Working in Entertainment, you come across many that are in it for a plethora of reasons. Some work for the connections, some just for the money and recognition, then you'll find others that really enjoy taking a great picture. Meeting New York based photographer, Dex R. Jones and later discovering his genuine love for the art and it's true purpose, only intrigued me to pry a bit deeper into his genius behavior.
RW: Who or/and what inspires you as a LifeStyler?
DRJ: Of course I can't ignore the fact that I'm an artist and so I'd have to say my artistry greatly inspires my way of life. Most people know about my broad taste and intense love for music from visiting my blog but most people aren't aware of my interest in film. In fact, most days when I'm not shooting or working on the details of a photo series, I'm probably watching a couple of films. Music and film greatly effect the way that I relate to the world and people and thus how I live my life.
RW: Who are your icons?
DRJ: (laughs) There are way too many. I'll just make a short list.
Bob Marley, Ghandi, Malcolm X, Sidney Poitier, Basquiat, Nina Simone, Fela Kuti, Kwame Toure... just to name a few.
RW: What have they taught you?
DRJ: [In reference to Dave Chappelle and Jean-Michel Basquiat] I'm always very much inspired by the lives and stories of young up and coming artists that have surpassed any expectations they could have had for themselves. Truly talented people who are dedicated to their craft and have figured out their passion at a very early age. Their struggle... their story is something I find myself easily relating to.
RW: Favorite place to be?
DRJ: Once upon a time, I loved just being in Williamsburg. I could be anywhere as long as it's with good people, I'm happy to be there. I'm not a club-goer though and never was (laughs). But I'm mostly a solitary dude and so I'm usually behind my laptop most days.
RW: Food you can't go a day without? (include junk food if that'ts your thing).
DRJ: I hate food questions, man (laughs). I just eat anything and everything! I'm not picky at all. Mexican, Italian, Indian, Soul.... I like it all. I drink beverages all day though. Love Peardrax and can never get enough Goya Mango Nectar.
RW: If you had to describe those "little things that make such a big difference" what would it be?
DRJ: Composition in photography is BIG for me. Its the difference between a great photograph and an alright one and is something I recommend all aspiring photographers consider when shooting.
RW: 3 things that shape how your life is lived.
DRJ: My relationship with my family. My family is very traditional and my choice of living to them has always been strange. Thats not always the easiest to deal with.
My poetic past is probably one of the most influential and life changing experiences of my life thus far. Poetry helped me to learn just how important the social responsibility of art is to the world. I learned my history and my value under the veil of poetry.
I don't have the money/resources to do all the things I would like to do artistically but I'm pretty much known for making the best of the "worst". I pride myself on it . My work has never been compromised because of it and quite honestly I've probably gained more respect by shooting in the simple way that I do. Sometimes less is more.
RW: When you're not working, you are (doing what with your free time)?
DRJ: I'll probably watch 4- 5 movies on any day that I have an extensive amount of free time. lol Im a movie junkie. My girl also thinks Im a comic Geek. I don't with argue with that (laughs). I've found a new appreciation for comic books that pretty much just came out of nowhere. But I'm hooked now. There are moments when I just don't wanna think about editing another photograph, the internet gets sickening and I have nothing else to do. I just find myself needing a comic book to read. It's just something I escape into, I guess. I guess I'm one of those corny geeks all the jocks make fun of now. lol It's cool though. I'm used to it.
RW: Comics? Really? Which ones are your favorite?
DRJ: Well... the Black Panther character was what really introduced me to reading comic books. I love that character. An African king of the world's most powerful and advanced nation. No super powers. Just supreme intellect, a strong spiritual center, and unmatched wisdom. And he kicks ass too! (laughs) I've branched out to other graphic novels as well like, Watchmen and Kingdom Come. Those are some great stories. I think a lot of people underestimate the quality of writing and conceptualism you can find in comic books.
RW: What is it that you want people to see when the see your work?
DRJ: I want my work to be a window to someone's story. I want just one of my photographs to sum up a novel or a screenplay. You look into it and your mind's eye is already at work creating a background story about what it sees. I love for my work to tell stories. I really don't care what the story is. Just say something of significance and feeling.
RW: How do you plan on changing the world?
DRJ: I don't know if thats my business to know. I'm just trying to get more free. I've learned from personal experience that trying to figure out how I'm supposed to change the world is detrimental to my health. Im just letting my feet guide me. Assuming my responsibility as an artist that has a large enough following is the best I can do at this point.
RW: Where are you in 5-10 years?
DRJ: Married with kids maybe living in New Zealand or something (laughs). Im just trying to be comfortable, published and happy. I plan to do a lot of traveling.
RW: Any random info you'd like people to know?
DRJ: Without getting too preachy, I'll just say patience is a virtue; especially to a struggling artist. If you're really any good at what you do, all you need is a hell of a lot of drive, passion and patience. Keep one eye open. - Sergio Wonder