1 ::: Why are you an artist Jesse?
I am an artist kind of by default, I see
and act on things instinctually... my
mind is always running with ideas, and
I'm anxious as I wait to act on them..
if I didn't create I think my shoulders
would implode from the stress of inactivity.
I've always been this way. Since I could
use a pencil I've been obsessed with drawing.
+2 ::: Could you tell us some more about
I approach painting with random intentions
to give a sense of natural order.. its
integral to my process, as well as my
intentions. I attempt to find meaning
through separating myself from my thoughts
and then following them through with my
actions. I generally work on 5 to 10 paintings
at all times so I can jump between them
all, and stay busy. I try not to get too
caught up with any one piece until it
nears its end. I feel this keeps my self
editing more honest, it keeps me from
getting too attached to one idea, and
allows me to move on to follow rather
than lead my thoughts. This is what I
strive for more than anything in process,
following what I see. I generally work
on pieces in many small sessions so my
assessments are new and fresh each time
I sit down to work a piece. In the final
stages I tend to make sense of the imagery
and add any final touches. Through the
process of following, I feel I work through
problems as well as learn about myself
by making free visual expressions and
associations of my feelings. Often it
isn't until a painting is almost completely
finished that I understand its meaning.
+3 ::: You seem
to be a very prolific painter, and your
works seem to be filled with intense emotion.
Is painting like a release for you or
is it emotionally draining?
Painting is a real release for me, I have
so much energy I need to get out. It helps
me work through my thoughts while staying
more occupied on painting than thinking,
this keeps me from running in too many
circles. I try to keep things as random
as I can until I find my focus accidentally,
it makes mistakes just as relevant as
purpose.. this makes letting go easy.
In the event that I catch my self obsessing
or frustrated with a piece I general paint
over everything that isn't working and
start over from this point. Letting go
and destroying a painting always leads
to a reborn mess of color that shows itself,
you cant act with true expression and
find nothing. Its moments like this that
cant help but make me trust the ideas
of randomness and persistence.
+4 ::: What artists have influenced you,
artists that have influenced me most have
been close friends. Its more our conversations
and assessments then looking at there
work. One of my closest friends Chris
Giordani, has been a huge influence on
my entire approach and drive. One of the
most important things he said to me is
"paint and if you don't like it paint
over it." By watching his methods
and talking about them I feel I learned
everything that has lead me to what I
know as a painter. Free expression is
true expression. True expression is undeniable.
This is what I saw in his work from the
first moment I saw it, this is what I
+5 ::: What other interests do have (besides
I also make
music, I play guitar, bass, drum machines,
synths, record players, and samplers.
I record and produce various music projects
in the studio by myself as well as with
friends. I play live electronic music
under the name kidspecial.
I also play guitar with various live musicians,
generally in improvisational settings.
I like to approach music in the same way
I approach painting, by playing in the
moment and following the sounds around
me until it makes sense.
::: What inspires you to paint and how
do you keep motivated when things get
tough in the studio?
I'm inspired by anxious energy, and passing
thoughts, just about anything can cue
me want to paint. Even the act of not
wanting to paint can drive me, the challenge
of pushing myself through it. The act
of being frustrated has brought me to
some of my favorite works. I'll have one
of those days where I just don't want
to do anything and I'll push myself to
paint, totally frustrated and unhappy
I push out a painting that catches the
feeling perfectly on accident. I'll totally
disregard it and go on with my mood, eventually
I'll get back to it and realize what I've
done. One moment like this will motivate
me for the rest of the day...
::: How have you handled the business
side of being an artist?
I've handled the business side much like
the art side.. I try to deal with galleries,
shop owners and people I respect that
way no matter how the show turns out I'm
happy.. anytime you find yourself working
or acting just out of money, the worth
of the outcome can only be reduced to
money. So I try to remain as far from
this as possible. This could destroy any
artist. Popular opinions can lead you
to things that have nothing to do with
yourself, and this is an empty feeling.
I try to price my work as fair as possible,
I try to put it at a range I can afford.
Its all priceless and worthless at the
same. Higher priced paintings follow my
own personal scale of attachment.. I keep
creation separate from business by trying
to stay at least a month ahead on work,
this way whatever I'm creating today has
no sense of sale. Along with that I realize
there are too many paintings in my house
to keep so I know I have to sell them
or eventually there will be no room to
live. This intern pushes me to get my
work up any where I can, from coffee shops,
to fine art galleries, street fairs, tattoo
shops, and the Internet. The bulk of my
actual sales comes from the Internet through
so this is very empowering I'm free to
show as many paintings as I want without
waiting for a gallery to hang my work.
I'm also left free to create, without
ever having the feeling I need to critic
my work for a specific gallery or market.
::: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I don't know where to say I'll be in ten
years but as far as I can see into the
future I will be creating and learning
from my creations.
::: Could you talk about your latest series
of paintings and what you are trying to
achieve with them?
My latest series of paintings
is entitled - THE NATURE OF MAN... All
that is specific to human kind -
Man separates himself from all other species,
he uses his sense of consciousness to
claim righteousness and self importance
within the animal kingdom. He controls
cages and consumes any species of animal
in anyway he sees fit. For pleasure power
ego and exploitation. To do so he avoids
his own consciousness by learning to lie
to himself, he uses all his creations
to distance himself from responsibility
for the actions that his conscious deems
wrong. Along the way he creates right
and wrong to justify his actions and control
the actions of other who might threaten
him. He creates a god in his own image
to take ultimate responsibility for those
things he would rather not claim, religion
is mans ultimate scapegoat. Man creates
angels and devils to guide him in an attempt
to keep his lying conscious from getting
him into too much trouble, and to blame
for the actions he himself can not excuse..
He seeks to control and secure his life
at every turn believing he deserves more
with each new day. He works and saves
to achieve more and more control over
his life, he follows trends and ideas
through popular opinion, he uses the opinions
of the masses to secure his sense of righteousness.
He then builds on these ideas to further
separate himself from nature and even
the rest of mankind.. All along caging
himself, feeling more and more alone,
feeling more and more afraid and confused
with the world around him.. Fighting wars
he does not understand. Paying taxes to
a system he knows only as empire.. Breaking
down all that is around him in terms of
money class control ownership laws morals
rules and gods all created and explained
by his surroundings. When and if he stops
to think for himself he will realize he
is responsible for his own entrapment,
and the animals he thinks he is above
are free making all decisions based on
personal instinct. The only true right
or wrong. A personal decision made out
of basic survival.
::: What advice would you give to an artist
just starting out?
I think my biggest point of advice for
painters just starting out is "paint,
and if you dont like what youve painted,
paint over it until you do."