WHY DO I CREATE?
As an Artist who believes in the constant evolution of creativity, my objective is to always “say something” and stretch my imagination more and more. Life is a Choose Your Own Adventure Book and we are the Authors. Similar to the Ocean, I like to dig slightly deeper than just a pretty picture. I truly enjoy the challenges of innovation and creativity. There’s no greater love for me than to be presented with a boring room in a house, business, or community street where I am able to listen to the stories, taste the atmosphere, analyze my surroundings and begin to create a unique concept from paper to its final brushstroke. Within those concepts, if I have the opportunity to add a little “umpf” to the equation, you better believe I will.
My work always has some aspect of concentrated detail, sarcasm, and the contrasts of humanity with a hint of personal struggles in them. I am continuously creating and networking with people from cultures of all walks of life. You will see me during Live Painting Events, customizing works for Businesses and Residences, and posting Works in Progress pics and videos on Social Media. What my clients and curators value in collaborating with me is my confidence, honesty and immeasurable professional work ethics. Due to my own adolescent experiences, I take pride in providing a Voice for the Voiceless. Not necessarily creating imagery on concepts that have never been heard of, but providing a platform to share the struggles of my own and others’, colors, stories, triumphs and allow us all to be vulnerable. I don’t mind sticking up for the minorities, empowering the less confident, the so-called “nerds”, bullied and abused or neglected. Anyone falling short of genuine, organic love.
I am a product of the Post-70’s & 80’s, the Hip-Hop and Metal Movements, the Electronic Music and Tech era, the numerous Athletic Legends, video games, personal computers, social media, the internet, and the swift progression of our world to date. I’ve been truly fortunate to be catapulted and affected by the Art World since my arrival. Looking at imagery and objects always fascinated me. From crayons to pencils to markers to paint….I was always mimicking what I perceived, in some way. Anytime I come across a different medium, I have to try it. I was far from a “natural” since day 1. I welcomed hard work and consistency, which was always a big influence from the strong women of my family. If they could conquer their struggles, so could I.
Subconsciously, I was building my techniques and experimenting with many aspects of the Visual Arts. As a youngster, I was a typical S. Florida-rugged boy. Always needing to be outside and in the elements of Nature. Whether building a fort or climbing a tree, swimming in the ocean, making my Mom nuts by ruining my clothes on a daily… it was always something physical. Getting my hands dirty was just a way of life and the way I connected with the elements around me. Art eventually became a way to channel that, thank God for the local Art Programs. I was able to feed my curiosity since I was 6 years old. I’ve dabbled with almost every medium I could, but working with woods and paints has always been my true Love.
As I began to understand what humanity was doing to trees, taking them from their natural environments in order to create “superficial environments” and convenience for us, I really started collecting and utilizing reclaimed wood more and more. The trees have no say in this. Even I couldn’t stop the massive industries from doing this, but what I could do is to attempt to preserve what I can and give it a new and final voice.
I utilize a Surreal-Organic imagery with bold graphic line work, colorful contrast and the need to make a statement of some kind. I attempt to capture elements of my Past and Present….in hopes to evolve on different intellectual and emotional levels in the Future.
HOW AND WHY THIS ALL BEGAN?
Most people wouldn’t know this by meeting Jacob (his friends call him “Jake”), but he’s a 1st generation American born from his Father (born in Caibarien, Cuba) and his Mother (born in Siberia, Russia), extremely contrasting cultures. These two interesting people immigrated to New York City and were determined to become Americanized. So determined in fact, that they didn’t care to teach his 4 siblings and him either language….way to go parents. They decided to move to Ft. Lauderdale shortly after their honeymoon and it was there, Jake was born. His earliest memories are an intense experience with an immediate feeling of neglect, obscure perceptions of sound, his Mom always under stress, his Father nowhere to be found. Therefore, the hereditary roots created an emotionally driven-intuitive force of nature. Born into a broken system created a means for constant adaptation. Riding the waves of Humanity & Diversity, where struggle is a daily part of life and clearly inevitable. How does one keep their shit together?........FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT! The feeling of never being a part of the Inner Circle. Never having the proper stability and structure, to be allowed to stick around long enough to really grasp any of it. His perception of the world was slightly distorted. Unfortunately, he was born with 40% hearing loss in both ears. Since birth, there were tons of sounds he was missing out. Let’s just say, he was easily misunderstood and excluded from the circulating, daily functions at home and school. Even to this day, people think he is ignoring them or not validating their instructions. There were numerous accounts where he was screamed at and punished, for just not acknowledging someone speaking to him. He was brought into a world of strange noises, different languages, wide range of music, startling sounds, and hereditary emotions. He evolved to visualize the world within a muffled version of reality.
