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The future is now

The future is now

Text and art by Jeffrey Veregge

Art today and what it means for tomorrow.

The Future is now. I am not really sure who said it first, but with my own dealings in life, more often than not, I have found them to be absolutely correct . . . especially in my career as an artist.

When I say, “The Future is now” in regard to my own art, I could say that the work I create today is often meant to be enjoyed tomorrow, because many of the pieces I create have release dates many months and even years after I’ve initially drawn them. This is true for most of my jobs, from comic book covers to large-scale murals, and it is probably true for most artists and creatives.

However, when I say, “The Future is now,” I am also speaking of the impact that art and design will have down the road. Seeds indiscriminately planted that take shape in the minds of an audience that eventually rallies us onward to the next phase of where we hope to be. Each piece created being absorbed in the conscious and subconscious of the viewer. Each outcome depending on who that viewer may be. Where they come from. Their education. Their passions. Their memories. And what they eventually produce is an infinitely variable result of all these things and more.

Want an example? Star Trek. First aired back in 1966. Just imagine all the creative energy that went into that production. The artistry that went into the starship models, the props, the costumes, the makeup, the sets. Then you have the writing and acting, all with the cleverly placed message of hope for a better tomorrow that went along with all those wonderful visuals.

Now, over 50 years later, you have people who not only watched but were inspired by the show and all that went into it. People who went on to become engineers who gifted the world with some of the most important things we use in our day-to-day lives, like the cell phone and iPad. Other men and women who became astronauts, scientists, physicists, doctors, architects, and even artists like me because of what they gleaned from that show. Choosing to use their gifts to better our own world.

But here’s something to think about: What would all those lives look like without that message of hope? What would our lives look like if they hadn’t had a positive reaction to that art?

Photo (right): Constitution Class. 2016, digital

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Art makes a difference.

As an artist it is my hope that the works I create open new portals in the minds of young people. It’s my intention to not just share visually the worlds and heroes I love, but the core message of why I love them and choose them as my subject material. Good over evil. Love and equality. The celebration of mystery and the unknown. The hero’s journey.

To create works that make a difference: that is my goal. Works that remind us of who we are and the good things we have done, along with the things that we want to make right and change for the better.

Reaching Out by Jeffrey Veregge, Ampersand Magazine
Reaching Out. 2020, digital
Reaching Out. 2019, digital
Re-entry by Jeffrey Veregge, Ampersand Magazine
Re-entry. 2019, digital
Re-entry. 2019, digital

I do this by tapping into that mystical force that my storytelling ancestors wielded in the generations before me. Honoring the idea and the spirit of each shape and form that they brought forth into this world, making it my own, but being careful to remain rooted in the creative fields from which it sprang so long ago. Taking pride in knowing that what I am doing is the same as what they did, but tuned to the lessons and ideals of today, hoping that my work will inspire the next set of eyes that gaze upon it.

And maybe someday, if I am blessed enough, I’ll get to meet some of the people who may have been affected by my art. And if I am really lucky, I will have made a difference.

Smiling at Progress by Jeffrey Veregge, Ampersand Magazine
Smiling at Progress. 2020, digital
Smiling at Progress. 2020, digital
Road to the Future by Jeffrey Veregge, Ampersand Magazine
Road to the Future. 2020, digital
Road to the Future. 2020, digital