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Student Artwork Update: Lindsey Jones

Lindsey Jones shares her creative path with SVA Continuing Education

We’ve followed and admired the art that SVACE student Lindsey Jones shares on social media, including watercolors and prints of places near and abroad. We love to learn more as our community members flourish, so we reached out to Lindsey to learn about her creative process, ideas, and path through our classes!

SVACE: Can you tell us about your path to and through SVA Continuing Education?

LJ: I came to SVA Continuing Education because I've always wanted to go to art school but never let myself do it for a whole host of random reasons. But I’ve always made art and lived around art! It just took me awhile.

Growing up, both my mother and grandmother were artists in New England. Being with them in their studios gave me an early appreciation in exploring the world from a visual standpoint, the ability to work hard on something on my own, and an interest in telling visual stories. As an undergrad at New York University, I studied an individualized program in American Studies which I think relates very closely to my current interest right now in visual stories of New York City. I love cities and places a lot.

So in the Spring of 2016 after spending a year taking some classes in other art spaces around the city, like The 92nd Street Y, Trestle Gallery, and Gowanus Print Lab — I love these kinds of flexible and accessible art spaces so much — I started taking a class a semester at SVA.

SVACE: With SVA, how has your creativity transformed and grown?

LJ: My creativity started to grow because I saw the connection between illustration, a particular focus of mine after a few years of study at SVA, and the historical narratives of American cities I studied back in college. The same way I found it academically interesting to study how the changing city reflected the push and pull of American politics and immigration related to my desire to paint a New York City storefront or to capture the sense of Coney Island’s electric glow.

As I studied Children’s Books Illustration at SVA Continuing Ed — I really recommend Monica Wellington’s classes — I was further inspired by the challenge of distilling the frenetic energy of a city into a brief but visually fascinating story for children that connected them to the meaning of a place familiar but often overlooked, like a corner bodega or the busy streets of a New York City block. I worked on a bodega cat story in that class that I still hope to make into a larger project someday.

I also realized I loved to be in these classrooms learning almost as much as I liked creating on my own. I loved seeing how people approached making art and how techniques, methods, and design theories can guide us in telling visual stories, allowing us to speak to our authentic selves creatively.

I’m now applying to graduate school for the fall in art education, really because of what I learned through these classes. SVA has really paved that pathway for me.

SVACE: With a day job, it can be a challenge to remain creative during nights and weekends. What motivates you?

LJ: The ability to meet the diverse world of people, from teenagers to retirees, drawn to the arts every day outside of their normal professional lives, keeps me motivated outside of work. I love meeting people who believed they weren’t “creative” suddenly expressing a unique set of preferences and designs, creating a part of their own story that they didn’t previously know they could.

In so many of my classes, I’ve told everyone that I'm in the Art School of Life because I really believe in that idea. That you can go to art school in so many ways and SVACE is one of them.

SVACE: For inspiration, research, or curiosity: where do you go, what do you read, what do you seek out?

LJ: Life in a city itself is inspiring to me! I love the storefronts, especially the old ones. I love the skyline. I’m forever inspired by Coney Island because it’s still so unkempt in the best way, no matter how much gentrification creeps in. All you need to do is be on the Steeplechase Pier in the summer and you’ll see how wild it is.

I think because living in cities means we are often in our smaller intimate spaces, and right now during the Coronavirus I am truly trapped inside, I am very inspired by the objects and items of my apartment because I’ve found them with care. For example, I love the Japanese made everyday dishes you can buy at Pearl River Mart in Tribeca, the beautiful blue and white textures. And the very walls of even a tiny space are so inspiring because I feel like I can paint, draw, or print something and then just get it right up on my wall to kind of see it in conversation with all of the things I’ve found as a pretty big thrifter and lover of patterns in my home.

I’m also a huge fan of picking one gallery or show to see at The Met Museum. Recently, I’ve loved the American Wing. The patterns and wood work on early American furniture are energizing when you look closely.

I love print and patterns and very loose art, so I try to study little things that inspire me and trap that energy into something I’m making, so I look for it everywhere from the city to museums to objects.

SVACE: What are you working on at the moment, on this day, this week?

LJ: Given the Coronavirus pandemic, I’m very much trapped inside right now — like so many people — so I’m working on art very much inspired by this moment!

I was actually in a great printmaking class this semester at SVA called Monoprint, Woodcut, Linoleum that ended early. This class has been one of my favorites, it really translated my interest in illustration into another fine art medium unlike I’ve found so far. We didn’t get to fully do woodcut and lino so I thought, “Why not teach myself while I’m working from home and have a lot of free time?"

The work I’m doing right now is probably my favorite, it’s such a great testament to how I feel about NYC and the tension between being alone and always in the middle of such density. This is such a wild, sad, but also close time to be here.

How are you expressing yourself during this time? Join the conversation with us on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram pages!

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587