How do you stay motivated in your work as an artist?
JS: I always need multiple sources of stimulation while I’m working. For example, while I’m burning the screens for my paintings it is a lot of waiting and minor adjustments. While I wait I’m reading articles on artists and work that is interesting or prevalent. I’m also Setting up or working on smaller works, experimenting with new processes I discover while making. I also am going over notes I have made while working and and trying to make sense of my thoughts about the work. I have found that my process to staying focus is by making smaller distractions that shift my focus slightly but is still within the same intentions of what I’m working on. I like to bounce around my studio as well, physically moving through my space helps me frame my thoughts.
Tell us about a pivotal experience in your life and describe how it impacts the work you are making now.
JS: Hmm… It’s difficult for me to think of one specific instance that has completely defined or re-defined my work currently. I am the type of person who likes to look into how things flow and relate to each other. My process currently was built from past explorations and ultimately failed projects. It’s a constant re-calculating, re-defining (slightly), and re-working in my process until I reach a point that I feel the work can hold it’s own. I don’t think that this says the work is concretely successful or not but I do think a work that can speak and hold intention is what I strive to make. Artists that I admire and respect have this intention that I see and enjoy. Their work feels honest to me in its intent and not trying to be something it’s not. This is very difficult, and in my own work the most difficult at times, to get across. Everything must be taken into consideration, the subject, the layout, the size, the display, the references… I know I’m missing some but they all impact the intention of the work.
Describe a person who has been influential to your work or career as an artist.
JS: Immediate mentors and Influences that have been of major benefit to my Professional Career have been Professors Corey Drieth, Matt Barton and Bruce Bennett. Drieth and Barton have helped me develop my practice while also presenting me with opportunities outside the Academic realm. I would not be in the position I am today without their guidance and support. Bruce Bennett was my High School Art teacher who first encouraged me to take my work seriously, I have the deepest respect for my long time friend and Mentor “Mr. Old Man Bruce.”
Outside my immediate relationships other artists whom have influenced and help develop my work greatly have been Christian Boltanski, Sally Mann, Janet Cardiff, Marina Abramovic, Gerhard Richter and less known Matthew Brandt and Corinne Wasmuht. All of these artists I have studied heavily during my time in and out of School and I have developed a strong and lasting connection with these artist work. They fuel my interests; I feel like I need them constantly around me as a work. I listen to a lot of podcasts and artist talks while in the studio. There really is something about hearing another person’s voice whom you respect while working, it’s really encouraging.
Find out more about JD HERE.
JD Sell is one of ten artists whose works are being showcased in GOCA 1420’s Senior Visual Art (VAPA) Majors exhibit, X. From start to finish the ten students worked together to exhibit and promote their work. This is the tenth annual Senior VAPA Majors art exhibition and runs from 15 April through 14 May 2016. Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, or by appointment. GOCA1420 is located at UCCS Centennial Hall at 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, 80918.