Javier Jimenez presents “Different Sh*t Different Day”

Artist Javier Jimenez, based in Rockford, Illinois, is having his screen print art featured in the Safety-Kleen Gallery in Building H of Elgin Community College.

Made with three different screens and two different colors, none of the screen prints are alike. They differ in placement, and dot size. Sometimes when printing overlaps the previous layer, in this case red and blue, it creates purple dots.

Later in his high school education, Jimenez took creative and performing art classes, but he said that he had a higher interest in starting a commercial printing business with some friends and family members. 

“We printed t-shirts and like plastic shopping bags essentially,” Jimenez said. “And just by seeing the process, I was thinking this is something I can do.”

Jimenez’s medium was inspired by a friend and the ability to have creative freedom.

“A friend of mine worked at a print shop, and he was printing his own shirts on the side and hustling those off,” Jimenez said. “That’s kinda what got me excited about it, so I was like, ‘You can put anything on at t-shirt?’ So, I think that’s kind of how it first started, was just doing whatever I wanted with shirts.” 

After years of commercial printing and the day-to-day tasks, Jimenez wanted to express a different reality, which is where the inspiration for the screen prints came from. 

“I guess where I work it’s often heard… it’s a monotonous activity you know, showing up to the same place, doing the same thing,” Jimenez said. “But I always felt a little different where like you just gotta appreciate every day. Take it for what it is. Make something new. Seize the opportunity of the day.” 

When making an art piece, there is a lot of work involved and a lot of emotion that can come out from the process. 

“When I’m making it there’s all kinds of emotions and then whatever gets captured,” Jimenez said. “I guess, too, with my work it’s up to whatever emotions it draws out of the viewer,” Jimenez said.  “What I put into it could be different than… what someone else may get out of it.”

Jimenez gains inspiration from other forms of art, artists and sights around him.

“I like going to museums and looking at art wherever, like the walls in the galleries and out in the street,” Jimenez said. “I think that is what inspires me most. Or just people in general good music, you know, just a general idea of just creative people. I like listening to podcasts. Listening about different artists whether it is music, visual art, performing art. I like hearing stories of others and how they create.”

Jimenez has been creating art in a multitude of ways to change the routine and to explore more ways to express his art. 

“Mostly screen printing in different ways and different things,” Jimenez said. “Just exploring different kinds of work, more or less. Everything I’ve put out doesn’t look like what was presented at the show. Just exploring different mediums and different imagery and different patterns.”

After the “Different Sh*t, Different Day” exhibit,  Jimenez is adding onto the same process. He wants to add another color to the mix and see where he can branch out from there. Jimenez is a member of the print collective, Fatherless, where they collaborate on prints and mural installations. They have a showing in Alexandria, Virginia at the end of May and are excited about their next mural project.

When asked about his goals and his plans for the future with the exhibit, Jimenez said, “My main goal every day is to make something. Just stay producing.”