Spend a day with artist Jason Woodside and you'll leave grinning from ear to ear. From hanging out in his color-saturated studio, to getting a caffeine fix at his new coffee shop Happy Bones, to having a cheeky glass of wine with lunch at Buvette on a Monday afternoon, the Florida-born, New York-based painter oozes good vibes. This month, Woodside collaborates with adidas on a hyper-color pop-up shop at Urban Outfitters' new Space Ninety 8 concept store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Here, we get a glimpse into his world, where life, it seems, really does imitate art.
"I wore Sambas for days growing up. adidas is such an amazing company to team up with and everyone there is super-supportive. I've been silk-screening T-shirts since I was 12, selling them at school to my friends and then cutting them up and putting them back together. It actually translates a lot into my work that I'm creating now. I feel like my art speaks to [adidas'] direction and energy. It's a great match up!"
"Growing up in Florida totally influenced my work. There's a culture there that's very colorful. I did some time studying in Miami with Romero Britto and he taught me a huge amount of stuff and, actually, how high you could go—we were painting on Bentleys and shit, it was crazy! That in general just beats any sort of schooling. I was down there for about six months to a year, and we were talking about what direction I was going and bouncing off ideas. It was amazing working with such an established artist at such a young age, and so commercial. That stuck with me quite a bit: To raise the bar with where I was going."
"To be honest, I don't really think about mapping anything out; I don't produce anything on a computer before I do it. I just get in there and chalk it out. If I think too much about it, I psych myself out and it comes out very contrived. I have a basic idea, but I don't know until I get into the space and do it."
"I'm always listening to music when I'm painting. I'm generally keen on some older psyched tunes. I pull some solid inspiration from bands like The Seeds or Neil Young. If I listen to some newer stuff… I'm a big fan of The Growlers, Night Beats and The Black Lips."
"Optimism is a huge word for me—just being positive and optimistic. My work stokes kids out! I just painted a carwash in Florida and all of my homies brought their kids. I want to do hospitals and stuff. So it's not really street art—that side of things doesn't get me going. It's about making people happy. I think that's way cooler."
"We opened Happy Bones about three months ago. We had a coffee pop-up shop on Bond and Lafayette in the back of a sunglasses store. This building was like a big walk-in refrigerator; they leased it to us without knowing how deep or how high it went past the refrigerator! We get a huge amount of creative people in here—a lot of photographers, a lot of painters and writers, which is so cool. It's a place to meet people and have meetings. There are three business partners [in Happy Bones] and we're all quite creative in our own zones. It's something we're all super-passionate about: We plan to open three more locations in the next year."
"I just like coffee. I thought there was a market for that sort of Australasian coffee culture that wasn't super present in New York. Attention to detail is key. Coffee's coffee, but it's the milk thing that's very specific. And then working with farmers as local as you can get is really important. It's all about the elements: If you're going to use sugar use this sugar, if you're going to use milk use this milk."
"Buvette's a beautiful place and the food is super-consistent. I'm drawn to places and people that have passion in what they're producing, and in a place like that, it shows they care and they know what they're doing. I like the smaller plates based on regional flavors. I like eating healthy! It's hard to think straight let alone be creative if you eat garbage. Eating local is best if you have the access."