Sep 24, 2020
Who was it that inspired and empowered you as you began your journey as an artist? Did you have a family member who nurtured and encouraged your creative aspirations? Maybe it was a peer or a mentor from afar - almost everyone has that special person or group of people who spurred them on as an artist.
While our world continues to grow more interconnected with the help of the internet, it’s important to remember the critical role of in-person and local art communities and expressions. My guest is someone who benefited from and gives back to local youth initiatives to empower young people on their creative journeys.
Jerarde Gutierrez is an artist and Arts Program Coordinator as well as a Co-Program Manager of the ACOE IL Dept. Management of program centers around coordination of Integrated Arts Learning spaces at the REACH Ashland Youth Center, a project of Alameda County. Jerarde describes his work as “Rooted in representational painting.” Lately, he has been gravitating towards painting En Plein Air as it allows for fluid brushstrokes, contrasting textures, and interplay of representational and abstraction to capture the essence of a place.
Looking back on his start as an artist, Jerarde is quick to point out how much of an impact his mother had on his development. As a crafty and creative person herself, Jerarde’s mother filled him with the confidence and boldness he would need as he entered the art world. After his mother laid a solid foundation, Jerarde was able to work closely with the renowned West Coast muralist, John Wehrle. While Jerarde felt like an annoying mosquito buzzing around and annoying people with his questions, the truth is - their kindness and embrace helped Jerarde grow as an artist by leaps and bounds.
After receiving so much generosity in his early years from his mother, John Wehrle, and many others - Jerarde jumped at the chance to give back and help others on their journey. These days, Jerarde spends a portion of his time as an Arts Program Coordinator. What Jerarde loves about his work with young people is seeing their potential and then watching that spark fan into a flame of passion and dedication. Can you relate to Jerarde’s story? What do you do to honor those who came before you and paved the way - I want to hear from you!
Let’s face it, mastering a technique, or getting a process just right is stressful! Too often, many artists let the overwhelm, self-doubt, fear, and so many other obstacles get in the way of their creative process in the studio. Don’t let these limiting factors rob you of the joy you deserve creating the art you love! Jerarde encourages his students and peers to look at their work as an artist like they would a typical job - put in the time and effort even when you don’t feel like it! You really get the sense that Jerearde practices what he preaches - his artwork is focused and inspiring. Make sure to check out images of Jerarde’s artwork located at the end of this post!