Welcome to my latest blog post, where I am excited to share with you an interview with Jordan Barker, a New York-based entrepreneur and self-taught artist who has captivated me with his work. I had the opportunity to visit his studio in Chelsea, where I learned more about this amazing and passionate artist. Despite not being formally trained, Jordan has honed his skills and has become a master of his craft.
As an entrepreneur myself, I understand the dedication and hard work that goes into creating something from scratch, and Jordan embodies this spirit in his art. He is passionate about his work and has a deep understanding that art not only enhances our lives, but also creates an energy within the universe that supports mental health. He believes that art is more than just pretty pictures, and has a connection to each piece he creates. I was forever impressed by his artistic expression.
I hope that you enjoy the question and answer session and video that we put together, as it will give you a true connection and glimpse into the world of Jordan and his art. Whether you are an artist yourself or simply appreciate the beauty of art, I am sure that you will be just as captivated by Jordan's work as I was. So, sit back, relax, and let's delve into the mind of this talented artist.
1. How did you first become interested in art?
My entry into art started with fulfilling a personal need. I wanted a rustic coffee table, but couldn’t find the aesthetic that I desired so I decided to make one from an upcycled wooden pallet that I found on the street. Having no experience building a table (ie. sanding, staining etc) , I found the process of learning and creating something from nothing highly enjoyable. This mentality was then applied to repurposing readymade objects which eventually led me to painting.
2. What inspires your work and where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
I don’t draw. I don’t doodle. I’ve never taken an art class nor did I take an interest in art growing up. My inspiration for creating comes from within. It’s an uncontrolled, free spirited meditative state that I’m able to enter, which provides me with a sense of presence and calm amidst the quiet chaos of life.
3. How would you describe your style or aesthetic?
Abstract, eclectic and highly texturized! When I first started painting, my work was much more controlled and structured. As I became more comfortable with the process of painting, I started to experiment with latex paints, aerosols, and eventually oil paints. Becoming more comfortable with the process of painting and utilizing free-flowing materials enabled me to express myself in a way that I wasn’t able to with acrylic paint. The combination of these two factors led to a completely new style for me, built solely off trial and error.
4. Can you talk about a piece or series that is particularly meaningful to you?
The most meaningful lesson I’ve learned from art stemmed from a piece titled “DJ”, which I have since sold. I sat on this painting for a while knowing that it looked empty and needed more, but I didn’t know what to do. Filled with self-doubt, I took a step back to breathe and after calming my mind I started painting black squiggly lines all over the painting. With each stroke of the brush, the colors that were already on canvas would come to life! Four hours later I had a completed painting and that’s when I realized that all of the talent, all of the hard work was already on the canvas: It just needed to be highlighted.
I think this is a profound realization that applies to everyone because we are all like this canvas. We all have something unique and special about us, but sometimes we need to be in the right place, at the right time or around the right people in order to shine.
5. How do you approach the creative process?
Having no prior artistic background, I find the best way to approach the creative process is to just start painting. The foundation of my paintings starts with no intention and no desired outcome. Once in flow, it becomes a meditative state in which I am able to release any tension, frustrations or anxieties onto the canvas. Once I feel like there has been ample paint and texture applied, I take a step back and look at the beautiful mess I made. I rotate the canvas and study it, looking for some form of natural composition or abstract shapes. From there I embellish those shapes and build upon them until I feel the desired painting is complete. Many mistakes are made along the way and that’s OK. Self-doubt and fear are part of the creative process. The key is knowing that it won’t stop you and through persistence and repetition, you will end up with a desirable outcome.
6. How do you think the art world has changed or evolved in recent years, and how has that impacted your work?
I think the two overarching themes that have modernized the artworld are inclusivity and accessibility. By inclusivity, I mean the fractionalization of high-end art, such as Masterworks. This is important because it enables people that love and appreciate art to own a piece of a painting that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. I believe this makes art more engaging and desirable to the masses.
Secondly, the rise of ecommerce and social media have given many artists direct access to collectors, enabling them to have their own voice and their own relationships beyond a traditional gallery. Paying attention to market trends have pushed me out of my comfort zone to experiment with NFT’s and also post on social media.
7. What advice would you have for other emerging artists who are just starting out in their careers?
Don’t be afraid to show your work! It can be a vulnerable, scary process to put something out into the world that you have worked hard on and that is personal to you. Most of the time our mind is preconditioned to think about the worst possible outcome and I think most people would be pleasantly surprised at the love and positive feedback they would receive if they put themselves out there. If you never show your work, no one will ever know you have work to show.
Another bit of advice; Don’t’ be afraid to ask questions. When I was starting out, I would reach out to artists on Instagram and ask them about their process, the type of paint they use, how they value their art etc. Learning from someone that has more experience can help you progress faster and also avoid making the same mistakes that they made.
8. What are your future goals as an artist?
I have been selling my original artwork and just started selling Limited Edition, high-end prints. I’d like to make my art more accessible for those that aren’t ready to purchase my original work. I get great joy knowing that I can create something that can not only transform rooms, but also evoke a positive emotion (hopefully!).
I will continue creating art, doing shows, and increasing my distribution. I can see some of my designs being utilized on clothing, notebooks, etc. I enjoy sharing the life lessons that I have learned from creating art, which also translates over to business and other aspects of life. If this could be parlayed into public/motivational speaking, that would be the dream. Knowing that you could have a positive impact on someone’s life is the ultimate honor.
Jordan can be contacted via Direct Message through Instagram
Jan 31, 2023
Great interview! Love Jordan Barker Art! I have one of his first original paintings on a sheet of metal. It’s spectacular!
Jan 31, 2023
Fantastic, great work, and terrific interview !!