GIPHY Arts Talk Shop: Retro Reveries with Artist Maris Jones

GIPHY Arts commissions hundreds of artists a year, all of whom do impeccable work. Today, we are happy to spotlight GIPHY Artist Maris Jones and share a Q&A that dives deeper into the creative process.

To engage in the vibrancy of dynamic digital creative Maris Jones, is to throw open the proverbial wardrobe and see the universe available there on hangers. Colors pulse, fabrics bend under your fingertips. Faux fur mixes with mile-high disco shoes and Ramen egg yolk orange backgrounds in her magnetic, thoughtful work. Have you ever looked at a Kodak photograph and wanted the person inside of the floppy frame to pull you into her grassy world of VW vans and plastic shades? That’s what Jones does for the world.

A wildly popular content creator on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, Jones’ creativity offers viewers and listeners a new chance to experience history. As a result, she boasts millions of followers. Jones, who has been featured in publications like Rolling Stone, Vogue, Nylon and Vice, creates highly stylized videos, often using stop-motion or quick cuts, that incorporate humor, social commentary and her signature reevaluation of decades past. She offers the viral spark that your eyes know before your brain nods. She is both artist and storyteller, the splash of color and the meaning behind it.

Jones has conducted major video campaigns with Universal Music, Hulu, Netflix, Gucci, the John Lennon Estate and Joe Biden for President, and now boasts well over 100k Instagram followers and an even faster growing audience on TikTok, with more than half-a-million fans and millions of engagements on the platform. For them, Jones creates handcrafted, capricious mini movies that feature intricate design and nostalgic Technicolor. At her core, Jones is a time traveler; imagination is her compass.

In 2015, Jones rose to popularity on the social media outlet Vine, earning 300k followers. That year, she won the Shorty Award for Vine of the Year. She was included in SHOOT Magazine’s prestigious New Directors Showcase in 2016 and won Best Art Vine at the Best Vine Ever Awards in 2017. Today, Jones’ Kudzu-like work can be seen in many more places and it’s earned her far-reaching recognition. Really, though, what Jones is most proud of is that she can wake up each morning to drape a new design on the world. Like the paper dress she constructed for a Vogue shoot, her work is extravagant, delicate and available to all.

The Evolution of the Telephone (2021) by Maris Jones | Made possible with support by GIPHY Arts

What came to mind when GIPHY Arts approached you for a commission?

I was excited when GIPHY Arts reached out. Over the last couple years I have really gotten to know the platform and all the creative and fun things that have come out of it. I knew I could really make something fun that felt true to me as well as others.

What is different about GIFs/Clips vs. other art mediums?

I love how GIPHY fits so perfectly in all of our everyday lives but is a bit different than other creative outlets. I feel like the sky is limitless with content when it comes to GIPHY because you can create something that is 1 second, a single image or a full fledged little video for people to share and express themselves with. It’s a visual language that we universally have learned to communicate through that comes in so many forms. SO COOL!

Are you kidding me (2021) by Maris Jones | Shared with permission from the artist

What do you hope your audience takes away from your work?

I love the idea of nostalgia. How we feel so comforted by our memories and how it always seems so rosy when we look back at them… That feeling you feel is this familiar happy place, that you either experienced first hand or from something else in your life but in reality, it was just another day. It’s always the same. I also want the viewer to laugh a little and just be taken out of their everyday life. I love old films because they took me out of my daily life and took me on a little adventure. I love that feeling and I want people to be able to have that experience too!

Describe yourself with one GIF/Clip

GIPHY Channel | Shop | Instagram | TikTok

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GIPHY is all the GIFs. We’re the first and largest GIF search engine where artists, brands, and users alike go to make everyday conversation more entertaining.