Interview with Haitian artist JN Felix

Les Couleurs Charity: Lesny, tell us more about your childhood in Haiti, when and how did you come to NY?

I came to New York when I was 12. Lived through the overthrow of the Baby Doc regime. I don't remember much except the games we would play, such as like hide an seek and some others. I also loved the story telling by my late Grandmother, New Years Eve traditions, remember loving traditional pumpkin soup.

Les Couleurs Charity: How important for you was art and creativity  growing up?
Art wasn't part of my life till 2005, i even dropped that class in High School.

Les Couleurs Charity: When did you discover your passion for arts?

Well, I would say in 2009-2010, that's when i became really motivated and highly driven, just passion isn't enough -  because is comes and goes. Just like a relationship between the two people, passion doesn't seem to stick around. However your drive, focus and motivation,- does.

Les Couleurs Charity: Where do you normally draw your inspiration from?

 I don't use such ideology, but if I have to answer this it more about individuality of each important artist from the past, as well as contemporary ones. Having my own signature works of art, developing  many different series or styles of work. I am thinking of 7 or 8 different series that are of a different style.

Les Couleurs Charity: How does Haitian art and culture inspire you?

It really had no influence on me because I wasn't exposed to it growing up, and it's just something I came across due to my relationship with my mentor.

Les Couleurs Charity: What artists do you look up to? 

Many... if it's original and unique, then I pay attention, but right now, I don't need anything to fire me up to just paint paintings.

A collaboration with Rick Wray, Dr. Untitled

A collaboration with Rick Wray, Dr. Untitled

Les Couleurs Charity: What Haitian artists do you look up to?

Don't look up to any of them and I really don't look at things like that because if I were to, then perhaps i would struggle finding my own signature style. However, the art i saw in the beginning sort of worked its way into my doings, but it phased out once I developed my own liking.

Les Couleurs Charity: How important for you is to support LC Charity?

Well, the fact that Haiti is their primary focus and a sense of contributing is like nothing else.  As they say "here to give back" given that is indeed the least i can do at the moment.

Les Couleurs Charity: What does it mean for a child to be able to express himself through arts?

Fun, joy and happiness! You have to understand that it's almost like a self therapy, so imagine how important for a youngster this experience might be. Getting lost without worrying about anything, so that feeling sort of takes them away from all the disturbing surroundings and circumstances.

JN Felix