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Takin’ It To The Street

Jayson Silvanovich and Yoko Tomita combine creative forces to engage audiences and make them think outside the box. Or just make a super cool box to be inside. In 2016 they established Jayko Studios, a New York based studio for creative direction, graffiti art, design, doodling, illustration, wall art, street fashion and styling. The dynamic duo takes on the pop art and fashion world, creating not just clothing and paintings but experiences as well. Jayko Studios was recently a feature of Chashama’s yearly gala show, with over 1,000 individuals in attendance where Jayko Studios’ visual installation was on display, a wonderful mélange of art, music, fashion and dance.

Jayson graduated from FIT in New York City in 2004 and has been involved in various art projects ever since. His specialties include visual street art, fashion and painting. Jayson has sold many art pieces through requested commissions for high profile individuals and in gallery shows across the country since 2003. One of his pieces from the Maritime Hotel Art Show was later featured in the White House in Washington D.C.

Yoko was born and raised in Osaka, Japan. She graduated from Kyoto University of Foreign Studies and loves traveling the world. She fell in love with New York City on a visit in 2005 during which she saw three Broadway shows. In 2007, Yoko relocated to the City to pursue her creative interests in art and fashion. A fortuitous meeting at a bar started the pair’s artistic journey.

Jayson comments, “Although Yoko and I are from opposite sides of the world, we do possess similarities in our creative style. We both have a love for urban and Latin culture within the arts.” Yoko adds, “I am Japanese, but I have been in love with American culture since I was a young child, which brought me to New York. Japan has a lot of great artists in our long history, and I now feel it absolutely affects my art.”

They embody the new era of art where you don’t need to be on the walls of the Metropolitan Museum or even a SoHo gallery but on the walls of the street. “Years ago, it was all word of mouth with ‘street art’,” says Jayson, “But with social media and the internet, all types of art have become mainstream. It made it easier to brand yourself and promote your work.” Instagram has allowed them not only great exposure (their karaoke rooms are wildly popular) but to connect with fellow artists and events all over the world.

“There will always be art critics, and I think much of what was considered rogue has now become mainstream and continues to evolve,” says Yoko, “Mainstream doesn’t necessarily mean talent and passion. It usually is measured by the amount of money artwork is sold for. But talent and passion will definitely be seen in the pieces that are completed. When our art makes someone happy, it is quite a compliment.”

As with yin and yang and light and dark and chocolate and peanut butter, there is always a balance. Jayson finds Yoko keeps him focused and grounded with his free style form and Yoko admires his boldness and spirit. The magic is that they break each other out of their comfort zones and add their distinct, “little bit of funk,” to their creations.

In terms of out East they are both big North Fork fans. The food scene is an attraction but also the galleries. You can say that they are artists’ artists and embody the spirit of collaboration… and together the future, box or no box, looks bright.