Today we’d like to introduce you to Jess Preble.
Hi Jess, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I am a fine artist who works in oil paint. I have been professionally exhibiting and engaging in the creative world for well over a decade.
I am 33 years old. I was born in Colorado. I have never taken an oil painting class. I don’t consider my beginnings or process of getting to where I am today particularly remarkable, except that I was foolish or brave enough to keep making art, which is remarkable in a world which can be so quick to rob us of our wonder.
The coming-up stories of many artists share common threads – a strange child with a love for creating who refused to do their math homework and drew in the margins of the book instead, failing that math class, leading to a lifetime of honing one’s talents (if we are lucky enough to have the luxury of the time to do so). All of this much to the chagrin of our families, who often want us to choose “real” careers, or at the very least, pass a math class.
Ultimately the story brings us to where we find ourselves today – with varying measures and levels of success. Our success is merely determined by what our expectations were and are, and how cleverly we cheated/bargained with the world to maintain the integrity of our original concept of “I Will be a Professional Artist When I am Grown Up”.
With all that said – I consider myself “medium successful”. I have enjoyed the privilege of participating in over a hundred installations of all variations, ranging from formal solo gallery shows to scrappy fundraisers in dive bars, and everything in between. I have taught painting, and have spent years professionally curating the works of other artists as well. I attribute the majority of my success to other people, and though it is I who make the art, art is relatively meaningless in a vacuum isn’t it?
I will never look at myself in a mirror and declare myself a success. That is the point at which you stop dreaming of doing better.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been a smooth road. However, nothing worth doing will ever be easy. Choose the fights worth fighting and don’t back down.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
As I stated earlier, I work primarily in oil paint. I consider myself a contemporary realist, though my work began more in the realm of an impressionist style.
My subject matter ranges across animals, nature, architecture, human figures, still life, surreal monsters, and beyond. I don’t feel that I am particularly “known” for any one thing, though I do a lot of pet portrait commissions. I had a family member tell me once that I make the eyes of animals too human, which I liked.
I think one thing that sets me apart from others is that I always show up on time.
How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
In any way, you can imagine. I am always open to collaborations, and at the moment am working on a super-secret project with a photographer friend and several other painters.
You can support me by patronizing the arts. Even if you do not spend money or time with my works, an arts community that is supported by its community at large is a place that myself and others get to thrive in.
- Website: www.jesspreble.com
- Instagram: @jesspreble.artist