JG: I make contemporary abstract paintings. The reason I work abstractly is because I want to simplify – figures into shapes for example.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
JG: I studied design and continuously draw inspiration from typography for aesthetic reasons. I get content/subject inspiration from human beings, we hurt each other, we hurt ourselves, we are kind, we are compassionate, we are damaged.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
JG: I want them to see or just feel humanness.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
JG: I try to be in the studio as much as I can. In order for me to be an artist it means I must live very simply as far as material things go. It also means I have to piece together income as I can with freelance design projects, marketing my own art, selling art online etc.
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?
JG: For me I like to have a direction to start with but not get tied to it, there has to be impulse and intuition while working.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
JG: I always wanted a gallery to come along and sell my work for me but I just don’t think that happens too much anymore. I have learned you have have to get out there and do your own selling, marketing etc. and all of that takes a huge amount of time.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
JG: I think the content of a painting is the most important thing. But I think style is very important too for better or worse if you stick to a certain style I think it makes it easier to sell your work in the long run.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
JG: The money/time balance is one of the hardest things for me right now. If I am earning money from freelance work I am not spending as much time on my art.
JG: Making art is something I HAVE to do, but it is the thing I love too.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?
JG: I am always inspired when I see Amy Sillman’s paintings. Ashley Longshore cracks me up, I love her take charge attitude, and what Heather Schulte does especially with cross stitch on newspapers is really great.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artiststoday?
JG: I don’t use technology in making my art (probably because I have to sit at the computer enough as it is) but technology is useful for selling art and keeping in touch with folks.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
JG: Yes I think so, I think I am more compassionate than I would be if I did not make art.
JG: I do not “love” traveling although I have done a bit. My favorite kind of travel is to a deserted wilderness area for 3-4 days.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
JG: I loved “Night Studio: A Memoir of Philip Guston” by Musa Mayer, but I don’t really have a favorite book right now.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
JG: Just to get better and better!
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
JG: Challenging yourself, expressing yourself, being a better human.
CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?
JG: You Want it Darker by Leonard Cohen
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?