Jones Segarra has a double presence on Green Box Art + Culture. She’s one half of Jones & Eggy, a mother-daughter artistic duo (her mother, Evelyn Strogis, is the other half). In addition to the sports mosaics Jones & Eggy create, Jones (Joni Segarra) also has a solo presence on the site. We spoke to her recently about her artistic endeavors, both solo and as half of a collaborative pair.
Oopsy daisy: How long have you been creating art with your mom?
Jones Segarra: We don’t do it any more, unfortunately. She’s in Florida and I’m in Georgia. We collaborated while she was staying with me for an extended time. I hope to get back to it, though.
OD: What is the process of two artists working together on a project?
JS: I am better at the physical part and she’s got a better eye for things. I came up with the concepts and basic shapes, she came up with the colors and the papers. We’d work on it together and then she’d be the one to tweak and critique. Just like a regular relationship between a mom and daughter! But it was good way to bond with my mother, so I hope we’ll get a chance to do it again.
OD: So the Jones & Eggy projects were paper mosaic. What is the medium for your solo work?
JS: Most of it is acrylic paint.
OD: Do you have formal training in painting?
JS: Actually, I am self-taught.
OD: Really! Do you think some of that skill comes from growing up with an artistic mom?
JS: Actually, I think it came more from my father. He was an engineer, but he’s really creative and used to draw all the time—obnoxious, funny cartoons.
OD: Did you do the same as a child?
JS: I would always doodle—when I was talking on the phone I’d doodle on anything, I’d doodle on bills and things and my parents would get so annoyed! I loved art growing up, but I played so many sports, so that was my thing. I had practice or a game pretty much every day from about age five until I had an injury in college.
OD: So that explains why so many of your paintings have a sports theme.
JS: I never thought of that before. On my own I paint a lot that has to do with sports, and as the mother of three young sons, it’s what I’ve been exposed to with the boys. Sports are such a big deal with them. I used to do a lot of murals, a ton for boys’ rooms, and that’s how I really started this whole thing.
OD: Tell us more about that. How did you get into murals?
JS: It started with my laundry room. I painted a mural in my laundry room. Neighbors started asking me to do murals in their kids’ rooms, and it made me feel like a human, not just a mom. If someone asked me to do a mural, I’d reduce the price if my kids could come play with their kids. It was win-win—my kids got to play with new kids, the customers got money off the mural, and I got to do what I loved. Then I decided to start painting on canvases and started selling those.
OD: When did you get involved with Oopsy daisy?
JS: I was working with a company that had a catalog and hand-painting all the orders. Instead of doing a piece of art I loved it turned into doing the same piece over and over and it felt more like business than creativity. Oopsy daisy is absolutely the perfect thing for me. I can be creative when I want to be and I can do things that Oopsy daisy asks me for. The sports lockers, for example. I created a couple of those, I think football and basketball, and then I was asked to make more with different sports for the site. It’s the ideal combination of art and business.
OD: So that’s how the lockers came about. What about the tattoo art?
JS: I have a tiny rose tattoo on my ankle. I got it when I was 17. I remember thinking, I know I want something very cool, and I also knew I was going to have it when I was 80. And in the end, I opted for something that was kinda lame! Now that I am older I would have gone for something a whole lot cooler. I love tattoo art. I would probably have a lot more if I didn’t live in such a conservative area.
OD: If you got a tattoo now, what would you get?
JS: That’s a tough one. I haven’t thought about that in a long time. I don’t know what it would be of, but I love the juxtaposed tattoos—a bunch of different pictures that turn into each other, like koi and water and flowers. If it was up to me, I’d get it on the side of my lower leg or my forearm. My kids would be highly embarrassed by that! But it would be some place very obvious and artsy. And I wouldn’t get the 19-year-old boy who did the first one to do it this time.
OD: Speaking of your sons, are they artistic too?
JS: The oldest boy, who’s eleven, is crazy creative as far as how he thinks. He is extremely funny. He makes movies, and his creativity comes out in movies.
OD: In your mural days, you brought your kids to work with you. Do you work from home now?
JS: Yes, I work out of my house in my office/studio/throw-everything-in-that-room-when-the-doorbell-rings-to-make-everything-appear-a-lot-cleaner.
OD: So you’re a full-time artist and a full-time mom.
JS: Yes. Or half-time of each, most days.