“It’s hard for me to show myself as I am, and I’m learning,” says Angie Jerez, who moved to Atlanta eight years ago from Bogotá, Colombia. Moving across the Americas was a leap of faith — Jerez didn’t know English and wanted to change careers, from graphic design to illustration and painting.
She worked as a graphic designer for more than 12 years and grew tired of computers. “I wasn’t having fun with it,” she says. “I started drawing and wanted to challenge myself. I started looking for opportunities to show off my illustrations and paintings.” The transition — not to mention the initial language barrier — was tough, but she enjoys a challenge. Jerez asked around for opportunities, attended art shows and started to become familiar with her new city.
She’s now been a full-time artist for about two years and feels like she’s getting the hang of things. She’s taken the plunge into social media (follow her on Instagram @_angiejere) and is learning to show her work in a more interactive way.
“I like to work with details, specifically line detail — incorporating delicate lines and textures in my illustration work,” she says. Her paintings and murals take on a softer palette, often incorporating nature and pastel colors. She enjoys using a range of artistic elements, whether bold or organic, and her work is always recognizable by its attention to detail.
Trees, flora and fauna. Her murals often provide a sense of the planet Earth reclaiming its land. “I really like adding organic shapes to everything,” Jerez says. “It is something that naturally occurs in all my work. I take a lot of references from nature — flowers, animals, dirt — adding organic light in abstract ways.” When Jerez first began making art, she practiced drawing everyday objects like books, lamps and cups.
But like a child who scribbles subconsciously in the corner of a page, she began adding naturistic pops to regular objects. “When you have a solid object I feel like you can add organic shapes, and it totally changes the meaning. Sometimes there’s no deep concept behind what I do, sometimes they reflect memories and random silly ideas.”
ON ARIZONA AVENUE:
Jerez recently finished a mural at the Lake Claire Cohousing Community (265 Arizona Ave. N.E.), near Candler Park. The 12 townhomes there were intentionally designed to encourage shared experiences. It was the first cohousing community built in Georgia and one of the first in the Southeast.
“I love this kind of community-based project because while you do have to support yourself financially through art, I enjoyed that the client wasn’t a huge brand,” Jerez says. The wall isn’t in a high-traffic area. Lake Claire wanted something unique for its residents.
IN THE WORKS:
Jerez is working on her first mandala mural (its location will be disclosed after it’s finished). “I’m always looking to paint more murals, whether it be a high-traffic area or a vacant wall donated to me,” she says. She’s participated in Cabbagetown’s Forward Warrior (2018 and 2019), the OuterSpace Project in Buckhead (2019), Marietta Art Walk (2019), Artoberfest at MET Atlanta (2018), StacksSquares (2018) and more. You can see more of her work at angiejerez.net.
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ArtsATL’s street art column appears every other Thursday and is done largely in collaboration with Art Rudick and his Atlanta Street Art Map. We’d love to hear from you. See something you like? Something we should know about? Have an opinion or suggestion? Please email email@example.com.