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'I like to own what I do': Five questions with Johnson City artist Jason Flack

Mackenzie Moore • Aug 6, 2018 at 9:39 AM

Quick Facts

Name: Jason Flack

Age: 32

Occupation: Auditor at Ballad Health by day, artist by night.

Hobbies: Biking, running and wildlife research

What event shaped you into the person you are today? “My twin sister Jessica’s passing allowed me to create a mental filter of good and bad and to know the importance of each because the bad does have its importance, too. We always want to grab onto the good only. Like, if I have a good day, I’ll focus on the good day, but I need to focus on both because they’re both going to happen. I think we all need to grab the aspects of the good and the bad and change them into some sort of inspiration — anything that I can grab from this reality and get away from it in my art.”

If you could be anywhere in the world, where would it be? “Could I go back in time? I’ll throw that in there. I’d probably go to the first big Bob Marley concert in the Lyceum Theatre in London. I think that was 1974 or ’75. I’d like to experience that — to see this little tiny guy that speaks this Jamaican Patois, and he has no idea, and the crowd had no idea how big he’d become. Back then, concerts were intimate. You could touch him onstage. To know that this ropey-haired little dude is going to change the way that people think about things and music is ... I’d like to be right there — right there and then. On the spot, that’s my first answer, but next, I’d like to see what a Tyrannosaurus Rex looked like. You’re asking where I’d like to be, well, in the past somewhere. Not the future. That will come.”

Explain a few of your goals as an artist and what led you to painting. “Every piece along with the production, coming up with the ideas and finishing it is a short-term goal for me. Everyday, getting that piece in front of me and finishing it is a goal. I’m a painter and have been painting for a little over eight years. I lost my twin sister at that time, and her friend’s mother gave me an old paint set. At first, I just sort of laughed. It was old, chalky and acrylic stuff. I just laid it around; it was more or less served as a bookstand. One day, I decided to get it out, and I reapplied it by wetting it and just started painting. And I have ever since. All my life, I’ve been an artist, just not in that medium. I draw.”

Everyone has a pet peeve. What’s yours? “Oh, gosh, I’m glad you asked this because it happened on the way here. Someone not using their signal light. It’s the easiest thing to do. I literally have a friend who has one arm who can do it, and he makes a joke of that. As a biker and a runner, those driving are telling us little people on the sidewalk where they’re going, not just these 3,000-pound missiles that we drive.”

What’s your least favorite word? “Quid pro cl — quo! Quid pro quo. I can barely say it. You just heard that. And I’ve been recently listening to politics, and it’s just one those flashcard words politicians say over and over again. It’s like they look it up and go, ‘Oh, I like that!’ And I hate when people mess up the words there, their and they’re. If that counts, I can’t stand that either.”

Flack will have a display stand of his work at the Little Chicago Arts and Music Festival on Aug. 10-11. 

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