Artist Interview: Andrew Jackson

posted on March 8, 2016 by
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andrew jackson artist interview Huge thanks to our very own YAC mentor Andrew Jackson for the awesome interview! Check out more of his work at the opening reception of his newest show at Lalla Grille - on Wednesday, April 6 from 4-6pm. The show is up now, and will run through June. To see more of his work visit

Tell us about the subject matter/content of your work? “Blurry Nightlife,” or “Night Scenes.” I have always loved walking at night. A single lonely streetlamp to a neon sign filled corner market. The feelings I have are so different. What is visible in the dark has more character and has wider range of mood than the burning daylight of sun.

Tell us about how you work/your process. I take a lot of long exposure pictures on my walks or outings. I manipulate versions of these photos to work out the details and paint a lot of studies to get the effects right. I then assemble my image to work for what I want as the painting. Angles from one corner or figures from another place, light from another block. I search for a feeling and paint it in, I hope, a timeless space. andrew jackson

What medium(s) do you work with? I paint large paintings in oil and studies and small work in acrylic. Studies for my large paintings, in oil when it is crucial.

About how many hours/day/week do you work? I am now painting 5 days a week at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours split into two sessions.

How do you navigate the art world? I collected art before I painted. At 17, I bought a painting on layaway from a martin Lawrence gallery at a mall in Buena park, CA. Manuel Nunez for $450. Every time I sold one of my own paintings, I would buy a painting on my running list of artist I collect. I know what I like and I trust my taste. I am curious about technique in painting as well with business and promotion. When I told myself I was better at selling and promotion of others, it became true. I have realized that after 20+ years of living as an artist, I have made this life my choice. I am able to be good at promoting myself as well. andrew jackson studio

What is your definition of success? A lack of fear.

What inspires you? What do you read, listen to, look at, watch, eat, smell…? Instagram, nature, and walking around at night. Right now I have been reading Rumi (jewels), Jim Carroll (book of nods).

What else would you do if you weren’t an artist (or what do you do when you aren’t making art)? I love cooking. andrew jackson

What are you working on now? “Painting daily.” This has been my work for the last 2 years. I am almost there in this practice of brushing off the overwhelm of everyday things that call for my attention and just “getting to it” the joy.

How do you get yourself through dry spells, self-esteem fluctuations, deep shyness, general low periods, inertia? Connection. I call my friends and mentors, ask to meet. I sum up what’s going well. What has been hard. And what is next for today. Then I ask my friend these questions and give them my full attention… If I do not make this a practice it is unbelievable how much I can carry “doing it on my own.” I don’t have to unconsciously keep piling pressure and carrying it around with me. It is important to celebrate and acknowledge that I am doing my best in this world, today. andrew jackson

Tell us about your education and background. Self taught? Mentors? Art college? Lessons? Internet? Combo? I did not make any art outside of assignments in school or have appreciation of art until I was 19. I came to Carmel on a work stress leave from a corrugated paper factory. I walked into a gallery and this man painted like I saw in my dreams. I watched him each day and filmed him painting with my vhs camera and asked if he would teach me. Of course his answer was, “no,” after telling him I did not draw or paint. So I commissioned a $1000 painting and asked if I could watch him paint it and make payments. I drove from Anaheim, CA 4 times with a payment and after it was completed and I received my painting, I showed him a painting that I had made on my own from watching. He smiled and announced, “Class begins!” John Mason became my mentor and friend. The schooling I pursued was at “The Art Students League, NYC” for 7 months in 1999. andrew jackson

Best advice you ever got? “Your eyes have been open this many years, trust them and Paint!” – Harvey Dinnerstein (resident master at Art Students League NYC) andrew jackson

Any feed back on the value of YAC? YAC teaches 14-22 year-old young men and young women artistic skills, and allows the space and time to feel who they are through practicing those skills. YAC offers real world challenges of creating work alongside fellow artist toward shows in the community. They learn about deadlines, materials, finishing, framing, pricing, displaying, and possibly selling to our community - and in most cases for the very first time interacting beyond friends and family. I wish this support system was more available for this age group and beyond. “Do Art, Be Kind”

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