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AS IS | J Louis


From Karlsruhe, Germany (City)

Based in New York City, US

"I was a gifted draftsman and have painted all my life. However, my focus before attending college was on athletics. I spent many years training for a spot on the U.S. national soccer team.."

A: What brought you into art?

J: From a young age, I was a gifted draftsman and have painted all my life. However, my focus before attending college was on athletics. I spent many years training for a spot on the U.S. national soccer team. Through soccer, I was granted a full-ride scholarship to attend the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). At SCAD I decided to study Industrial Design. Although I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the #1 Industrial Design program in the country at the time, I couldn't stop painting. So I decided to take the skills I had learned at SCAD and apply them to my art-making practice. Shortly after making my art more public, I was fortunately contacted by numerous reputable galleries. I haven't looked back since then and couldn't be more grateful for the opportunities that athletics, SCAD, my galleries, and my loving family have provided me. It's truly a dream come true.

A: What inspires you the most?

J: I am inspired the most directly by my incredible wife, loving mother, and all of the incredible women I have the opportunity to work with to inspire my paintings.

A: Do you have any specific rituals while working(creating)?

J: I would guess that I have more rituals than I am aware of. What comes to mind first, are the many espresso breaks I take throughout the day. It's important to step back from your work to see each artwork as a whole, and espressos are simply delicious, so it's the perfect ritual for contemplation. I believe a healthy body fuels a healthy and productive mind, so outside of the studio, I still train like a competitive athlete. Fitness is a cornerstone of my morning routine before entering the studio.

A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?

J: That depends on the individual's goal in art. If it is simply a fun thing for them to do, my advice would be to try many different artistic practices, determine what they enjoy doing the most, and do it for as long and often as it remains enjoyable. If the artist wants to create a career of their art making, my earlier response would be the first step. On top of that, I would recommend that they spend a great deal of time drawing as drawing is the soul of any quality work.

A: Your top 3 adjectives related to art?

J: Connecting, dialectical, loving.

A: The best angle to look at art is from..?

J: The artist's viewpoint. Step up to work as if you're painting as the artist themself (without actually touching the work), then step back several paces to view the work in its entirety. This will open a whole new level of interpretation for those who do not regularly create paintings. Art is a memory game to build a unified image out of an infinite number of minute observations. Shifting your perception from near to far helps to break down this creative process.

A: The Perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is:.?

J: What do you see?

A: Must-read books to talk about art (or do we even need them)?

J: A beautiful story is a work of art in itself. So I would say any book that one connects with may be a brilliant conversation starter that may relate to one's artistic inclination. As far as books that speak specifically about art, I have found "The Art Spirit" by Robert Henri, and more recently "How to be an Artist" by Jerry Saltz to be great introductions for the budding artist. I've found the greatest inspiration in texts that don't speak specifically to art-making or criticism. Nausea by John-Paul Sartre and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez have sparked a few creative ideas lately. A quality work of art or work of writing speaks about life, so as long as we can see these basic principles in the works we can talk.

A: What would it be if you could change one thing in the art world?

J: Remove artist's names from every work of art. At the end of the day, we/art appreciators should be captivated and moved by the quality of a work of art, not the "famous" name of an artist. Imagine if we were allowed to appreciate work without being expected to love this artist or that artist!

A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art)

J: “If at first, you don't succeed, try, try again” and "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best"

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