Interview with the Artist

J. Aaron was asked to sit down for an interview with Poet Tree Magazine to be the featured artist in an upcoming addition!! Here”s a sneak peek at the interview:

PTM: How you doing today?

I am great thank you!

I am running strong with the day into the late hours as usual.

PTM: Tell the people about yourself?

I am 30, an artist who was born in Kentucky, raised in Cincinnati & have traveled our great country alot in this artists journey; been abroad studying in Paris a stint and now live in Philadelphia. I am happily married to the love of my life Heather, you can catch us at our favorite Beach Resort in Ocean City NJ or in Atlantic City at an event, or hitting the streets in Manhattan,. Then in my solitude you will find me playing chess at Tesla Island – Niagara Falls or just painting and writing the day away at my home studio in Philadelphia. . .

PTM: How long have you been creating art?

Since I was 7 years of age, I knew I loved Art. I never seemed to want to color inside the lines. I graduated with my Art degree and have been a professional commercial illustrator and graphic designer for just over 12 years…However remain true to my passion for traditional art & painting.

PTM: When did you first start and do you remember your inspiration at that time?

My first drawing was an impressionistic portrait of Louis Armstrong playing music on his trumpet when I was 7 for a Language Arts report. My inspiration was my mother”s oils and watercolors, she is also an artist, and one in particular one oil of a sunset which was in oranges and teals which hung over the hall archway over the steps to my room…

PTM: Was that when you knew you wanted to be an artist?

Yes! Absolutely I dont even remember the report I did on Louis Armstrong but I vividly have the artwork I did for the cover imprinted in my mind…

PTM: What is your source of creativity?

The emotion I have at the time more than anything… If I didnt release it into paintings I think I”d have an anxiety attack. lol

PTM: Do you ever forget or deliberately ignore why you make art? If so, briefly describe the last time you realized you had forgotten or were ignoring why you make art. What did it take for you to return to your core motivation?

I sometimes do ”subconscious paintings” in that I set up three colors infront of me knowing where they are then turn the lights off and feel the color and focus on the movements I make in the dark. Its a deep thing hard to describe but I like how i loose myself in this experiment. Afterward in reflection a glass of wine or two later and a weekend to reflect, I find new things about myself as an artist in this series…

PTM: In your field, do you prefer timeless themes with extended shelf life or issues of the day with maximum impact?

I think that most of my work has concentrated on the emotions I feel at the time to drive the piece to fruition. The work itself preserves it timelessness…

For example the day Heath Ledger died I painted a portrait of him in a lost soul (trying to tap into that sorrow to capture the likeness) or the day George Bush Jr announced his homecoming to Midland TX before taking presidency I did a portrait of him and presented it to the city via the local news station and mayor to give him. It was a nice warm homecoming gift I am sure…Kathy Griffin was also stunned LIVE at her show and loved her painting… “More of ME!!!” she cried as the crowd laughed. and Ill never forget As Gwen Stefani winked at me, blew me a kiss and said my portrait of her was “beautiful ” as she signed it in front of 20,000+ fans… I think my work made a good memory even for her that night too ! Making her concert even more special !So in essence, to me the impact of the work is how it can effect the situation which surrounds each piece itself and I hope to always channel as much MAGIC as I can in every piece of work.

PTM: You’ve painted some portraits of a few celebrities and athletes, some of them you were able to meet, what was their response to your work?

They were all very Surprised, stunned, and sometimes tongue tied…But it is always magical to have them then sit down and talk to you about the piece or ask me what I do and think about things in this world. Here this person is idiolized by millions and they are humbled by my work. Thats a great feeling!!

PTM: What piece of yours were you most proud of?

That would probably have to be an ink & acrylic on 18″x24″ paper depiction of Brandon Lee as The Crow resting upon Shelly Webster”s grave because at the time i was going through a dark breakup and to me it felt like a part of my heart was dieing … In silent gothesque ways, I identified with the movie. But for anyone who know the storyline of The Crow, love can conquer all; even after death there is hope. I think I was trying to convince myself of that and I believe I captured that in the work…

PTM: Could you do art without an audience? How important is feedback?

I do art without an audience, infact this interview is the first time I have shared about my subconscious series… I mean Warhol had his “piss series” and David lynch has put poop on canvas so weirder things have happened lol…

PTM: What do want others to remember you for?

WOW ! I guess Id modestly reply that I hope to excite others to explore their art to find that secret communication within oneself that translates a new discover of a heightened sense of expression in everyones lives…

PTM: What’s the thought process behind your work?

keep my sketch tight, block midtones in, establish darkest darks, and work dark to light…

PTM: Who are some of your historically favorite artists and who in the contemporary art world are you looking at?

