Artist, Photographer and Entrepreneur
Now based in Oakland, and having lived in Dallas before that, the Jamaican-born Lenworth McIntosh, better known as Joonbug, is an artist, photographer and entrepreneur.
As a kid, he knew he’d be an artist, but didn’t really see photography as part of his path, but he did find inspiration from film. As an adolescent, he says, “I’d spend most of my mornings looking for artists to feature on a blog, the more places outside the U.S., the better.”
He currently has four brands he’s working on simultaneously, all tied together by a common thread: growth and thought provoking, narrative imagery. They are The Bugs 87, Fresh Kaufee, Shutterbugs 87, and Lenworth. Social media has contributed to his success and at one point, 80% of his income was coming from Instagram alone. “Social media becomes a tool, it’s all in how you understand and use it.” Five years from now, he plans on continuing to push his brands, and he says, “creating more of what I’m doing now, and challenging the constructs of how society labels us.”
Joonbug’s collaborated with artist Arturo Torres on several occasions and says, “that process was a lot of observation and improv—we both knew he was great with color and I with linework, but eventually we both passed our knowledge to one another.” He’s also collaborated with hip-hop artist -topic and found an amazing dynamic. “[With -topic being] the audio genius and my witty imagery, a collab with him feels more internal than anything, like, he doesn’t really have say much, if anything, because i’ll pick up on the vibes easily.”
Being able to work for himself, doing what he loves, is what Joonbug see as his biggest accomplishment to date, even though at times it can be tough. He deals with any adversity by talking to himself and trusting his inner self before he goes seeking answers from elsewhere. He hopes that his legacy will be “I was scared to fail but I did it anyway.”