All About Telling Stories with Serge Gay Jr.
Questions/Written by: Kwesi Adjin, Answers by Serge Gay Jr. All Images courtesy of Serge Gay Jr.

Serge Gay Jr. is a Grammy nominated illustrator, fine artist and graphic designer that embodies the quest we all have to embrace our differences and shine through circumstances.  Serge states that he strives to be tolerant of others’ differences because he recognizes the differences in himself.  It is clear that success has not decayed Serge’s soul because he answers all questions with an innocence and a purity that also comes across vividly in all his work.  Serge likes the fact that his work varies in style and the “pop” nature of most of his work is actually quite endearing and addicting.  Although you can see Serge’s art in popular music video’s like Ceelo Green’s “Fu*k You”, De La Soul’s “Must B The Music”, Train’s “Cadillac Cadillac” and Fall Out Boy’s “America’s Suitehearts”, to mention just a few, there is a grounded aura to this San Francisco-based artist that is resolute and very appealing.  It is an honor to present the words and art of Serge Gay Jr.  We wish him more grease to his elbows in all his future endeavors.

“I see my work having this surrealist style, fitting for pop …”

Please tell us a little about yourself – your childhood, siblings, where you grew up, what you liked as a child, strange thoughts as a child/now, unique attributes, where you live now, etc.?

I’m a Miami Kid, born in Haiti, moved to NY, but was raised in the sunshine state of Miami as the youngest of three brothers. I was introduced to visual art at my Miami home. There was art everywhere you look. My father being an artist himself would make and sell art all the time. So one day at about the age of six I just picked up a pencil and crayon and started to draw. When I move to America I didn’t know how to speak much English, so when I began first grade, I would use my art and drawings to make friends because that was the only way I could communicate. I still think I use this same technique today because I don’t think anyone really likes me. (HA!) Then I went to a college of art in Detroit where I learned to become the artist that I am today. After that I moved to California. San Francisco is where I call home right now and I couldn’t be any happier.

How do you describe your form of art and how it ties into creating music videos?

I see my work having this surrealist style, fitting for pop music videos. My art is a diary. My work is the overview or timeline of all my life – experiences and the journeys that I’ve seen or felt strongly about at some moment in time. So therefore, I love creating a world for people to see visually, to be touched in some kind of way, or relate to. That’s the only way I can let people understand who I really am as a person. To me, it’s all about telling stories. And music videos are all about telling a story.

What does your art mean to you?

Art is how I Speak. Without it I have no voice.

Your art is very bold and seems like it is littered with symbolism, how did you develop your personal style and what tools do you use for the creation of your work?

Yes, tons of symbolism and messages. Lately I found out that my style is the way I paint. I never wanted to have one style or be known as the guy who paints one thing because I’ve spent years trying not to make that happen. I’ve always explored other mediums outside of painting from videos to photography and graphic art. But my style changes so much and I am okay with that. 

What is the worst critique you have ever received about your work? What is the best compliment that you have received about your work?

I don’t think I have had a bad critique. I think all critique is good. A bad critique is no critique at all. Therefore I don’t think I know of any best compliments, because I’m not great at taking compliments. I try to always be better than I was yesterday and I don’t hold on to what I was. I am always trying to better myself and not be safe.

Which artist/s do you look up to the most?

I don’t think I look up to any artist. There are artists I like but not really look up to. I mostly just look up to friends and family; they are whom I have found to be my main influences on my art world. It’s all people I know. And  at times, I like random music videos. 

Since Style.No.Chaser is a men’s lifestyle magazine, what attributes/items/clothing /etc. do you think define a man?

 SHOES!!!!! Must have the flyest shoes. (A must.)

What is your personal life philosophy?

 Accepting everyone’s differences and being okay with being different yourself.

Who dead or alive, celebrity or not, artist or not, would you like to go on a two week road trip with and why?

Michael Jackson. I would like to know more about the man behind the mask.  

What is your favorite movie of all time and why?

I don’t really have one. (sorry) I’m not a favorite kind of guy. I just can’t pick one thing.

How can people learn more about your current and upcoming works?

At my website: sergegayjr.com or instagram:  @sergegayjr

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