srJH: Drawing the Community Together
When speaking about the artists and people who inspire him, srJH, known by his friends and family as Josh, uses words like "Love," "Dedication," and "Inspire." Pointing to people who can take their dreams and turn them into reality. Those who find joy in the process and how that translates into their work. An active member of the Decentraland community since he first logged on in November of 2021, Josh is a natural choice when looking for an artist to capture the spirit of the community in a piece of art.
With close to, if not over, a hundred references from across Decentraland, the mural, titled MoreThanAnInstance, is a love letter to the community that inspired it.
"A tribute to those who tirelessly devote themselves to their work, inspiring others through their passion and unwavering commitment. It serves as a reminder of the strength that lies within each individual and the potential to ignite a spark of inspiration in the world around them."
While Josh can be regularly found in CBD Discord voice chats and has contributed his artistic talent to many projects across the Decentraland community, he is not a prolific tweeter and doesn't give a lot of interviews. While trying to research him for this write-up, I've realized there isn't enough content about his work since whenever he is given a platform to speak, he uses it to talk about all the people he respects.
So I went to the source srJH, Sir Josh (that's what I say in my head every time I read srJH) and asked the man some questions. I'm not going to copy-paste over my questions and his answers, not that there is anything wrong with that style, but Josh already did an interview like that with Tangpko over at Blockster. As we've already discussed, we can't trust Josh to hype himself up to a level I find adequate to his value as a creator, so I'm taking things into my own hands.
Who is srJH?
"By that time, I was painting trains a bit and really began to learn a lot about myself as an artist."
Josh's journey as an artist began with an eighth-grade art class. Moving on to high school and graphic design classes before taking courses at a local community college. Having lived and breathed art since finding it in 8th grade, Josh has a habit of glossing over some rather interesting details, including his time spraying painting trains. A time period he considers instrumental in forming the artist he is today.
When he wasn't painting trains, Josh spent much of his time working in his sketchbook. That was exactly what he was doing one day when he was offered an apprenticeship at his favorite tattoo parlor. Josh had never set out with the intention of being a tattoo artist. Still, as is often the case in life, we walk through the doors that open and take the opportunities they present. With his apprenticeship lasting for nearly 3-years, before he started working as a full-time artist, Josh has worked full-time for over a decade as a tattoo artist.
Josh describes his style as a "weird combination" of Traditional Americana, Traditional Japanese, and Black and Grey. While this is not a tattoo-focused piece of writing, and I am by no means an expert on the subject, I can already hear my know-it-all friend who is into tattoos saying, "Um, actually, one of the primary traits of Traditional Japanese tattoos is that they are bright and pure colors. How can that be combined with Black and Grey?"
First of all, Matt, no one likes it when you are like this. Second, he already acknowledged it was "weird," so go check out his Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/jhaidze/, and I think you will see where he's coming from.
Tattooing the blockchain
There is something poetic about a tattoo artist transitioning to work in web3 and having their work put on the blockchain forever. You will hear other artists who come to web3 from other mediums talk about the permanent nature of the blockchain as something they appreciate or are intimidated by. Few, if any, things in art are more personal and permanent than tattoos, and you can't let "permanence" scare you if you are going to flourish.
With the creation of his first blockchain art in the form of a Decentraland wearable in March 2022, Josh had officially written his name in the web3 history books. Going on to publish two more wearables and mint his first digital art NFTs by the end of the year.
Check out his latest work, MoreThanAnInstance, on Opensea.
When looking to the future, Josh has no intention of giving up tattoos; however, he wants to continue to develop his skills as an artist and expand his ability to work in the digital world. Honing his skills as a 3D modeler and exploring what it means to be an artist outside of the parlor have increased his enjoyment when working. No matter how cool a job is, it is a job. When your art becomes your career, it can lose some sparkle. By diversifying his skills and how he spends his time, Josh has rejuvenated his passion for all of his art, even when it's work.
If you want to get your hands on a piece of this awesome mural, your best bet is going to be to purchase this fantastic hoodie.
All revenue generated from the sale of this hoodie is going to be used to fund the next Curation Station Community Mural.
When asked about Josh, his friends use words like "Dedicated," "Supportive," and "Always improving." They describe someone happy to help, eager to learn, and a great collaborative partner. The very same people Josh lists as his inspiration are delighted to get a chance to tell you how much they love, respect, and are inspired by Josh. It is a perfect example of all that can be good about Decentraland, finding friends to learn, grow, and explore the metaverse with.
If you want to learn more about Decentraland and how to become a part of a growing community of creators, check out the weekly event at the DCL Curation Station.(https://events.decentraland.org/event/?id=01cec170-01ef-4089-836a-07ac6467539d) There is no better place to begin your journey into web3.