Origami, a Japanese tradition of folding paper has always been something we’ve liked and were interested in; when we heard about Paper Matez, Urban Origami, we had to see what was up with it. We heard about Paper Matez when we first saw some little Nike Dunks made of paper hanging from DJ C’est la vie’s car rear view mirror. We checked out J.Edwards myspace and saw all the other Paper Matez and were amazed; it was the dopest and most unique things we’ve ever seen. You have to be someone very special to beable to take an artform that is already technical and traditional to ANOTHER level. J. Edwards and his Paper Matez are changing the art game; Paper Matez isn’t the only type of art he does, he’s also a graphic designer, fashion designer for Soulful Commandoe, painter & sculptor. Like he said “I don’t just do art, I am art.” So let us introduce you to J. Edwards, twistin paper and we don’t mean a blunts!
How did PAPER MATEZ, urban origami come to life?
Oh how i wish i could tell you some ‘ol’ off the wall story about how the PAPER MATEZ came to be, but the fact is one day i was having an art day with my 5 year old cutting out paper dolls and she asked me how could we make better paper people. I had already made some Vans shoes out of some scrap cardboard with real laces just the year before not knowing just what to do with them they just sat on the wall in my workshop. then she said that the paper people should look like the characters I draw in my sketch books, or in her words “..make them look HIP_HOP..”.we put our minds together,her imagination and my ability. So i did a few raw sketches, then I had a date with V.I.C.C.I (his G5 Mac named after the robot form the 80’s T.V. show Small Wonder) fired up that Adobe Illustrator and started the designing and re-designing of the PAPER MATEZ templets.
How long have you been making PAPER MATEZ?
The PAPER MATEZ are only about a 2 years old,but the idea of origami is an ancient Japanese art form all to itself. All i did was try to mix old with the new by adding music, computer design ,street brand fashion and urban swagger into something my HIP -HOP heads could and would love and respect. The design and re-design took countless hours…V.I.C.C.I and i have a special relationship we’ve spent plenty of long days and lonely nights and far too many key strokes to count….i think i do well over a 3 thousand key stroke exercises a day, i got some buff strong ass fingers kid.(laughter).
What do you enjoy most about making the PAPER MATEZ?
I would have to say its the reaction i get from people, no matter the age,color, or creed but,when O.G graff artist (KING 157 and MAN ONE) gave me props i knew i stumbled onto something bigger than myself. its kind of crazy tho, what people some fail to see is the time and geometry that goes into making just one PAPER MATEZ. Ittakes me about 8 hours to build just one and that’s not including the computer design and re-design and re-re-design. like 4 real i spend 8 plus hours cutting, folding and gluing paper and trust i got the paper cuts to prove it! but most of all…I enjoy turning thoughts into things. taking that idea and turning it into tangible good.
How did you feel seeing your art displayed at the gallery?
First I have to show love to (ONCE,SUMMER,JIMMY PAGE) Gallery 475 in Pomona for letting me show the PAPER MATEZ! second i want to say thanks to ONCE, KING 157 AND JIMMY PAGE for digging deep in there pockets and taking a chance on something new. now with that said…how did i feel seeing it displayed?…by no mean am i new to this gallery game, I have done gallery shows before, i paint, sculpt, and craft all sorts of random things, but this was different.i was unsure how my graffiti peers would react, so that first show i was hella nervous, but all that passed when i sold all three PAPER MATEZ within the first few hours. i completely geeked out after that!
What gets you up in the morning?
Funny you ask that.. cause i don’t sleep much at all now days. i log mad hours right now! i wake up about 8 a.m and get to bed about 5 a.m the next day (yawn). but really i just love what i do and i do what i love, that alone will get anybody out of bed any day of the week. GOD gave me a gift to create, a vision to see things when others don’t even have a clue, and time to do it…so i better get up and make it happen!
What makes your art different from other artist?
Thats a easy one…I dont just do art I am art! I live it each and everyday. My passion is to live, learn,teach,and create all that i can; and then give all the positive energy back to all those around me.i live my life by these simple rules…PRAYER, PATIENCE, PRACTICE, PREPARATION and PERSISTENCE will take you a long way, plus i am not just locked in to one style or medium. i try to do it all! paint, sculpt,urban fashion design,graphic design, animation, papercraft, origami, invent, write, freelance, silk screen, you name it. now i dont know if that makes me different from other artist. just be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
Name 5 songs that describe your art?
Word, thats a good one! wow let me think for a second….
Labor- Aesop Rock
We Dont Need Education- Pink Floyd
Secrets From The Future- MC Frontalot (that real nerd-core HIP-HOP)
You Know My Steez- GangStar
Working 9 to 5- Dolly Parton!
and yes i said Dolly Parton that track is all about the grinding.
If fat means greasie what does skinny mean?
Tough! i guess…? man i might think outside the box,but even that question got me wondering on some “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around does it make a sound.” that one just hit me like a brick to my face!
Where do you see your art taking you?
From L.A to the Bay, from Japan to Paris, from the N.Y back the the I.E! But its more about the getting my art up and the people i meet than the spots ive been or have yet to go. but dont get it twisted when i get to those spots I’ll send you a postcard.(laughter)
When I say raw passion, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Listening to what your soul tells you to do. its a strong and barely controllable emotion why fight it.