Showcase & Interview
Sunsets. Nature. Machines. These are just some of the things that inspire United States Artist and Sculpter Justin Gershenson-Gates in his incredibly unique works of art. With a folio featuring incredibly detailed mechanical works and jewellery, this artist is one of a kind. Designers Best Friend talks challenges, inspiration and much more in this exclusive interview with this amazing US talent.
Name: Justin Gershenson-Gates
Career Title: Thinker and Assembler
Country: United States
Available for Commercial Projects: Yes
Contact Details: firstname.lastname@example.org , www.facebook.com/amechanicalmind , www.amechanicalmind.etsy.com , amechanicalmind.deviantart.com
Are you able to describe who you are and what you do?
I am a friendly, curious, creative, and thoughtful person. I take old and unloved derelict watches and turn them into new and different works of art.
How would you describe your portfolio?
My jewelry and sculpture are all about visual balance. A lot of what I do is well described as doodling with metal in three dimensions. Parts are arranged and rearranged to best fit the space, and make intricate and delicate designs through balance. I take the inherent beauty in gears and mechanical bits and turn them into things you would want to wear or just stare at. The work is striking, is often delicate or whimsical, but can vary through to menacing or slightly creepy. Most of it is very feminine, yet industrial.
When did you first decide you wanted to pursue a creative career?
I would imagine that I was about three years old and discovered plasticine clay. My parents often wouldn’t get me the latest toy, so I’d make my own. It’s only been just recently (the last couple of years in fact) that I’ve been able to actually make a living wage off of my art.
What is your favourite medium to work in?
Watch parts…gears, cogs, stems, faces, etc. I’ve been in love with watches since my grandfather showed me his. I tried to open it up to see how it works, but I broke it. It’s an ongoing theme in my art. I can take stuff apart, but can’t fix it…so I make art out of it!
How did you get to where you are today?
Practice. I’m a lot better than I used to be, but am no where near where I would really like to be as an artist. I’ve made somewhere around a thousand pieces at this point, and with each one, I like to think I get a little bit better.
What is the biggest challenge you have found, being in the creative industry?
Money. It’s hard to be an artist and make money. It takes a lot of work to showcase your work and get your name out there so that enough people will buy. One reason why I think a lot of artists are the starving kind is that they charge way too much for their work, especially when starting out. Pricing reasonably helps, plus gets more people to buy your work. The more people who see it, the more then buy it. It’s a positive feedback mechanism.
What inspires you?
Sunsets. Nature. Machines. Other artists, all the time. Children. Children have an unobscured vision of the world. It helps to be more childlike and wide eyed with art.
Do you have an all time favourite piece of work you have created?
So far, it’s Creature. I love doing sculptures, as they are art for art’s sake, rather than art for jewelry’s sake. Creature is the first that I’ve done strictly from imagination, rather than from real life.
Do you have a favourite colour or set of colours to work in?
Steel, copper, and brass are the colors that I work with, with the occasion splashes of reds or blues from watch jewels. Painting, I enjoy blues and greys…pretty much all my clothes are those colors.
If you could give some advice to aspiring creative minds, what would it be?
Do it for yourself before anyone else. If you like it, great…it is a masterpiece. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking it is anything less. Respect your own opinion before anyone else’s. Also, treat others’ works with respect, as you would want them to do the same to you.