Curiosity inspires us! – Jacqueline Kumer

by Madalina Dragos

The original language of this article is English. If you read it in another language, it means it is an automatic translation.

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Whenever I have the opportunity to talk to young people, I am always pleasantly surprised by how deep, and beautiful their thoughts can be on the topics discussed, as in the case of Jaqueline.

Jacqueline Kumer is a young artist who overflows with creativity, fantasy and imagination.
Jacqueline Kumer

“My drawings explore themes of surrealism, dreams, imagination, and duality in our world. I find inspirations in birds, patterns and designs from nature, and daily reflections from our ever-changing world. “ – Jaqueline Kumer

Q: What is your life’s big question?
A: I don’t have one specific big life question that comes to mind but the many that accumulates along the way. Philosophical questions are a big part that guides my inspiration in drawing. Curiosity inspires us, and I think having more questions than answers in life will guide us forward.

Q: If you could travel in time, would you go to the past or future, and why?
A: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called present.”

Q: When do you feel most connected with the Universe?
A: I feel most connected with the universe when I meditate, because that’s when I get to tune in and go beyond my physical space. When I close my eyes and sit still, I switch off my imagination and learn to seek comfort in being in presence with the unknown. The darkness and nothingness solidify my senses in the moment, as if I am drifting in between time and space. And I think that is the closest feeling I have had in connecting with our universe.

Q: If animals could talk for a day, to what animal would like to talk to(one in particular or one that represents the whole species)?
A: I will love to communicate with a blue whale, as one of the animals that have similar life span as human and have existed for more than 1 million year, I think they have been one of the oldest witness of earth’s long evolution.

Q: What color do you like?
A: I am very drawn to teal. I also love color combinations, especially the sunset hues of warm yellow and red with a touch of purple, blues and greens.

Q: Do you have a favorite number and why!?
A: 5 is my life path number in numerology, but also my favorite because it is no more or no less.

Q: If you can write a 5 word note to a 10yrs-old person-what would it be?
A: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
It is a reminder I carve deeply in my heart for the way to live.

Q: Do you like math?
A: I am not really good at mathematics or solving equations, but the more I grow older the more I admire the patterns and design in nature. Just like many designs we see in life, the designs of plants in nature are also precisely calculated. Such as the Fibonacci numbers from the chambered nautilus shell, the fractal branching from trees or micro level to our blood vessels. The patterns of nature are a significant factor to understand creation and life.

Q: Which artist has influenced you the most in your art?
A: Hieronymous Bosch and Ernst Hackel.

Q: Do you think that artists create from their own suffering?
A: All arts reflect artists’ state of mind and their processes of reflections.
Not all creative processes start from a mind of suffering.

Q: I could say that your compositions travel through: illustration, surrealism and abstract. Which style do you think best represents you?
A: I don’t think of the themes or methods as styles that represent me. Many times they are created from imagination and a mix of lingering thoughts or things I am drawn to from my head. Oftentimes the mix of these fragmented and detailed imagery appear to be linked with themes of surrealism and dream. I’d like to think of my works as ways to document my perceptions and to connect deeper with my consciousness.

Q: How much time do you spend to complete a composition?
A: I like to draw intuitively. Most of the time I choose to just go with the flow. Some drawings can take days or weeks from long pauses in between, and some can be as short as an hour. It really depends on the complexity and specificity of the picture I want to draw or paint, more time is used when there are specific references.

Q: Your compositions look like they are taken from a dream, how do you relate them to the existential reality from your point of view?
A: Most dreams are based on existing elements in the world. And when we dream we often cannot distinguish the two because they are based on familiar people and places. I often view my dreams as reminders or messages from the other world within. They are often strange but inspiring, and I draw many inspirations from them.

Q: You create a world in another world that is in another world and so on, do you believe in parallel worlds?
A: I believe every single action we take is connected to the consequences in our world. I often have those ‘what if’ moments by imagining the different choices of actions in various scenarios. I’d like to think there is another universe out there within our multiverse that has similar intelligent-minded beings that are wondering the same question.

Q: I saw that you are passionate about duality. What do you think about the art-artist connection that is intrinsic or is it dependent and / or activated by random factors?
A: I think all art is somewhat a reflection of our intrinsic values and inspired from random factors. The choice of color, theme, texture, or story are decisions from our perception. For me personally, I find my intuitive works speak more in depth to me of who I am as a person. Such as the things we are obsessed, inspired, curious of, etc. can be all reflected from the things we draw. We observe the world and take in information to process, and random factors can come into play when there are unexpected occurrences. Those surprising moments usually leave strong impressions and thus can take play as an element or theme in the creative process.

Q: How do you see art in the future and its impact on people?
A: I think my art will continue to exist as an impression of a world of imagination and visual storytelling. The varieties of work can be a mix of humor, dream, melancholy, and hope. In the future, I hope to organize these visual dialogues and psychoanalysis into an art book where they can exist as a physical connection that is more tangible and accessible for my audience.

Jacqueline is originally from Hong Kong, and a recent graduate from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)’s Illustration Practice program. She has done editorial illustrations for books, analogue games, posters, and album covers.
Album covers:
Nebula Mixtape Vol.1 Singer: JoZ张哲瑜; 2020-12-31; 11 songs
New Music with Brahms Guitar, Vol. 1 Joseph Ehrenpreis;2020;16 songs, 39 min 36 sec
Pretty ;Elephant Ornament; 2018; 10 songs, 20 min 7 sec
She is currently working on her first artist book which includes a body of new works.

Jacqueline’s works have been published in the BAV’s art book.

Limitless Nature 2021 edition – Free e-Books

Visual analysis by Madalina Dragos:

Jacqueline’s works consist of characters and other personified compositional elements (humans-birds, birds-human, flying books, flying fish, fantastic beings, etc.), connecting realistic world and the imaginary world through subconscious perceptions.

Jacqueline structures her compositions in different registers where the compositional elements are arranged to achieve different perspectives. The linear rhythm is found in all her compositions, using lines as a mean of plastic expression to build textures and structures that are soft, playful, delicate, and supple. The centers of the compositions are achieved by contrasting colors, shapes, and insistence on details. Colors are most often placed in flat spots, enhanced with delicate dots or lines with soft shades and tones. The volume of gradual achromatic transitions from dark to light is achieved by different thicknesses and directions in a delicate manner, thus leading the imagery to a harmonization in a mysterious atmosphere.

The combinational approach in her images often give the impression of elements being metamorphosize from one register to another to suggest the new reality within the existing world. Using a linear accord, she creates a meditative state to provoke viewer’s imagination. Even when the atmosphere seems serene and clear with familiar touch of nature, the juxtaposition of elements is recognized as a contribution to a duality world in a fantasia setting.

Jacqueline’s works transfigure inspiration from the surrounding reality and the subconscious world to open windows to the mystery of the human soul.
She is an open-eyed dreamer through elemental composition and associations of ideas, and her work is an attempt to visualize and understand the process of the human psyche.

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