GJ: My style is a playful portrait, often digressing into odd places.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
GJ: I am inspired by snapshots of life, unexpected beautiful little things I encounter randomly. I make sure to remember them because that is the key: to remember and plant the seeds for something to potentially create in the future.
I am also inspired by great artists everywhere. Seeing inspirational work fuels me to keep creating.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
GJ: As much as possible, when starting a new piece of artwork, I want to be in a good mindset. It’s important that my mind is calm, that I feel good about myself—I make myself a cup of coffee, and/or apply red lipstick. Anything that will prep me for a lot of ruminating. From there, it’s just a series of problem solving and walking through a maze where you create the boundaries depending on your own aesthetic mood.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
GJ: I really appreciate it when people take the time to look at my work for more than a few seconds. That’s already a desired result: to be visible. What they take from it is out of my control, but it’s always nice when they find something about it that’s visually pleasing or thought-provoking. It builds a connection.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
GJ: I set aside working hours where I do my creative work and I make sure to have some time off to spend doing something else.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?
GJ: I want a plan of action. If I just go and paint without a plan, it usually ends in tears. Having a plan will allow me to create in a more meditative state. That said, if in the middle of the process I get a new idea, I can step back an re-plan.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
GJ: That it doesn’t get easier but if you work at it you get better.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
GJ: I think It’s important to know your personal style and find ways to honestly express it.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
GJ: Keeping at it.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
GJ: The part where I paint. It’s where my mind quiets down.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?
GJ: If I were to mention only one, it would be Georgia O’ Keefe. Her works speak volumes to my emotions.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
GJ: It’s magical. I need to catch up with it.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
GJ: I think we all view the world differently not only because of our chosen profession but because we have different pasts and paths. But maybe as creative people, it’s important to be sensitive to the darker corners, listening in more closely, rummaging into a world of make-believe.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
GJ: I love food, so I will say Italy.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
GJ: J.D. Salinger, because he makes me laugh.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
GJ: I want to paint bigger pieces and go back to oil painting.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
GJ: It’s what keeps me connected to my inner self in a world that has become so noisy.
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?
GJ: My artwork expresses who I am and where I am now. I want it to evolve and take me to surprising places.