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Believing in Your Work with Jaylen Pigford

Jaylen Pigford was born in 1996 and is an Afro-Latino painter born and raised in Corpus Christi and based in Houston, Texas. He’s a self-taught artist and has been creating artwork since childhood. His paintings are autobiographical reflections on past negative experiences and adversity to tell stories of self-growth through uplifting works on canvas. Jaylen sees his work as a balance of light and dark, the good with the bad. “We all struggle and our failures test us, but it's what action we take to correct them that matters most.”

“Like many before me, I use skulls in my work to represent mortality and that we are all human and equal. Similar to the Renaissance painter's fascination with Memento Mori. The skull is a symbolic reminder of death's inevitability and belief that earthly possessions and achievements are fleeting. I also draw inspiration from my heritage and the cultural tradition of Día De Los Muertos. In my paintings, I put a twist on the decorative calaveras, calacas (skulls, skeletons), and vibrant, bold, colorful motifs used to honor our ancestors. I feel that whether we accept it or not, death inspires everyone. Knowing that your time is limited encourages you to strive to reach your goals and live your best life.”

In this interview, Jaylen talks about how he developed a passion for art from a young age, how he’s been able to grow his career and how he’s been able to find inspiration in his struggles and life experiences.


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