Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Creative Process: The Harmony of Mind, Spirit, Soul, and Heart.

When i'm approaching the beginning of the day to start a new work, the wheels in my mind are already churning out possible solutions to the underlying theme i have already chosen as the subject. I am collectively pondering ideas to begin my work with and from where branches of other ideas will manifest and flow from that initial seed. These seeds are what usually become small ideas like a facial expression in the middle or an object (symbolism) that relates to the surreal vision I have however unclear it may be at the time. These ideas normally start forming days before the studio work day starts. M y inspiration for each work comes from my interest and passion for each subject. I choose subject matter that speaks to me and my heart and one that I have knowledge about.

I have always equated this process to that of a scientist who is collectively beginning to experiment and pondering tests and ideas that will ultimately end up with a solution and end result to the creative question at hand. My process is very formulated and consistent and rarely changes for each work. I sharpen all my pencils to a razor thin point then once the pencil hits the paper the fusion of senses and powers begin to unravel and lock me into the process. This focus is something I can only explain as a zen experience where my mind, spirit, heart, and soul all work in harmony to slowly build on the planted seed. As the work progresses, ideas will filter inward through my mind, and the feeling through my soul as my spirit channels the energy into a collective power that attempts to transcend the ideas and actual application on paper to something more. It is a very enthralling experience when things are clicking and when they are not exactly working perfectly, the struggles can be great, but working through them only leads to the creative light at the end of a dark unclear tunnel of doubt and frustration. I enjoy this perhaps the most about creating art as the challenges have always left me understanding that every obstacle has a solution. I have grown to welcome it and embrace this as the required process to reach the final vision on the paper from the beginning seed of life. As the seed sprouts and ideas flow, I can imagine a tree growing and eventually the leaves blossom and the collective beauty of the tree is finalized through a natural process.

For those of you out there who are creative souls that lead your own personal journeys with your own unique methods of navigation, the process of creating is our most valuable treasure and drives us further on our voyage into the unknown. We should never take this for granted as it not only feeds our inspirations, but it challenges us in unique ways that strengthen our resolve to find solutions to challenging creative problems. In the end, the process all balances out and leaves our final vision the end result of the struggles and inspiration that made it possible.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Featured Drawing: "The Gyrating Vigor of Carnal Sustenance"

I want to first start off by saying that I want viewers of my work to be open minded and form any opinions they want and if they see something that speaks to them and they form a conclusion from it, that makes me very satisfied as an artist. Keep in mind that although I do feel that all art should be open to interpretation in some form or another, I do set out to complete a work that is based on a story, theme, or underlying premise that guides me and inspires me to manifest the symbolism's and objectivity throughout the work. There is a collective reasoning behind the flow and organized surreal chaos in a lot of my drawings from the Genesis Collection.

In this drawing, my underlying theme was man and animals reliance on one another. I want to somehow fuse man and animal in a way that showed various connective symbolism's and how we are all connected spiritually and rely on one another to make the world function smoothly. In my mind, a
carousel type feel like a merry-go-round came to mind where a horse would be made up of faces joining together in solidarity as the pole slices down the composition and circular platform divided the separate planes at the bottom of the work. The pole actually is used in two ways to fuse man and animal together (as a cane with hands on it and a carousel pole.) I made the horse shown in various positions (upright and down like it is eating grass) with faces and hands interconnecting the horses body and composition. Blue and red is used t harmoniously intertwine the symbolism's together. The overall result was a very multifaceted analysis and surreal representation of what I envisioned in my mind throughout the work as it progressed.

This original drawing is available for purchase for any serious buyers or collectors interested. Contact me through blogger or you can view my on twitter at @jjenkinsartist 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Which are my favorite art mediums and why?

There was a time in my life when I transitioned to acrylic paints to create my first paintings. I was fresh out of college and beginning my personal journey exploring my own style without the limits of a classroom environment and cookie cutter classes. Acrylic paints offered a more precise and easier application for me and one I could get sharp details with. My paintings evolved to a point where they were complicated and saturated with lots of detail. My style became very complex with small worlds within other worlds. After a while, it took me months to finish one painting spending thousands of hours on one complete work. I still enjoy acrylics for their precision, but over the course of the last 10 years have moved back to pencil to manifest my visions from my mind onto paper or board.

Moving to pencil as my main source of medium was a smooth transition that felt right to me. Pencil is my medium. It is like finding that perfect shirt or pair of pants that actually accentuates my figure and makes me look better. I love precise details in my work and colored pencil has given me that control. I prefer Berol Prismacolors for their buttery soft consistency and using the white pencil as a blending tool gives you a rich matte finish like a painting. I have used pencils so much the last 10 years they have become "one" with my arm and body. They are an extension of my overall creativity and process. The ideas flow from my mind through my arm and the pencil moves like auto pilot without too much effort. I have confidence in my knowledge and control of them. It empowers me to reach new heights and explore even more conceptual approaches.

The smell of freshly sharpened pencils and the broken lead puts my mind into a creative trance of euphoric pleasure. The only thing to come close to that feeling is a freshly brewed coffee when I awake. I will continue on my journey wielding my colorful pencils that look like a beautiful garden waiting to blossom and continue to wonder what they will produce next.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Advice I have for someone who wants to learn to better appreciate visual arts?

