The PLAY collection is about making the time to simply enjoy your body and the way it moves. Releasing the mind of boundaries that allow us to grow away from curiosity and acts of playfulness. Celebrating our newest addition, PLAY (Illuminate) — Sources of Light is an interview series with creatives through various realms and mediums within visual arts, music and beauty. We sat down with musician and singer of the band Little Image, Jackson Simmons, to discuss process, pleasure and play.
What is your favorite time of day and why?
I like late nights, I feel like it’s the most inspiring time to me.
Becoming an artist isn't always a linear path. How would you describe your own journey? What moments of adversity stand out in your mind?
Honestly, I think relationships, when you are in a band, are kind of difficult to navigate sometimes. You grow as a band, as a whole unit and, I think that those are some of the challenges we face for sure.
What sources of joy, strength, or pleasure do you draw from? What inspires you to create?
A big one for me over the last couple of years has been the energy of the city that I'm in. During Covid, it was kind of tough because the energy of the city we’re in now, which is New York, was really low and when I first moved here I made some of my favorite music ever, so latching onto the energy around me, is the number one thing that I latch onto.
What advice or words of encouragement would you give to your younger self during challenging times?
I would say learn how to argue with people, in a healthy and chill way. Honestly. I wasn't very good at that when I was younger. I think there's an art when it comes to arguing.
What are some ways you engage in playful practice? What are some things you like to do to keep motivated and keep your body moving?
Honestly, this may sound stupid but just dancing around a little bit is super fun. When I play shows I like to dance on stage and even when I'm just home, I like to move around a little bit. There's something fun about when you’re creating music and just moving around, it helps inspire you. Little dances and little movements are always playful to me.
Do you find that as you get older and as you grow it becomes more difficult to incorporate play into your life? In what ways are you able to connect with your inner child?
I have no problems connecting with my inner child, personally. I love being a kid. I'm still young, I'm still in my early twenties and it's so fun to try and be a kid. There are challenges when you have to be an adult but, I love tapping into my inner child. It's fun.
Can you tell us a bit about your creative process? Has it changed over time as you’ve grown?
Yeah for sure, a lot of times the guys and I will sit down with an idea or send each other an idea. I feel like the creative process is always something that is evolving and changing for us. I would say that our favorite creative process is when we're all in the same room together and working towards the same goal, instead of someone presenting an idea and then just kind of building off of that. It’s more fun when we naturally make something all together.
If you had the ability to bend time to your will, what would you slow down, speed up or freeze altogether?
I would speed up the writing and the process of making an album. We’re kind of known for being slow with that so I would speed that up and I would slow down moments that we have together. We all live in different cities so I would just slow down the fun times and playful times that we get to have together and I would freeze shows. When we're on stage it's one of the most magical experiences when we play shows, so I would just freeze that moment forever if I could.