Artistically Speaking: Jules Sease
Why did this artist go from sewing quilts to designing a complete fashion line? The ‘devil’ made him do it.
The Shield: How did you get into fashion?
Jules Sease: I was sewing quilts [for] quite a while there. How I got into fashion was that I saw the prompt for the fashion show, and I saw that one of the prompts has like the devil figure, and that really interested me, so I was like “I’m going to do this!” and that’s how I got into it, because I had no prior experience to it.
TS: Where did you get the inspiration for your fashion collection?
JS: The devil figure. I really am interested in the figure of the devil just in art in general, and then from the devil figure I drew from ideas of arcs of the devil figure in media like the devil child, the devil lady, because she’s a seductress, the exorcism, demonizing others for what you see in yourself and the classic devil look, with the fire and stuff.”
TS: What designers have influenced you?
JS: I’m a painter; that’s my first thing that I do. Traditionally, that has carried over influence what has been [in my fashion work]… like [Jean-Michel] Basquiat.
TS: How did you create the pieces in your collection?
JS: I sewed every one of them. For four months, I sewed.
TS: What is your favorite memory from the fashion show?
JS: The gratification of [my designs] all fitting and the fact that they looked good. I was really happy with the outcome of it.
TS: What art classes are you in?
JS: I’m in Sculpture II, Ceramics AP and Painting III.
TS: Are you in the Fine Arts Academy?
JS: I’m not, because I failed Spanish in eighth grade.
TS: What is your favorite art piece that you have created so far?
JS: I really like my recent one I did. I’m trans, and I’m on hormone replacement therapy for testosterone, and I used the shots that I used every week, three months worth of them, to create a religious self portrait.
TS: What types of art do you sell/create?
JS: I sell little small clothing and fabric items, and I sell portraits and commissions. … I do mainly portraits; that is my thing, and I’ve done a lot of dog art.
TS: How are you selling your art?
JS: All through Instagram.
TS: What artists have influenced you in your art?
JS: Basquiat, and a man named David Wojnarowicz. He was an artist who died in the ’90s of AIDS. He was really influential within that community.
TS: How did you learn to paint and do all these kinds of art?
JS: I have always been interested in art. When in ninth grade I started to go through some really rough mental-health issues, that translated over to doing art constantly as a coping mechanism. I went through 13 journals within eight months. That’s what made me start, really.
TS: What made you want to become an artist?
JS: I feel like art is a really powerful thing to share experiences with and reach people who might not typically see the experience that you share within art. Also, it’s just a communication within people of different human experiences and how we experience life in general.
TS: What type of art do you want to learn to create?
JS: I would like to do more fibers. I would like to do bigger pieces with fibers, like soft sculpture. Also, paper-making; I really want to learn how to make paper.
TS: What are your plans for the future?
JS: I’m trying to go to art school, if they give me enough money.
TS: Do you have any particular ones in mind?
JS: Yeah, MICA [Maryland Institute College of Art,] which is up in Baltimore, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Those are the main two right now.
— interview by Olivia Watts