Manhattan”s American League “The 10″ Expressionists of the 1930s for legendary statement, Dru Blair”s lighting on surfaces, Andrew Wyeth”s whitespace, Jeff Lefever”s Bannana man series for color balance, Van Gogh”s brushstrokes, Chris Payne”s Oil washes for medium hues, Dave Maggard”s forced perspectives, Mark Fredrickson”s detail;I could go on forever . . .

PTM: What is the greatest piece/show/installation you have seen and which piece/show/installation do you wish to see?

Well I just spent the day at Then Metropolitan Art Museum in Manhattan…It is a good environment there – everyone else there is sketching and really INTO the work on display… I love examining Van Gogh”s brushwork…

The greatest book(s) on art for me areThe Primary & Secondary Color Essays by Alexander Therouxthey changed how I see Art History !!!

>> wish to see?

I”d love to see a complete collection of dru struzans work on the jesso he works…

PTM: Do you look forward to the act of art making or the final product?

The anticipation of the final work is exciting to me but I dig the process… especially in my abstract pieces… Like the Artist couple who made The Gates in Central Park, it took 26 YEARS for the work and they said the journey is just as important as the presentation – young artists, dont forget that !

PTM: How do you know when a work is finished?

when the piece tells me….Its an intimate exchange, as if a love affair exists with each painting sometimes its a happy ending and other times it may be like a bad break up but always the passion is there and is reflected in the end

PTM: How or when dose a painting become art and not craft, and what is the difference between the two?

art is when you can SEE the passion in every brush-stroke !you can easily key-in on the bastardization of reproductions as a craft…

PTM: What is the greatest compliment anyone has ever paid to you regarding your art work and greatest insult?

Gwen Stefani blew me a kiss and said her portrait I did of her was beautiful ! In front of thousands that was pretty far up there for compliments as well as doing this interview, This truly is a compliment to my art.

Greatest insult wasnt towards a painting per say but to the fact that I could or could not complete a painting using every type of medium. I was told I couldnt do it and I took that as both insult and challenge. I ended up turning that into a compliment when the piece was completed and ALL were amazed!!

PTM: How has your art contributed to society? Do you think it”s important that art gives something to society?

As with my contributions to Big brother in Cincinnati, I hope to continue to pursue ways I can find to share about how art can be an outlet for self expression and like much of the lyrics that David Gray and Geoff Tate inspire me with their music, I hope my art can reach viewers and enlighten them and enrich their lives…

PTM: What’s your greatest accomplishment so far?

finding my own style of abstraction… believe it or not that was hard for me… to let go and allow expression to completely take over and take flight over what my “eye” expected to see…

PTM: How has your friends and family reacted to your success and how supportive were they in your time of need?

My parents were supportive and my mom found joy in sharing her expressions of art with me. They helped support me in that starving artist phase. My wife has challenged me to find frontiers not yet explored and pushes me to see past what is ”suppose to be”. She takes part in helping promote my works so that helps out a big deal because I am at times very consumed with the work itself.

PTM: Outside of art, what do you enjoy doing?

I am an independent filmmaker. and I”m working on two contrastive novels…I also enjoy the simple things like sitting in Central Park on a nice day, having a nice dinner with my wife, and quiet times with my animals. Frost Sinatra is a Japanese bob Tail, Stryper is a shelter tabby cat and Nayla is our 26 yr old sever McCaw. I teach our parrot to say colors – her favorite is blue… She and I have conversations for hours….LOL

PTM: what do you want people to know about you that they don’t know already?

People say I never stop and it”s true.

My secret is I want to stay “hungry” in my mind and that drives me to continually excel…

PTM: anything you want to say to the fans?

keep exploring art and cultures in every day experiences, If they tell you it cant be done show them it can

it is how one grows and how new trends, artists are created…

PTM: For those that are interested where do we go to look at more of your work?

PTM: Thank you so much for the interview good luck with everything.

Thank you, I fully believe in all that PTM stands for and is creating. I am grateful to you for supporting artists and fans of art all around the world.

TO: Graduate Programs, Widener University
FROM: Charlene Bunnell
DATE: January 10, 2016
RE: Jeremy Aaron Anderson’s Application for Graduate Work

I strongly recommend that Jeremy Aaron Anderson be considered for graduate work at Widener. As noted on the recommendation form, I have known Aaron since 2012 when he took a literature course with me in the summer and another one that I taught online a year later. We have remained in touch since then.

Beyond his work experience, Aaron has many and varied interests that would enhance his work in any business area, particularly those in writing, art, music, and literature. His manner is professional, and he is affable and outgoing. In class, he was an active participant and worked well with everyone. He takes his work seriously and completed reading and writing assignments on time, even though he has worked full time while earning his undergraduate degree.

Conversations that I have had with Aaron demonstrate that he is an active reader and well-informed about issues both topical and historical. He has particularly impressed me with his eagerness to learn and to do so well beyond the parameters of course material.

Without hesitation, I recommend Aaron for graduate studies; he will be a welcomed addition to the program. Please feel free to contact me should you have any further questions. or