Interview: Jason Fort

Jason Fort

Name: Jason Fort

Where do you live: Bat Cave, North Carolina USA

Known for:
Designing all sorts of things, artistic drawings and building structures

Currently working on:
A wide range of concepts and inventions from hydrogen blimps to door handles, building the Cube Cabin and large scale vector drawings. I have a particular fascination with drawing giant spirals with thousands of layers.

When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area?
As long as I can remember, I have been inspired to create. I believe my root inspiration came from an early fascination with nature.

If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
Right where I am. On top of a mountain in the middle of a forest with clear water streams and waterfalls. I love nature and the changing of the seasons is amazing.

How would you describe your creativity?
Spontaneous ideas that evolve over long periods of time.

How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
Around the age of 18, I started building furniture and sculptures from random objects, concrete blocks, car doors, discarded TV’s etc.. I also was working full time for a company fiberglassing surfboards and began to incorporate fiberglass into my sculptures. I soon moved from Florida to NYC and amazingly found a gallery to represent my work.

What do you do at the moment?
I do a good amount of freelance graphic design work for various clients as well as pursue my own designs and artistic drawings. i am also finishing up details on my most recent house design.

A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
You have to be very adaptable and patient. It is rare that the opportunities that present themselves are in alignment with your underlying hopes.

Tell us how it all started.
It started for me by being immersed in nature as a child. A green tree frog would captivate me for hours. The brilliance of the creation. The color, the eyes, the feet, every aspect was simply amazing and magical.

What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
The most important tool would be my computer but my sketchbook is where most creations start. There are no rules or restrictions in my sketchbooks. No true front or back or up or down and every available space is usually filled before I start a new book.

What is your favorite film?
Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil”.

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
Nikola Tesla would be the ultimate dinner guest.

How do you like to spoil yourself?
Drawing for myself.

What is luxury for you?
Having the time and place to grow medicinal mushrooms. Twice a year I cut down a tree, inoculate the logs with different varieties of mycelium, and wait. I hang most of the logs from branches arching over the creek to maintain a steady moisture.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
Every compliment is truly wonderful.

What do you fear most?
One recurring fear is blind curves and the car in the middle of the road coming right at me while driving in the mountains. The center line seems to only be a suggestion here.

What is a happy life to you?
Continuing to create and pursue new projects and opportunities, meeting new people to collaborate with and growing mushrooms.

What does a regular day look like for you?
It really changes by the project and by the season. In the fall I spend a lot of free time cutting and splitting firewood. The winter means tending the woodstove to keep the house/office warm. In the spring, the garden starts and I spend time inoculating logs with mushroom spawn. My projects can range from graphic design for clothing to working on a hydrofoil sailboat.

Tell us about your dream project.
An ongoing collaboration with thoughtful, creative and motivated individuals, which seems ironic living on top of a mountain.

Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
There are many. One person I have always admired is Burt Rutan. He has designed many amazing aircraft and spacecraft. Several years ago at a museum fundraiser I was engaged in a conversation when a fellow walked up and joined in. To my amazement it was Burt. He is a brilliant nice guy and it was an honor to meet him.

How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
My work style is fairly eclectic while my fashion style has basically been the same outfit for the last 25+ years.

Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
Nature.

What inspires you?
Nature.

A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
All the writings of Richard Brautigan.

Connect with Jason via LinkedIn
Check out his awesome website

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