In recognition of October 25th being International Artist’s Day, we sat down with the talented, Jlorene Gage, to learn about her current line of work and journey as an artist in hopes of inspiring young aspiring artists on their own creative journey.
For people who may not be familiar with your work, can you share about your current line of work and what the inspiration was behind it?
For the past few years, I’ve been working on a mixed-media series called Guides & Gurus, which is a representation of inspirational icons. It started with a Buddha exercise I did in an art class. Then I decided from there I wanted to do a modern take on the traditional religious icon, Mother Mary. At the time, I was going through a dark time in my life and facing a lot of challenges. I didn’t know it at the time, but the process of creating this series became a tool for me to express and heal.
I had the privilege of meeting people as I was going on my own journey who had shared experiences or were going through their own various challenges. Some even shared their stories and introduced the teachers that guided them that I wasn’t aware of and they requested me to paint for them.
There is this longing that the human condition has to move across our limitations. Whether it be something you’re currently navigating or if you’re working towards evolving past your limitations, it’s really a fascinating thing.
You mentioned you were working primarily with mixed media. Was this a new medium for you?
In the past, I worked mostly with oil. When I entered design school my focus shifted and art took a back seat. It was many years before I pulled out my art supplies again. I took a class and was introduced to a process that I really loved, which led me to my current medium using oil pastels, acrylic, pen, and pencil on paper and transferred to board. It’s been an evolving process and I’ve really come to love it.
I’ve also been playing with charcoal and acrylic which I’ve been told your not suppose to do, but I do it anyway. The reason I gravitate to charcoal is I like the way the images emerge from the shadows. I tend to feel my way through rather than taking a step-by-step, approach to my artwork. I am currently using a combination of charcoal and acrylic on a dream/vision inspired piece.
Where do you find yourself leaning into for inspiration?
I find myself inspired by a lot of things. There’s never much research and development before I start a project. The thing that inspires me most are everyday people truly living out their place in life. I’m also inspired by spiritual symbols, meditative or stories. Gustav Klimt’s symbols he weaved into the fabric of the clothes of the women he painted are particularly fascinating as well as the Matisse Chapel, which as an interior designer, I truly appreciated.
While I’m not an expert on the art scene, I’ve had an emotional response to pieces by collage artists, Lance Letscher, who does a lot of intricate pattern work involving meditative trance. I recently watched a documentary, Marina Abramovic — The Artist is Present, which was incredibly powerful and moving. The disconnection of humanity feels so real so when I see something that moves me, I’m inspired.
One thing I’ve developed a love for are antique postcards that actually have art on them. I’ve started collecting german expressionist postcards, not really knowing why, but they are fascinating to me and lately I’ve been enjoying researching them.
How long have you been an artist?
Early on in my life, I gravitated towards art. Throughout my years of schooling, I always studied art but when I went to college is when I really fell away from it. It wasn’t until I was taking a yoga class that I thought it might be time to pull out my supplies and get back into creating.
What are some challenges you find yourself facing as an artist?
Balancing intuitive energy with everyday tasks seems to be the biggest challenge for me.
What is one piece of advice that you would be willing to
It’s important to take time out from the noise and distraction and be willing to surrender to inspiration wherever it comes from. It can be hard to follow the inspiration where it leads. I believe we are all unique expressions and when we each take the time to follow where inspiration leads us and move towards that unique expression, it has a way of elevating everyone around us.
Jlorene’s current works combine her love of the contemplative/spiritual aspects of life. Her work includes several solo shows, private commissions, and artwork for the App, DotGlu ‘memories that stick’. She is an award-winning interior designer with projects in California, Arizona and Hawaii. Jlorene currently has an installation at Hera Hub Sorrento Valley. Learn more about Jlorene at www.art2affirm.com