today’s episode with Jason guys — if you did, I would love it if you could help me by jumping over to Apple Podcasts, and leave us a five-star rating. You can also tag Jason, @jasonnaylor, and me, @nickonken on Instagram with a screenshot of this episode and your takeaways from it.
It’s now time for you to go out and create your own lives by creating every small moment.
You can Subscribe and Listen to the Podcast on Apple Podcasts. And please leave me a Rating and Review!
“The actual painting is fast, what takes time is creative decisions.”
– Jason Naylor
Some things we learn in this podcast:
- How Jason’s religious upbringing and his art have intertwined [4:53]
- Why Jason always keeps his community in mind in creating his art [7:47]
- Jason’s transition from corporate work to becoming a freelancer [10:52]
- How he found spaces to create his art and the key to his success [15:03]
- Jason’s creative process [19:15]
- What Jason sees in the public topics of vulnerability and authenticity [23:38]
- What coming into the graffiti world ‘through the back door’ has taught Jason [28:58]
- Jason’s favorite artists and how he develops his craft [32:02]
- How Jason developed his brand and strong aesthetic style [43:54]
- The ups and downs of life and what Jason has done to work through his difficult parts of life [50:49]