“I believe my work is my ministry.”
Jemal Hayes was born in Vero Beach FL. He attended VBHS, then IRSC for graphic
As a child he would receive post cards and letters from his dad, who spent much of his childhood in prison. The cards would have these amazing colorful artworks. He was in awe and he would draw and sketch on the letters that he sent back to him. During high school, poetry and drawing became Jemal’s first venture into Entrepreneurship. He wrote poetry and sketched drawings for guys to give to their girlfriends.
After working various jobs he discovered his love for photography when he was creating
graphics for various clients and realized that a lot of clients did not have any good portraits
of themselves. This was either because of lack of funds or realizing the importance of having
your portrait taken.
He started “Mr. J’s Video Productions” in 2002 capturing video footage for friends and family
and quickly progressed to still photography. The business name has since transformed
to “Mr. J’s Media Productions”. He has been in business now for over 14 yrs, primarily
focussed on photography, creating moving art, but he continues to do video production
and graphic design. In addition he transfers old film, video, and photography to digital media.
Jemal married his high school sweetheart Simmone, they have 5 children and have been
married for 24 yrs and now live in Sebastian Fl.
“I believe my work is my ministry,” Jemal said. “I have to have some kind of relationship with the subject, feel some kind of emotional tug at my heart or mind, so that I can share what I see.”
His style, though often recognizable, changes to suit the subject or issue he hopes to portray. Using bright colors against skin tones, he engages the feeling of awe-inspiring stories on canvas. among a figures of African women dancing or working in step with each other.“Seeing abstract elements in figurative subjects and the space between things flow and move, inspire him to paint a variety of media. It often starts with a charcoal drawing which is worked over with gesso, paint, plaster and sometimes crayon or pastel- creating different textures and layers. More recently he has taken inspiration from some classical pieces which offer a rich source of ideas, particularly regarding textures, colors and movement.”
When people view my art I want them to be drawn in and their curiosities piqued. I want them to take their own journey, ask their own questions and most of all, form their own conclusions. I want them to meander through the painting and ponder what the thought process must have been like when this painting was taking on life. When I paint I allow my subconscious to take over which allows total self-expression and freedom. I don’t hesitate to try things that simply “break the rules”. I play, explore, try, imagine, and most importantly, have fun!