Jake Bowen is a 23-year old visual artist from Ontario. He’s a graduate with a major in communications, but is also creating various works of art. Bowen credits the young artists of social media as his greatest inspiration to make art. Check out a gallery of his work and learn more in our interview below.
When did you start making art? And how would you say your work has evolved since then?
I first gained an interest in art when I took a photography class in high school. From there I became an avid photographer, shooting a lot of street photography focusing on unique people and objects I found around the city. Eventually I lost the interest in photography and slowly morphed from photography to photo manipulation to eventually picking up physical paints, and ever since then I’ve just gotten more and more into painting/using mixed media on canvas to create.
What do you think it is about painting that attracts you more personally than photography did?
The infinite possibilities really. I found photography got stale, as well I started to question the ethics of street photography. With painting, you can literally make anything, so I’m constantly trying to make every painting different from the last in one way or another.
And how do you go about starting a painting? What’s the creative process like for you personally?
It varies. Sometimes I go from a reference photo that stands out to me or when I have no automatic inspiration I just throw paint on a canvas and try to build from there. A lot of my favorites I’ve made I had no idea where it was going until it was almost finished.
What and who are your most important inspirations?
From the beginning I’ve gained a ton of inspiration from the young artists who are growing and pushing the limits and doing it all by sharing their work on social media. It started with Bryant Giles, Zach Thompson and Fewocious who were a few of the first truly unique artists I found through Twitter. I’ve since found and followed tons of great other artists who all inspire me in different ways as well. And whenever I’m feeling down or just low on inspiration, I find the best motivation is to go see art in person, at any local gallery.
So I can tell social media has had a large affect on you – since you name dropped those artists. How has social media helped your personal art career?
I’m still very young at this whole art career thing so I haven’t seen a ton of real life benefits from social media interactions as far as sales goes. However I do think there’s a good chance I would have gotten discouraged or gotten too down on myself to have continued this far if it wasn’t for positive feedback I’ve received on social media, so I’d say that’s where it’s been most helpful thus far. Even though often times my favorite pieces get the least attention and interactions, it’s just great to get any feedback to keep motivated to make another piece and try to make it better than the one before.
What’s your biggest goal you want to accomplish as an artist?
That is a question I ask myself often, not really having an easy answer yet. Creating art is what makes me feel the most fulfilled and it’s what I love doing most, but I’m not sure that I ever want it to be my main source of income. Like, I think about how great it would be to make my own schedule, paint all the time and not have to work a job I don’t like or care about. But then I consider how much of what I love about how I make art now is that I can just have fun with it and not feel the pressure to create for others. The few times I’ve been hired for commissions I always find it harder in every aspect, and rarely am I truly happy with the finished product. So as of now my only goal is to keep improving on my own and keep developing into my style.