1130 Pine Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446
March 6, 2017

I had to go to art school

By Jordan Hockett

I had to go to art school

My name is Jordan Hockett, and I have lost count of how many people have asked me what I was going to do with a college degree in art. I thought it was obvious that I was going to be an artist. It is possible to make a living as an artist; I just have to treat it like a job, put in the work to stand out, make better art, and push past the cliché of the starving artist. I don’t have any doubt whether or not I should be an artist. It is what I was born to do.

I grew up in Paso Robles, California. I initially thought I was going to be an architect, but after taking advanced physics and calculus classes in high school, I thought, “Forget this.” I entered college with the goal of being a graphic designer since I had already done some work in that field and it seemed like a real job that I could be artistic in while still making a living. While in college, I changed my goal again and decided to be an artist. I got my degree in studio art from San Francisco State University. Most of my education was in sculpture, but I also took classes in printmaking, textiles, drawing, and painting. Growing up, I was always the one that was known as the artistic kid, the one that could draw and one of the top students in art class. When I started taking art classes in college, I was learning and showing along side other people that were the best from their schools. Being in that environment, forced me to become better technically in my craft, more creative, and simply a better artist.

Studying and living in a city like San Francisco, exposed me to all kinds of people and styles of art. It glorified creativity, innovation, and individuality. It was great being able to get on a bus and thirty minutes later be at the De Young or the MOMA, or see public art, like the Mission District’s murals.

When I came back home to Paso Robles, I was able to become a part of Studios on the Park. Being able to have a studio and gallery space at Studios has been a continuation of my art education. Everyday that I am in the gallery, I get to work next to fellow artists that are creating amazing things. Everyone is doing something very different from the artist working in the space next door. Seeing the quality of work that each artist produces makes me want to push my own work to the next level.

I classify my current body of work as Tribal Pop. I make abstract work, mostly acrylic paintings, that use lots of geometric shapes and other icons in rhythmic patterns. Sometimes, I mix the patterns with relatable scenes of Americana and pop culture. Most of my inspiration comes from craft and folk art, as opposed to fine art.

My art continues to evolve and change due to the great education I gain, and I love what I get to do for a job.


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