Spotlight On! Jeremy Husserl

Jeremy Husserl is an English major with a writing minor at Portland State University. Originally from Chicago, Jeremy moved to the City of Roses to study the nuances of literature and enrich his understanding of creative media. When he isn’t writing articles about the latest blockbuster’s impact on today’s pop culture, he’s curating art shows and preparing to graduate with his Bachelors next Spring.

Q: How would you describe your identity? How would you say these identities show up in your work?

A: I’m multiracial so I really identify with the black experience, but I also am Jewish and Native American. I’d say I also identify with those cultures quite a bit, and that it is present in my work. I’m from Chicago, so crime is a big part of the city. That obviously effects the black community quite a bit. You have a situation there where the police discriminate against people that just need to survive somehow, but they are just not getting anything because of a lack of social programs or representation. I try to get these themes to reflect in my work.


Q: What inspires you to create?

A: The people around me really do. Meeting different types of people from all walks of life really helps with character work. Being multicultural gives me more experience to draw from. I watch a lot of films and listen to a lot of new music, so it’s creative sort of stuff like that that helps me with my own projects. 


Q: What does your process look like when you are taking the seed of an idea and turning it into a finished product?

A: It’s kind of strange. I keep something I’m reading in mind and turn on a movie that I kind of know well. I turn the sound off and just play some music so that I can get all kinds of ideas coming to me at once.

Q: What is your relationship with failure in regards to your art?

A: Oh it’s completely necessary. How else are you going to learn from your mistakes? Failure is just a part of being an artist. 

Q: How do you think your art communicates with you? How do you think it communicates with an audience? Is this communication important to the process of your art?

A: It’s sort of therapeutic in a way. I get the chance to discuss issues that are bothering me –rather those are things about myself or something going on in the world that I’d like to comment on. I hope that in the future that people will be able to connect with my work in some shape or form, and start to ask those big questions about our government and how we treat other people. I think my art wouldn’t be about anything if the communication wasn’t a part of it. It would be hollow in a way.

Q: What is your next project?

A: I’m working on a graphic novel currently. It’s basically about my view on the war on drugs and identity, or lack thereof, and getting over past traumas.


Q: As an artist, how would you define this phase of your life?

A: Well I think this is the phase where I start getting my ideas that will really kind of stick later in my career. I think the best ideas come when you are at this age. I mean look at different musical artist like Nas who came out with Illmatic at just 19. I feel as if this is really the ideal phase.

Q: What makes you happy?

A: Creating really makes me happy, but that might be too much of a generic answer. A lot of people probably say that… so I suppose what makes me happy is just working hard and getting to hang out with all kinds of people. My mind is constantly open to different viewpoints and I think that is really important and necessary for the human experience.

Jeremy is a journalist for Cosmic 211, which is a consulting firm and art space geared towards highlighting the voices of local artists. You can check out his latest articles by clicking HERE. Follow Jeremy on his personal Instagram @cosmic_jeremy97.