Today we are thrilled to introduce you to artists &—a project created to meet the need for community among visual artists. Because of the nature of our work (sitting alone in rooms, feeling feelings, figuring out how to share them with the world), artists often wrestle with deep loneliness or isolation. And as we discuss in this first installment of “artists & their stories,” there are so many pieces of wisdom we wish we had when we started, and we hope to offer them to you. We want to say, “Hey, we’ve been there, and you’re not alone. And that thing you think only you struggle with? Nope, we do too. Let’s talk about it.” There are so many beliefs and idealized expectations that are associated with being or identifying as a visual artist, and most of these continue the cycle of isolation, even separating artists from each other (looking at you, imposter syndrome). But we want to invite people into our lives and spaces and dismantle these isolating ideals, finding each other in the authenticity of our experiences.
To build this community, we will spotlight the stories of artists we know and respect. We’ll look inside artist’s studios and listen to them share about their work and process and rhythms. We’ll have conversations between artists about topics that touch our lives and work. And we’ll have “town square” community discussions where we can all come together to engage in artist-centered conversation.
And today we begin. In this first video you’ll see us—Kyra Hinton and Jamin Still—kick this whole thing off by interviewing one another. We’re both painters with, it turns out, surprisingly similar stories. And while that’s certainly fun (and we hope you enjoy it) we can’t wait to introduce artists in the coming weeks who work in vastly different mediums, and whose stories have their own twists and turns and golden threads. We believe the strength of this project comes from the variety of voices celebrated here. And we’re so excited for you to join us.
Jamin has always enjoyed illustrations and images related to stories. As a child, he drew and painted and continued to pursue art through high school and college. He attended Wichita State University where he earned a degree in art history, painting, and English literature. Since then he has focused on developing illustration and story-related imagery. His goal is to bring the viewer to a place of wonder and possibility. His picture books, Ellen and the Winter Wolves and The Wishes of the Fish King, are a beautiful witness to his many talents.