His parents divorced shortly after his birth, but they still resided in Florida, where he has remained throughout most of life. Luckily he found his inner voice early, and was able to tune out the chaos with his imagination. He had the opportunity to attend Magnet Schools in Broward County, (Walker Elementary and Parkway Middle) from 3rd-7th grades. Within a 5-year period, he was introduced to such a wide range of Art, Music and Culture. Many of these programs were located in less fortunate neighborhoods and he was perceived as the minority. It was a Culture Shock but beautiful in his eyes, because it was different than the chaos at home. One of his fondest memories were during Black History month and the range of important American icons he was able to create posters of and even participated in school plays. These were the hands-on creative and cultural experiences he had, that could not be learned in a book. The challenges with certain teachers and students, where skin pigment was a subject of hatred and bigotry, which he learned had been going on for hundreds of years. He was now on the other side of the fence and many times physically and mentally abused for “being a white kid in a black neighborhood”, which was just scary. But, he survived. Not everyone would act the same way in this situation. Instead, he embraced the culture, he absorbed the music, the dancing and food. He may have some war scars and may battle an occasional nightmare from time to time. He genuinely feels if he didn’t go through that, he doesn’t believe he would have the perspective of humanity he does today. Mean people are just mean people, and ignorance is scary. It doesn’t possess a skin pigment, it’s a mentality. He’s had his share of fist fights and was toughened up to stand his ground against bullies, and was eventually able to make boundaries clearly understood. One thing’s for certain, he’ll never let that stifle him or compromise his dignity.
Jake’s Mother remarried and had 3 younger siblings. A sister and twin brothers. This was another failed marriage with a lot of physical and emotional abuse circulating the home, and Jake just dove deeper and deeper into his Art to tune out the chaos. His father was never around until Jake was about 7 years old. While running some errands with a friend of his Mom’s, they came across a hung over bum look-alike sleeping on a bench, in Downtown Lauderdale. Shockingly, his Mom’s friend informed Jake that the man sleeping was his Father. Offering this guy a ride and really looking at this man eye-to-eye for his first recollection that this was his Father, really impacted Jake. It’s quite possible that his Father had a moment of realization that, his little baby boy was now a 7 year old. It turns out, his Father decided to really clean up his act and decided to kick his 20+ year disease of alcoholism, and actually be a parent to his older boys. They made weekend and occasional holiday visits to Miami to visit their Father and his Cuban Family. Through adolescent conflicts with his mother, there were continuous battles of misunderstanding, and his mother was really not equipped to raise an opinionated and strong-willed young man. His mother and her Church mentors labeled him to be “unruly” because he stood up for his beliefs and never let up. Even then, he knew what he needed most, and that was a positive household and compassionate Father-figure. This led to his mother wanting to put him in a home for troubled boys. His Father stepped in and a nasty custody battle took place. Upon his Father winning those rights, understanding this was the opportunity to catch up to what he neglected for so long. Jake had an opportunity to begin a new life and live with him at 13 years old. The opportunity to develop a relationship with him was crucial to his growth as a young man.
He moved to Miami and attended a local public middle school (Arvida Middle) in Kendall. Starting the culture shock all over. After only 1 year there he ended up going to a local private school. Again, he had to start all over with a new demographic. By now, he was used to the routine. Fortunately, his father was doing amazingly well with his business and was able to put him in a College Prep School, (Christopher Columbus High School) being a great jump start to his education. There, he learned a lot about the “rich politics” and the “successful Latin Families”. He wasn’t stifled by it, and didn’t let his lack of wealth sway him. He welcomed it and took it as an opportunity to learn. He excelled in Sports (Wrestling, Football and Track) and Academics, also being awarded Art and Academic Awards in the process. Numerous teachers and coaches played a part in molding these gentlemen, a few he still remains in touch with. While there, he continued to create and paint even more and pursued a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree upon graduating in ’97. Those 5 years in Miami were very good to him and are considered some of his fondest moments.
