Bridging the worlds of sports and arts, Richmond Roughriders’ wide receiver, D’Mauri Jones, channels his passions to create beautiful masterpieces. After an incident back in 2016 left him unable to play football at the highest level, D’Mauri discovers a new voice through art before playing for Virginia’s Richmond Roughriders.
In a throwback post from September 2017, D’Mauri goes into detail on his artistic journey after his injury and states:
I questioned God and asked, “why me?!” “I’ve been through enough as it is.” But as soon as I wanted to give up. God opened another door for me. Saying it’s okay to hang the cleats up, he introduced me to art. Never in my life I thought about painting yet even touched a paint brush. But my passion for art has taken me through so much.
Overcoming his challenges, D’Mauri developed a versatile approach to his art and brings to life influential pieces, even making art work for talents such as Flo Rida, Rick Ross and Canadian athlete Alysha Newman.
In the Youtube-documentary, titled ‘D’Mauri Jones: Hometown Hero,’ it explains the hardships of growing up in a small town with limited opportunity. D’Mauri breaks down the barrier and demonstrates that any goal can be reached through hard work and perseverance.
XMPL got the chance to interview D’Mauri Jones regarding his artwork, football and the messages he tries to convey through his work.
XMPL: As a Univ. of Miami alum and as a current pro-athlete, what influences you to pursue the creative arts?
D’Mauri: Art is something I truly love. I don’t just give myself the title of pro athlete. I believe that we can do anything and be many things. I want to be proof of that. I want to show people that you can pursue all your passions. It really only takes balance.
What kind of message are you trying to project through your paintings?
Well for my masterpieces I use different mediums such as oil and acrylic paint in one picture. To me this symbols that I can mix things together and still make a perfect picture. Not everything in life is simple however with painting you can create a masterpiece out of the “mess”.
As a pro-athlete, do you tackle your artwork with the same passion and intensity as you put into football?
Simple answer YES. One thing I have learned along this journey is that being tenacious is very important. With football and art, I have gone through ups and downs. In football I might have to fight through injuries etc. With art I have to fight through creating a perfect image in my eye even when it becomes challenging.
Your documentary, ‘Hometown Hero’, mentions the area you grew up in – that it doesn’t really have many artistic figures to look up to; and that most of the younger generation lean to rap or sports to try and make a future. What advice would you have for the youth to break the chain of only pursuing those two careers?
My advice to the youth is to do what you love. It’s kind of simple and cliché. We are all born with varying talents along with our particular love and likes. There is nothing wrong with becoming a rapper or playing sports, but you must do it with love and extreme passion.
The diversity of your artwork focuses on subjects such as sports, music and pop culture. What is your favourite piece you’ve worked on and why?
My favorite piece is my most recent called ‘Imagination’. With this piece I wanted to mix reality with imagination. When you look at this painting you see realistic flesh and an eye but once you look deeper into the pupil; a ship is present telling another story behind the masterpiece.
With musical artists such as J. Cole and The Flatbush Zombies using very descriptive artwork as their album cover (i.e. KOD & 3001: A Laced Odyssey), would you see yourself open to a collaboration with a musician to work on a similar project?
Of course. That would be very exciting to me. I hope that I can work with a musician one day.
Do you work on commissioned art? If so, how would the interested audience reach you to obtain a unique piece?
Yes, I work on commissioned art. If you would like to obtain a unique piece; feel free to contact me on social media or via email.