A friend of mine told me about Jerry Beck and I could relate to his artwork immediately. Jerry works outside the mainstream with a no-bullshit mentality. He’s not about to swallow the lies we’re fed by Mother Culture and his approach to life is inspiring.
How would you describe what you do?
I’m an illustrator by trade. It’s a dream job, really. I work predominantly in black and white as a result of being color blind. In fact, I initially perceived it as a major set-back, but I turned it into my major strength. Lotta commitment to my craft is what allowed that to happen.
What is your preferred medium for creating art?
I’m old school for sure. The pencil, the brush, the pen, and some black drawing ink applied to a good quality bristol board or illustration board is all I really need.
Two deal with merchandise, but the other two are something else entirely. Can you explain your 4 brands?
I’ll assume the 4 Brands you’re thinking of our Iron Asylum, Pit Bull Loyal, American Nightmare Factory, and Natural Born Sinner. Iron Asylum is a Brand that started in the bodybuilding scene, but is ultimately going to be directed toward anyone who trains hard for anything. Pit Bull Loyal has a very deep meaning to me. It has very little to do with the actual Pit Bull breed and is much more about being loyal to yourself. I always identified my loyalty to myself as Pit Bull Loyal. It targets a more urban influence..street style apparel. American Nightmare Factory goes back to my roots as a comic book illustrator. Very dark, intense images. Fun stuff with nothing to profound behind them. Just really fun stuff from the dark recesses of my mind. Natural Born Sinner is simply my answer to so many of the false claims that society and religion have bludgeoned us with, along with some serious sarcasm, and a little dirtiness thrown in.
What inspires you?
Waking up with a pulse. My daughter saying I love you, Dad. The opportunity to make someone feel like they’re not alone. Connecting with those types of souls that often struggle to be connected with. Art effects people. Art moves people. If you can effect people in a positive way why wouldn’t you? I feel its your right as a human being to do just that if you have that ability.
How often do your kids beat up the other kids in the neighborhood?
I’d hope NEVER! Unless provoked. Then, kids…handle your business! But seriously, my son is 18 and he’s a very nice, mellow kid. Reminds me a lot of myself, really. My daughters are 9 and 6 and in my opinion are as sweet as can be. I will say this though….If my kids were the bullying types? They’d get their asses kicked by me. I don’t tolerate that shit.
How did you get to this point in your life, what’s your back story?
Lots of living. My Pops was never really around, so I had to kinda guide myself through many of life’s lessons. A simple process, really. Stumble, fall…Get back up again and again. That’s how life is when you really break it all down. A series of events that we simply learn from. There’s really no wrong way to live. You simply start at point A and hope to become a better person as you move along from B to C to D to so on and so on.
Questioning everything, especially authority, goes back to the origins of our country. What form does this take today?
For me it’s been a part of my mentality for as long as I can remember. You’re presented with one side of a story. In school, in the news, in damn near everything that our government gets their hands on. So for me it was always more about searching for the other side of the story. Which often had more truth attached to it. Our government is our enemy. People just don’t see it because they bought into it in grade school and never questioned it. They just took what they were given, absorbed it as truth, and moved along. Rats in a maze. Sheep in the herd. Scary as hell.
What’s next for Jerry Beck?
Well, my new website is about to launch, http://www.jbeckunited.com. It will feature the 4 brands we spoke about earlier. Apparel lines, singular and unique designs. I also wanna focus much of my attention on my kids, especially my youngest who is Autistic. Motivating and inspiring people with my artwork is certainly at the top of my list as well. That’s the game plan for the most part.
Born and raised. And my youngest is here, so I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.