a)Jared Joslin. J-O-S-L-I-N.
q) Where do you live and work?
a)I live mostly in my head, but I reside in Chicago. I work in a shared studio space with my brilliantly gifted wife Jessica, who pieces together incredibly intricate sculptures.
q) How did you started? How have you realized you wanted to become an artist?
a)I guess it pretty much started when I could hold something to make drawings with. I’ve maintained a creative push for my entire life. However, when I was around 16, I made a conscious decision that the artistic life was what I wanted and that I would pursue it tirelessly. It certainly has not been an easy route, but one I would not exchange even if I wanted to. For without it, my life would be incomplete.
q) What materials do you use and why?
a)I use graphite, brushes, acrylic paint, water and canvas.Why?They function as I want and need them to.
q) Who is your biggest influence, both art and non-art related
a)The biggest is a big word and I don’t think I could crown just one. I take much influence from the German painters of the 1920’s. The Golden Age of the circus. Fashions, designs and films of the 1920’s-30’s. I am also influenced by nature, namely birds and trees.
q) How do you dream up your wacky ideas? What is your creation process?
a)I find that you have to be ready to capture an idea, at any given point, regardless of where you are
or what you’re doing. For me, they surface randomly. I can’t conjure up an idea when forced and for each painting the process is likely to be different. To set up an example, the painting “Shore Leave” came to me while I was sitting at my kitchen table. It was late Sunday night and I was playing a game of Scrabble with Jessica. Hanging on the wall above the table, we have displayed a number of early 1900’s tattoo drawings, something that we collect. Sitting on the table, next to a tramp art lamp, is a 1940’s sailor girl figurine. I was looking at the tattoo drawings and at the carnival figurine, which was beautifully lit by the lamp and the idea of painting myself as a sailor on shore leave made itself known. I told Jessica this and after the game, we searched ebay for a vintage sailor uniform.Once the uniform arrived and I put myself in it, the visions of what I had in mind started to become even more vivid. I loved the idea of a sailor keeping an attentive eye on the sun setting over the sea, while also being delighted by the carnival and the girl on his arm. From that point on, it becomes the labor-intensive process of materializing that mental image onto the canvas.
q) What haven't you done yet that you definitely want to try someday?
a)Master the accordion.
q) Are there any contemporary artists that you love?
a)Yep. I do consistently prowl for newly discovered gems, but more often than not, I am not stirred by what I see. Nonetheless, there are a good number of artists’ works that I love. Some of my long time favorites are: Jessica Joslin, Russell Joslin, David Lynch, Colette Calascione, Camille Rose Garcia, Matthew Barney, Michal Chelbin, Irina Ionesco, Paolo Roversi, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.
q) How long does it take for you to finish a piece?
a)I don’t really keep a log on this.It all depends on its physical size, the amount of detail within and how many consecutive days I can devote to it. In general, I would say 1 to 3 months.
q) What music, if any, do you like to have on while you're working?
a)I like this question. It varies day to day. Sometimes I work in complete silence, but many of the days my paintbrush flicks along with the music. I have a 5 cd disc changer that I like to put on shuffle play. Currently what I have playing is Marlene Dietrich, The Birthday Party, The Ravonettes, Louis Armstrong and Nina Hagen.
q) Do you do many art shows?
a)I frequently get offered exhibition opportunities, but recently, I’ve been very selective about what shows I want to participate in. To be part of a show needs to be worth the time. My most recent exhibition, which I was delighted to partake in, was a juried competition at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery over the last 7 months.
q) Tell us about a recent dream you had.
a)I had a recent dream of a beautiful row of chorus girls on a black mirrored stage, wearing nothing but smiles and silver satin heels. All of them were platinum blond and their attractive bodies were covered in a soft, pale blue, peach fuzz-like fur. A brilliant light glowed from behind them, which shadowed their features yet haloed their silhouettes (reminding me of velvety deer antlers). As they began to dance a Rockettes-like dance routine in a synchronized rhythm, I realized the girls had the ability to retract their calves at the knee into their thighs. One girl would remain on her feet, while the other next to her would glide down to the floor until her knees met her tapped silver shoes. Their rhythm was like watching motor pistons and the clicking sounds they made hit in perfect succession and popped like firecrackers…*** I have apparently have been watching too many Busby Berkeley and Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movies recently***
q) What are you doing when you are not creating?
a)Eating caramel apples.
q) Do you get emotionally attached to your work and do you miss your work when it is sold?
a)All my work is an extension of the self and the emotions that come with it. Without this attachment the work would be lost.Sure I miss it when it sells, but work needs to sell in order for the artist to survive and maintain the hours needed to devote to making work.I find it highly rewarding to have collectors personally connect to my imagery. I know if they are willing to spend the money, that they are serious in their intentions. I just hope that my paintings grow stronger and continue to be enjoyed and cherished.
q) What new projects or exhibits are in your future?
a)My newest project is a 6’ tall full-length self-portrait. In it, I am depicting myself as an early 20th century juggler in splendid costume.As far as exhibits, I’ve got some potentially exciting things percolating, but I won’t say what they are. I’m very superstitious this way. I think it best not to mention until they have fully crystallized.
q) What is your favorite art related web site?
a)Besides the individual sites of the Joslin 3, I’d have to say wurzeltod.ch. Suzanne is a peach with fantastic tastes and a stunning list of artist’s websites. I adore her and the time she devotes to her site.
q) What is the strangest thing you have ever seen?
a)I guess it depends on what day you ask me. Living in Chicago offers up some prime opportunities to witness acts of strangeness. Since this is an art blog, I will retell a story that seems appropriate and certainly stands out as one of the strangest things I’ve seen. It was Friday the 13th (no bluffing!) 1998 and I was awaiting a gallery dealer (whom was considering giving me representation) to arrive to view my work. Pacing nervously around the apartment and keeping an eye out the front window for his arrival, I noticed from a distance, about 5 houses down, a pair of larger birds walking side by side down the sidewalk. As they began to approach my apartment building, I realized that they were spectacular show chickens, strutting their wonderfully colorful and fantastic plumage. As they arrived below my window, they took an immediate right turn into the street and then another right turn, to head back in the direction they had come. They did this with the same kind of precision as two marching soldiers. They headed back down the street and I could not take my eyes off them. They turned right again, back to where they began and disappeared behind the house. I never saw them again and still have not seen them to this day! I was beginning to think that I hallucinated the entire thing, when the gallery dealer showed up at my door. I asked him if he had witnessed the prancing chickens and to my delight, he had! This made for a wonderful laugh that broke the ice on our first meeting.
q) What is the strangest thing you have ever done?
a)Pursuing the life of an artist, in all of its beauty and deformity. q) Any advice you can pass onto aspiring artists/designers?
a)Don’t ever give up. Stick to your guns. Work your ass off.
q) Your contacts...e-mail.links