A Pro Acrylic Artist Gives a Glimpse into Hollywood
Today’s interview is with Joey Wester (www.jdwdesign.com). Wester is a acrylic artist who creates artwork for TV and movie sets, while also being an amazing fine artist.
AQA: How did you get started creating the art you make now?
Joey Wester: Shortly after creating some murals for the largest prop rental company in the entertainment industry, they contacted me to create fine art emulating some of the well known masters… In other words to study these masters and create other pieces of art that looked like a certain masters work, i.e., Picasso, Matisse, Rothko, Klein, Pollack, Klee, O’Keefe, etc. Originally they wanted to purchase masters art but couldn’t afford their prices, so one piece eventually turned into 26 pieces I created for that particular company. After that other companies like Dreamworks, Sony, and 20th Century Fox have used my work or will hire me to do “Specialty Art”.
AQA: What is your medium? Why did you chose it?
JW: Acryllic on canvas. The paint works beautifully. It can go on thick like oil or can be thinned down to appear like watercolor.
AQA: Tell us about what you paint. (Subjects, styles, genre, impressionism vs, realism, etc.) Why?
JW: I just started doing a series of flowers, but I keep getting work creating abstract contemporary pieces, so for now it’s mostly abstract. One thing about abstract that most people don’t realize is how difficult it can be to create something wonderful with primarily black and white paint and to “not” paint a “subject”…. it’s entirely the challenge of making black and white forms, without identity, beautiful and full of life… It can be very freeing.
AQA: What kind of schooling did you take to get to this level of style?
JW: I have been an artist all my life, but I only had one year of college “Life Painting”, which was painting from live models. It isn’t something I do a lot of anymore, but hope to again.
AQA: Can you walk us through the steps you take to create a work? (Inspiration, reference, glazes, brush work, layer work, varnish, etc.)
JW: Most of the time ideas come into my head that I “must” sketch, others are from things I see in life or photos I take. Sometimes it’s an evolution of pieces I started that eventually turns into many pieces. My work varies in regards to technique depending on subject matter. Most of the work does involve a lot of layering and glazes.
AQA: Do you have a story you would like to tell about being an artist?
JW: The best story I have is about meeting with a business owner who said I should be painting for the largest back-drop company in the world. I asked where that was and found out it was on Sony’s lot in Los Angeles. I snuck on the lot with my portfolio that day and into the building to climb up 14 or more flights of stairs. The owner was out, the artists on break and I got one of them to look at my book, reluctantly at first. After, he said they were looking to hire someone…two weeks later I was the first woman hired there in 7 years. These guys were serious masters at what they did. I was thrilled and honored every single second I was around them.
AQA: How do you publicize your work?
JW: Ha-Ha… learning how to do that now and picked up a publicist a few months ago. Fortunately my work is used all over TV, movies, commercials and music videos, so most people have “seen” my work, just didn’t know “who” did it. I realized I really needed to get my work out there for others to purchase so I just started the glichlee/print process, so any help that comes along at this point is really appreciated. I feel a bit like Oz behind my hidden curtain… or uh, studio.
AQA: What is the priciest work you’ve ever sold? (If you don’t mind.) Why did it sell for that price?
JD: $5000… sold to the TV show ‘Nip Tuck’ almost a year ago additional info.