Artist Q&A: Jonathan Paul Jackson 

From a young age we all have things that peak our interest, things that we show passion in at an early on. For most of us these become hobbies or things we appreciate from afar because life is too busy to seriously pursue. For me it has always been creative expression and city culture. I’ll leave the elaboration for another day (see our mission statement). Needless to say these things still hold my interest today.

For most of us we are more deeply involved in life’s day to day menial activities instead of creative exploration. Which is why it’s that much more powerful when someone truly dedicated themselves to being a creator. The artists life is not an easy one but it’s rewards are priceless. Both to the artist and the art appreciator.

Which brings us to the subject of our latest volume of our artist q&a series. Mr. Jonathan Paul Jackson, a very talented and productive artist. Devoted to his craft and to his expression. His work captivated me when I first checked it out, and still does. As honest and humble as the man himself. Another example of hard work paying off, and it shows in the volume of work he creates. I hope you appreciate his perspective as much as we do.

You’ve obviously always loved art, but what was that initial thing that inspired you to create?

That’s such a tough question, my earliest memory of making art I had to be 8 or 9 and my grandfather telling me how much he liked this “ dog” I was trying to draw. It was terrible of course but this man that raised me gave me what I can remember to be my first compliment which really motivated me to make more art.

I read that you’re mostly self taught. Is there a particular artist that influenced your style?

I will have to say Marcel Duchamp is probably one of my most influential artist, not his style but the philosophy in which he applied to art. Which is that art is mostly about perception. Until we perceive art to be art it is not art it is just this object, but once we perceive something to be art it changes our perspective of what our idea of what art was before and art is after looking at that particular object.

Houston has a reputation of not being kind to it’s artists. Do you share this sentiment?

I agree and disagree, I had to get recognition in other cities before people in Houston really started to pay attention to me which is fine, it made me get out of my comfort zone and really push myself as an artist and for that I am grateful. But then there are some artist that get so much recognition here that it leaves no room for innovation if the same artists keep getting the same grants and opportunities it makes artist like myself not want to submit to get grants and go to other cities. Which only really hurts Houston in the long run.

Acrylic or oil, why?

Acrylic alll day erry day! I can get the same effect with acrylics that I can with oils. Also Acrylics dry faster. I like to work a lot and fast so Acrylics allow me to do that.

I see a lot of depth in your work. Would you say your pieces are more emotional, political, or open to interpretation.

All of the above, it just depends on the painting. Most of my paintings dont have titles those are left open to interpretation. The ones that do have titles i want the viewer to feel or know that the painting is about a particular subject.

You are very active in the Houston art community. How important would you say it is to nurture
relationships and build with fellow artists?

It’s really important to talk with other artist about art and things going on in the community. That’s how movements start, groups of artist talking and making similar work or have similar ideas, and with out
talking with to each other we will never know what can be.

Are there any new artists that you are really into right now?

Brittney Anelle
Ian Sayer
Meredith Richey

As a professional fulltime artist are there ever moment when you feel more forces to produce, or is it always a natural way you go about creating?

I always love making art, if I could I would never sleep and just work all the time. Inspiration strikes me all the time. But it’s because I live/work in my studio that has allowed me to train my brain to not be need to feel moved. I always feel moved to make art. I have been on dates and left the date to go make art. Its terrible I know but again I love making art. alot.

How big of a role does social media, ie Instagram or Facebook play in the way people get exposed to your work?

Its 50/50 it gets you a lot exposure but it’s more difficult to get sales via social media. They are free platforms so to not take advantage of them is kinda silly.

Does the exposure even matter?

It just depends on what path the individual would like to take.

Any advice for other artist?

Just make the work, the meaning behind the work will reveal itself once the art is in front of you. But the work has to be made first. This philosophy only works if you make over 10 paintings, you cant find the TRUE meaning just making 10 paintings, But if you make 50 paintings you have more to study, more to go off of. Think of yourself a Scientist, they do a number of studies and experiments before presenting their findings to the public. As an artist you want to do the same paint and experiment until you have refined your findings until the are coherent and you are able to explain your work in just a few words.

"All that glitters isn't gold"

By Jonathan Paul Jackson

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