Visual Arts allows a person to explore their own inner personality and ideas on the world through their shared visions. It is a personal journey that has a tremendous value on society and our world. It opens doors to unknown territories that the human mind, spirit, and soul need to explore. We all live in a world where rules, conventional laws, and a blueprinted series of routine chores seem to try and box us into a routine existence. A lot of us are influenced by others and slowly move towards the majority way of thinking. This can be healthy in many ways, but visual art and the process of creating provides an opportunity to guide us to think for ourselves and explore areas that are unknown to us and the masses. It gives our spirits and souls an open ocean for sailing freely without being limited or constrained by distraction and what everyone thinks we should be doing or exploring. Children benefit greatly from visual art as they can allow their minds the freedom to play and to construct their own worlds by exploring their personality and inner soul. This can lead to more independent thinking and more confidence in their ability to steer clear of too many influences and voices who can naturally devoid them of naturally growing and nurturing their own unique point of view. The danger in not exploring their personality through visual expression can be a life that is created for them and not by them. The process of creating empowers one with their own ship they can steer any direction and explore unknown territories on an open ocean of dreams and desires.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Artists who have influenced me since childhood

Fernand Leger
The biggest influences on me since childhood have been visual artists who have broke the barrier of how we perceive reality and explored the unknown through their visual dissections and analysis. Artists who struggled to find new ground through the breakdown of reality whether it be abstract, surreal, or even a fantasized interpretation of life. For me personally, doing portraits or landscapes never had quite the appeal to my mind as did abstraction or surrealism. I found that my mind naturally gravitated towards the unusual and the intimate composition invited me to explore life in an enclosed space where the experimentation with color, form, shape, and space all fused into one allowed me the challenges and rewards of being more of a probing scientific artist.

When I speak of these influences, I am talking about inspirational mavericks who took an object or scene and saw something completely different that could be explored. They extracted new visions from life and reality. Although you may disagree with my premise (I do find portrait and landscape artists amazing creatives in their own right), abstraction and surrealism to me is an artist who probes deep into the unknown and tries to extract the nectar from the fruit (underlying foundations of life from reality). For me, artists such as Fernand Leger, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Hieronymus Bosch, Wassily Kandinsky, M.C. Escher, and Jackson Pollock all inspired me to challenge convention and break free of what I live in and around everyday. They also influenced the way I perceive composition through balancing elements in harmonic ways through the use of color, line, shape, and contrasting values. I thank these pioneers for their courage and conviction to explore mysterious ground and come out with a new understanding of life.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I'm starting to embrace Social Media more and more...

Ever hear of Klout? I didn't until I stumbled onto it doing research for my twitter account and subsequently found articles about it. So how does Klout have anything to do with me marketing my art style online through twitter and other means? Klout measures the influence you have in a particular area of expertise and how many people read and engage what you write or share with them. I was pleasantly surprised to see when I logged in that I had a score of 78. According to my research, this score is quite good and is based on my influence in particular areas. A big part of this score is my engaging dialogue with other fellow artists and scholars on twitter. It shows roughly 80% of this score is due in large part to this network.

The reason i'm writing this is because lately I have been very passionate about social media and it's rewards. I think if we all look at the bigger picture we would see a whole new dimension of contact without actually being in a real life crowd or situation. We now have the versatility of branching out across the world in our hopes that our voice or message will be heard and appreciated. This is a very worthwhile prospect and vision but one that takes tremendous patience and work. I find that to truly become influential you need to actively engage with followers on these platforms and publish fresh and interesting material that helps someone in some small or large way. Being an artist, I use this opportunity to promote fellow artists I enjoy and contribute blog entries about creativity, art, and some tips and advice here and there. Like every worthwhile endeavor, engaging in this unique medium requires and understanding of the strategies involved. This is where Klout, for me, is a welcome breath of fresh air. Many doubt it's appeal and legitimacy, but I think in the end, this network for social measurement has a lot of positive foundations that can be used to become more influential in whatever profession you are in and promote online.

I now use Klout to measure my activity and motivate me to contribute on a larger scale through publications, discussions, and sharing tips, ideas, and my own work as a vehicle for conversation and debate among my peers and fellow artisans. My score has now shot up to a 79 which is in the top 1% according to my research. For some odd reason, as an artist and a  guy who likes concrete measurement, I am proud of this score because I do engage with other people and care about their opinions, etc. I don't just post my work and have a selfish approach to social media. It has been a fun and rewarding journey that has led me to meet many other great artists and create a fascinating dialogue that helps me grow and learn along the way! I would strongly recommend embracing this network, and as much as the score might not reflect what you think you contribute, it ultimately will help keep you focused and motivate you. Check your klout score out today and use it as a way of motivating you to new heights of interaction online.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm back from my blogging hiatus.

I am happy to be back blogging again for the first time in 2 years. I was busy working on my art & design work and sort of got sidetracked a bit managing my websites and with day to day activities. I started this blog back in 2006 and had numerous posts about my art, tips on drawing, and events that shaped my career. I missed blogging and will be updating this blog weekly with a lot of news and activities surrounding my studio and artistic journey. Feel free to stop by my twitter page at @jjenkinsartist and catch up with my daily tweets on there. I have been hooked on the klout scoring recently as I see that emerging as a trend soon. I like social media and believe it has its many rewards for us all in terms of marketing opportunity and to express our unique voice we all have.

I invite you to sign up for my blog and follow me as I hope you will find my information is unique and worthwhile for you. I will be sharing my drawing collections in colored pencil and paintings. I also like to share tips and advice coming from a professional artist of over 20 years. I also would love to see your work as well!~

Drop me a line or add me and i'll follow back and comment on your work!

Thanks, Justin