Words by Evan La Ruffa
Being a photographer and a designer, Tim Jarosz is continually attracted to texture and color. He hits the pavement and creates the source images that later feed his various creative applications. He’s a Chicago boy, which makes sense since it’s his Cityscapes of The Chi that initially drew us to his work. Line and color embolden each other reciprocally in Tim’s art & images, whether his more embellished interpretations, or his rugged boot-to-ground city shots, and his “Walls” series.
We’re happy to feature his work, since it sees the city in the same way we do; vibrant, dynamic, convergent. Alive, funky, rhythmic. Our fascination with his output has now born itself out via an interview we think you’ll find both edifying and evocative. This talent was born here but his work is sure to find eyes far from home. With cities serving as his muse, the possibilities for more pulsating work from Tim Jarosz are both probable and expansive.
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EL of IPMM: Hey Tim! Glad to be in touch… your Cityscapes caught our eye man… being a Chicago-based publication, you can understand why. But your use of color amidst architecture is fantastic, kudos!
TJ: Yea man, thanks so much for this opportunity, really means a lot. You know, being from Chicago, how this city can inspire you so easily. I mean the people, culture and architecture are some of the best in the world and that’s why I like to focus my work on this amazing city. I try to highlight what anyone can see everyday just by walking down the street.
IPMM: Can you tell us about the process involved in creating the Cityscapes?
TJ: My process is always a little different for each piece, but they all follow a pretty similar pattern. My work always starts with photography. I’m always walking around the city snapping photos of things I find interesting. I guess you would call it street photography. After I get a solid set of buildings or rooftops photographed, I then move into editing and collaging those photographs together. Once I have a composition I like, I start to add some color and texture treatments to the piece. This part is always different. I kind of just play with it until I feel it works. After that I do a little more editing and then somehow they come out like they do. I wouldn’t be able to create my style of work without the use of photography and design equally. For me they go hand in hand and are a crucial part of my artwork.
IPMM: The color in the Cityscapes really amplifies the viewing experience. It makes it feel like it’s in 3D. What about these images compelled you to inject them with color?
TJ: I definitely like the use of color in my work. For the most part, the color of the artwork is true to life, but just greatly enhanced. I feel it’s the way the buildings are collaged together that really makes the colors stand out. Of course, the colors are enhanced but I just try to emphasize what’s already there.
IPMM: Nice man. Your art really goes way beyond those pieces though. Is there any medium you feel most at home in, or is it more about finding different ways of expressing creative ideas?
TJ: Well, I have always been very serious about both photography and design. I graduated art school with a degree in graphic design and still had an extreme passion for photography. I worked as professional graphic designer for years before deciding to expand my skills and take on a new venture in photography. I quit my design job and started freelancing in photography. Not long after I found an amazing photography career where I have the ability to shoot photos and still create artwork in my free time. I’m pumped that I get to work with both those mediums on a daily basis.
IPMM: The photography on your site, particularly of Chicago, is ground level gritty. Are you originally from here? What draws you to the street from a photographic viewpoint?
TJ: Yes, I was born in Chicago on the northwest side. I just want my street photographs to represent what I see everyday and what I think is beautiful. I like to photograph the people, graffiti, spaces and details that are passed by or ignored everyday. I try to capture images of candid moments in time that are pure and unscripted. Even though some of my photography is a bit dark or sad, I feel it is still beautiful.
IPMM: Yea, it’s definitely hopeful. Your “Walls” collection is also great. I have a fascination with them myself. It’s a texture thing for me. You?
TJ: Yes, it’s the mixture of texture and color that attracts my eye. I think that urban walls are interesting. I love how the city will cover up graffiti and street art with a shitty square of some ugly color as a solution. In my eye it makes it worse, but I do like the compositions and contrasts they create.
IPMM: What’s one skill you don’t have that you reeeeaaallly wish you did have?
TJ: I really wish I could work more with screen-printing. I truly enjoy it. I got into it a bit in college, but since have kinda fell off. I just don’t have the equipment needed to keep up with it. But who knows, maybe in the future.
IPMM: What have you been working on as of late?
TJ: I always feel that my projects are never really finished, so most of them are currently still on-going. I do have trips planned to New York and San Francisco in the next couple of months to shoot some photography. Hopefully by next year I will have a new cityscape series for each of those cities. Keep your eye out for that. I am also messing with the idea of a series focused on old 50’s type motel signs, we’ll see though.
IPMM: Nice man, we’ll keep an eye out. And finally, name one artist or musician that IPMM readers should check out.
TJ: Oh man… Umm, check out EMANCIPATOR.