ThaMessage.com Interview with Jules Muck
By Morgan Thorpe
Artist Jules Muck was recently interviewed by Tha Message podcast at her home in Venice, CA. She is best known for her murals and graffiti art. Muck’s story is as colorful as her paint splattered jeans. She vividly recalls her journey to recovery through trial and error, accomplishments and failures, eventually finding the right formula for her success.
Muck grew up across the globe, she spent her childhood between New York, England and Greece. She began using her talent at 13 years of age, on a small but impactful island, Lesbos, Greece. “Everyone was into skateboarding or writing graffiti, and I was really clumsy.” She recalls how she used a can of spray paint (which later becomes her signature artistic element), as she ‘tagged’ a picture of the world exploding, with the word unity. “The first time I did it, I felt it, I connected to it.”
Painting wasn’t the only thing she connected to at an early age. Muck explains how she became addicted to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and sugar, all by the time she was in her teens. She admits that she transitioned from being a daily drinker to becoming a daily heroin user. Muck often found a correlation between being high and being an artist. “Part of getting free was creating, and part was getting wasted.” No matter how many times she tried to quit on her own, she was unsuccessful. “I went through so many times of ‘no more, I’m not going to do this anymore,” only to find herself in the clutches of addiction once again.
Muck eventually went to rehab only to get kicked out, for of all things, tagging. She continued the path to sobriety, ending up at a sober living. “In the sober living I met the people who were trying to do the right thing,” says Muck. “I started meeting other people and helping other people.” Sobriety has not always been easy for Muck. “Somewhere along the way I started taking psych meds,” for depression. He boyfriend had overdosed and died. This led to relapsing on a plethora of other substances. “I almost burned my whole life down,” Muck recalls. Within a few weeks, she was in the hospital on a respirator. This, she says, was a gift of her higher power. “It stopped me…otherwise nothing was going to stop me.”
Eventually she did get sober again, and has remained sober for the last four years. “I remembered the people in recovery…they could help me.” Muck says, “The most important thing I ever learned was to take suggestions.” Muck opens up about her gratitude these days, and her inspiration for helping others.
Muck has many accomplishments in her lifetime, she was the first female to paint the wall of fame in Harlem, however, when asked about the things that matter to her, it usually involves giving back. “I got to paint at a Syrian refugee camp, I got to paint in juvenile detention centers.” She proudly states that she’s gotten to paint almost everywhere.
Painting has become a safe place for her. “If I get in a rut where I am depressed…you go fucking paint and you feel better.” When asked about giving advice to people who are still struggling with addiction, Muck remembers the help she has received all along the way. Her advice is, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you cannot do it alone. That’s the one thing I know for sure. It only works on a daily basis if I ask for help.”
Special Thanks to Jules Muck http://julesmuck.com/