“Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact.”
- Robert McKee
Stories have been shared in every culture throughout history as a means of entertainment and education, and for the transformation and passing on of traditions. Storytellers are revered figures throughout history because of the magical mystique of the tale they share through their voices and minds.
I too am a storyteller, although I share my tale in a different way. I use visual narrative as an avenue to express my feelings and relate to the world around me. My hope is for the work to span cultural barriers and be accessible to any audience.
Every person goes through an array of emotions in their daily lives: love, anger, happiness, joy, and sadness. These emotions tie us together as human beings. I strive for the viewer to deepen their gaze, connect with a part of the narrative, and experience an emotional journey.
Jeremy Paten is a New Orleans artist living and working in the Gentilly neighborhood.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
Intriguing, Stoic, Sorrowful.
Describe yourself in one word.
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
What I love most about creating work in New Orleans is that I feed on its vitality.
New Orleans is a special place, like no other and has a certain energy that comes from its history. I channel that energy into my work, influenced by its heritage, cuisine, music and festivals. I love that anyone can stumble upon any one of these things in this city.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
I love to doodle and "ideate," the act of making an idea, when I delve into the world of creativity. I usually work, work some more, and then rework, and at some point my subconscious takes over. Then, I let my piece ‘simmer’. I step back to look at it consciously and critique it. What is the piece trying to say? What did I want to say? I try to disconnect myself from my work at this point. Then I go back to the subconscious and repeat. While my work is simmering, I like to start another. Each piece is at a different step; one farther along than the other, and that is what keeps my work fresh.
Where do you draw inspiration?
I try to submerge myself in and surround myself by things that I find interesting; books, films, pod-casts, other art and music. I love riding my bike, and discovering new places. Getting out of a routine always helps open me up to new things.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
I am definitely influenced by Jean Michel Basquiat, Michelangelo, John Singer Sargent, Caravaggio and ancient Greek and Roman art. I love art history.
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song
lyric best describes your work?
The Kanye West album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
You could catch me out and about in the city. There is always something to get into here.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
My favorite time of year is May. I was born the day after Mother's Day. When I was a kid, it was a special day for my mother and I. The older I get, I really cherish those two days more and more.
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
Fun Fact #185: There are 365 days in a year. At one point in my life I wanted to own enough pairs of shoes so that each day would be represented with a different pair. I'm kind of a collector of collections.
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Where You Can Find My Work
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.
3010 Sandra Dr
[just off of General De Gaulle Boulevard in Algiers]
NOLA Mix Records
1522 Magazine Street