Meet Atlanta's creative renaissance man of the hour: Jason Travis, or as his friends and fans refer to himJ. Trav. He's a designer by day, and a camera-wielding, band-playing, art-curating superhero during all other hours. But just like any creative Superman character, he has his weakness: major allergies. Luckily, it turns out he isn't allergic to our Scout, or to awesomeness in general, which is why we have this interview here. Check it out:
SCOUT: Howdy sir, tell us how people might know you?
JASON: They might know me from my Persona photography series, or from my band Sealions. They might also know me from my design, my wedding photography or from various art shows I curated, attended, or was part of. They might know me from Purge ATL, which I helped found and contribute to, or they might know me from drinking espresso at Aurora. I'm a man about town, so anything is possible.
SCOUT: And do you have some kind of Clark Kent day job?
JASON: I'm currently a freelance designer at Armchair Media. I have a bunch of wedding and editorial photography lined up, as well as some freelance design on the side.
SCOUT: Opinion time… who are some local projects or groups that inspire you?
JASON: I'm inspired by a lot of Atlanta's art and music movements. I love events that mix a lot of different cultures together. We try to do that with Purge events, and the Purge site. Focus on what we love, and bring that to people who haven't experienced it. I love all the new street food popping up too. People bringing people together.
SCOUT: I also think the direction Atlanta is going is so exciting. You play music and you show your art? What are favorite venues for the two?
JASON: For music- my absolute favorite is 529 in East Atlanta. My heart also belongs to The Earl, and Highland Ballroom. I always have a great time at these venues, and when Sealions play they always treat us well.
And for galleries-- I love Mint, love Beep Beep, and Youngblood.
SCOUT: Work aside, where do you play?
JASON: My neighborhood bar is 97 Estoria, so I end up there a bunch, but I never feel out of place at The Righeous Room, Carroll Street Cafe, Brick Store, Leon’s.
SCOUT: Where and how do you come up with all this creative energy?
JASON: I draw inspiration from a lot of different sources. They mainly come from experiences more than locations, so I seek out spontaneity for inspiration. And occasionally I like to go to the top of the Westin and look at the city lights at night.
SCOUT: And your favorite “curious find” in Atlanta?
JASON: That's something I tend to think about when a friend pays a visit to Atlanta. I try to show them the wonderfully fun tourist attractions (Coca Cola Museum, Stone Mountain Laser Show) as well as the stuff they wouldn't know about. Can't go wrong with Karaoke on Buford Highway, or sharing a scorpion bowl at Trader Vic's. Taking a stroll around The Goat Farm. Grabbing some brunch at Gato Bizco, or Java Jive. Last year I actually took a friend to the Coke Museum and Clermont Lounge on the same day. That's ATL, baby.
SCOUT: ATL holding it down. Who are some other local Atlantans that inspires you or your work?
JASON:There's so many wonderful talents here in Atlanta within the music, art, design world and beyond! I'm inspired by everyone at Armchair Media, Russ Abbott at Ink and Dagger Tattoo, The Coathangers, artist Kombo Chapfika,
King of Pops, Steven Carse, everyone at MINT Gallery, artist Ashley Anderson, artist Lindsey Elcessor, The Plastic Aztecs, photographer and filmmaker Karla Jean Davis, Design brothers Keith & Mark Weaver, artist Tyson McAdoo, photographer Tim Song, artist Chris Chambers, Cartoonist Brett W. Thompson, Our Labor of Love, and the talented Designer/Model/Muse Julia Badovinac.
SCOUT: Well, thanks for that who’s who of ATL. Let’s just be random for a moment: tell me something people wouldn’t know or expect about you?
JASON: Remember that boy in your 3rd grade class that was allergic to everything? That's me! I'm allergic to EVERYTHING. It does seem to be getting better as I get older though, thank goodness.
SCOUT: Well, all those "bless yous" seemed to have worked! Finally, throw out a shameless plug of where people can see even more of your work.
JASON: You can catch my ongoing Persona series on the net or hanging at Puritan Mill through the end of February. You may also pick up a copy of The Atlantan every month which features them. Lastly, you can purchase Personified from the blurb website.
Purge ATL, has 3 events coming up. This month there's A Really Good Stand Up Comedy Show at Highland Ballroom, It's Not Me, It's You: Break Up Readings at the Wren’s Nest, and next month we have a show at 529 featuring The Barreracudas and GG King.
Sealions are playing at SXSW in Austin, and will return for some Atlanta dates in April.
And if I don't see you at one of those, I'll see you Estoria.