Interview with Mars the Illustrator

Interview with Mars the Illustrator

It is no surprise we chased down Jayson Mars also known as Mars the Illustrator for an interview after we featured his work here on ADA. Mars work is ethereal taking you into new spaces of exploration. His surrealist characters are a blend of minimalist and intricate illustrations that are like no other.

My art is mostly influenced by emotions and dreams, a spontaneous burst of creativity spurred on by my most inner thoughts and momentary isolation.

You have an incredibly unique style, can you tell us a little about where you draw your inspiration?
This is not an easy question to answer for me. I am inspired by so many things in general. I have always been constantly inspired by raw images of African tribes and culture, European styles of illustration. Artists like Moebius and Philippe Druilet got me into illustration, after being at varsity for two years not knowing what type of art I wanted to do. They are one of the few who inspire me to improve my technical skill at all times. I am inspired by dreams and people I see around me, im obsessed with capturing the aura of a person who has left a lasting impression on me.

God pt3

Can you describe the evolution of your artistic style, have you always made art with this unique vision? What was your turning point into recognizing this style?
I have always been strict about following my instincts when it comes to the drawing and colouring of artworks. My art is mostly influenced by emotions and dreams, a spontaneous burst of creativity spurred on by my most inner thoughts and momentary isolation.

“We are not the same”


When did you first realize the importance of art in your life?
On 06 December 2017 I had an epiphany. For some reason on that day I realized I wanted to do art and nothing else, I have no interest in doing anything else.

God Pt 2


What role does the artist have in African society?
I have always gravitated towards artists who offer me momentary tranquility, the immersion into their world and the lore of it. I guess its a from of escapism for me and many others i’m sure. My drive has always come from inspiration. Those artists who inspire me drive me to be better in every way I can.

What is one creative resource you can’t live without?

Have you experienced failure as a creative how were you able to navigate around this hurdle?
There have been disappointments, but I have never been discouraged, because I know what I needed to work on. Failures are just a learning curve for me.

“I was made for sublunary”

Is there an artwork you are particularly proud of? Why?
I did an artwork called “A lonely souls road to discovery”. It is based off a dream that I had. I am very fond of it because its the only artwork where I captured an Idea exactly how I wanted it.

How do you know when a work is finished?
I am rarely completely happy with the artworks that I have done. I usually do it to the best of my ability at the time and I try to learn from it. I basically build off of my previous works to improve. Most of my work is anxiety driven, sometimes it can be torturous. I find the positive reception of my work so odd sometimes because in my mind I am not where I want to be artistically yet.

What advice would you give to a young African creative interested in illustration?
Self reflection is the key to self improvement.

I just want to thank you guys at Africandigitalart for promoting young upcoming artists. It is not easy to keep going without receiving recognition and you guys have been great in shining light on the digital side of African art.


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