Tell us who you are and what you do!
I’m Joshua “Jay” Coachman and I am a Conscious Expressionist. A Conscious Expressionist to me is the modern-day renaissance man. I create in various ways such as painting, drawing, fashion design, poetry, rapping/singing, music production, photography, videography and tattooing.
I was born in North Carolina. For the first part of my childhood I grew up in Hillsborough. At the age of eleven I moved to the small town of Oxford where I finished my upbringing. Art and sports were my primary interests in high school. Sports gave me the drive to accomplish whatever I put my mind to. It also gave me the discipline to stay focused. I took what I learned from sports and applied it to my passion for art and design. Soon after graduating from high school in 2013 I took summer courses at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. I also had the opportunity to be mentored by Reginald Baylor, an amazing acrylic painter based in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was 17 at the time and to see a professional artist of his caliber changed my perspective of being an artist. Not only was he an artist, he was a brilliant businessman. He organized multiple events to connect the city with the local artists and that showed me the power of collaboration. Now, he has an open studio which he invites clients and the public to interact and experience Reginald Baylor Studio for themselves.
In 2014, I had a summer exhibition and that’s when I met my second mentor, Fred Good. Fred is nationally recognized Watercolor Painter. Since the day we met he has helped me out tremendously with growing and nurturing not just my artistic skills but myself. He also assisted me with becoming the CEO of my own business in 2015. Fred and I collaborated in the fall of 2014. We had an exhibition entitled “A Broader Point of View” showcasing watercolor paintings, digital designs and poetry.
Currently, I attend East Carolina University as a senior, chasing my Bachelors in The Arts concentrating in printmaking. I also do freelance work specializing with portraits using colored pencil, digital illustrations, painting, and pen and ink. I’m also a musician, I go by the name “JXY TRUE”. I’m a rapper/singer, songwriter and producer. I recently drop a single called “Control” on Spotify, iTunes and all major digital platforms. I’m the CEO of the business I’ve established called Coachman Creations. My first product initiative was crewneck sweatshirts that incorporated a logo I created. I have recently expanded to creating Limited Edition XMTS Abstract Tees. “XMTS” stands for X Marks The Spot. I believe that everyone has Gold within them, they just have uncover it. I plan to keep expanding using my visual images and putting them on t-shirts, hoodies, and hats. Which I will produce and market to my peers on campus and the rest of the world.
What is the inspiration for your work?
My work is inspired by love, spirituality, consciousness, activism and the search for truth. I’m infatuated with the five subjects previously listed because that’s the key to human empowerment. Everything I create is to make someone’s life better. I love to create happiness for people. That’s why I’m an activist. I must make the world aware of problems we have so we can find solutions together.
Happiness, love and connection is what this world is lacking right now. Society is advancing in many ways technologically, but not spiritually or consciously. I truly believe the only way to progress humanity is through the collaboration of the arts. That is why I started my blog “Creative Culture”. Its combining the Arts with Activism. It’s a movement of spiritual intellect while one is on the path of enlightenment. It’s about becoming in tune with your inner spirit and expanding your conscious to become aware of the world we live in. It’s about expressing yourself creatively no matter what others say.
My movement symbolizes being free, having your own mindset, your own thoughts, and your own style. Its accepting your personal view of reality and understanding that it might be different than others but that’s okay. It’s having no fear to move forward in a peaceful and positive way. Creative Culture is about unifying different cultures, spreading love and good vibes. It’s more than just my creations, it’s a way of life.
What would you say to prevent an upcoming artist from making the same mistakes you have made?
Open your mind, follow your heart, and stay true to yourself. It’s okay to have doubts, just stay patient because patience is the key. You must stay patient with yourself to blossom into the person you want to become. Always believe in yourself and always love yourself. There are no limits to what your mind can do.
What obstacles have you faced as a Black Artist/Business Owner?
As a black man with dreadlocks and tattoos I have a “thuggish” look and people tend to judge me before even knowing what I’m capable of. Once I almost got arrested for painting in downtown Greenville in a public area. I was displaying my work with a fellow artist and we were peacefully minding our business and painting, but then a white lady who owned an art gallery was having an event, she said we couldn’t be out there and threatened that she would call the cops. We told her we weren’t bothering anyone and we continued to paint. She later returned with two officers and they threatened to arrest us if we didn’t leave.
Other than that incident, the only other obstacle is to find people who consistently support, invest, and believe in you. I had to start with supporting, investing and believing in myself before others finally came around.