But, it was now time to start all over. He was stoked to attend UCF and to finally be on his own. He felt he was armed with wisdom, confidence and really understood that it was time to pave his own future, away from the Family drama. Along with his pursuit of academics in the Fine Arts, he stumbled across an additional passion. In the beginning of his Freshman year, he walked up to a UCF Rugby booth, signed up for the team and was immediately hooked. Loving the physical demand, hitting and tackling, he put on a “#7 Flanker” jersey and never looked back. Traveling all over the Southeast and continuing the UCF Rugby legacy, were some really great times with some good gentlemen. He went on to play the sport for nearly a decade.
Plagued with challenging circumstances once again, in the beginning of his Sophomore year his father was diagnosed with colon cancer. After numerous chemo therapy treatments and radiation, his Father lost this battle. He and his older brother buried him early February 2000. Not having much opportunity to mourn and faced with the nasty realities of dysfunctional family and estate laws, they were left with nothing. For whatever reasons, his Father never wrote a Will or even attempted to solidify his last requests. Hoping during this time of loss, the Family would come together and support each other, it went the complete opposite. Many deep-rooted arguments between siblings erupted, several dark lies and deceptions were resurfacing. Jake’s older brother sifted through some medical records and found out cancer only wiped his Father out, but was not the core disease he was battling for over 15 years. This robbed any memory these siblings had about their lives with him. It brought a cold, sick feeling to their guts and made them question everything and everyone. He was then faced with a constant fear and realization that he was not equipped to become a successful adult. At 20 years old Jake realized his ignorance with business ethics, he lacked the trust in humanity in order to have genuine relationships, and lacked the confidence to parent his own child, someday. He was overwhelmed with the tasks ahead of him and knew he had to grow up, quickly. This was the epitome of feeling “alone” and “misunderstood”. It was a crazy, emotional rollercoaster but he possessed an inner fight and was determined to face any obstacle head on, almost blindly. Graduating within a 4-year plan was thrown out the window. He worked 2-3 jobs to put himself through school and pay for his Fine Arts degree. His schedule was overbearing, but his focus was intense. He would clean residential pools, take classes, install graphic signage, take more classes, work at a restaurant till 3am, play Rugby and racquetball during any free time, and do the same thing the next day. He barely slept. He had the privilege to continue to play Rugby and eventually be Captain of the Team, even transitioning to the local Orlando Men’s League (Iron Horse Rugby) before life and injuries took a toll. He finally received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2004. He accomplished all of this on his own, but was heartbroken that he didn’t have all the people he cared about there to celebrate with him. He just channeled that back into his work.
Slowly Rugby withered away, but drawing and painting only intensified. There was more studio time and the demand for school had diminished. Most people stop creating 5 years after they graduated. He was just getting started! Now it was time for him to start really building a personal portfolio and begin exhibiting and putting his stamp on the current Art Scene. Creating and experimenting with mediums has been the only constant, going on 32 years of his life. He was part of the Orlando Visual Artists League, participating in Juried Exhibits and Exhibitions for local businesses. With most business focus towards the theme parks and hospitality markets, the Art market in Orlando was very slow and he was determined to be financially stable doing what he loved. He decided to liquidate his belongings, move to Miami for 6 months and cut any Florida ties in order to relocate. Things did not go quite as he planned. Jake was blessed to cross paths with his gorgeous and amazing wife. He decided to remain in Miami so they could begin building their own foundation. He understood earlier on, the Art Industry was competitive and there was more to the Art Business than just being talented. He’s always striving for longevity, and made it a point to get hands-on working knowledge of the Art Industry. What better way to get a few notches in his belt, than working for 2 of Miami’s biggest Art Gallery Empires (Britto Central and Peter Lik Gallery). His leadership personality and team work ethics always landed him in Management positions. These Corporate endeavors humbled him in many ways. He took infrastructure notes for his own Empire, someday.He gradually began building his own Artistic endeavors. Now with 2 amazing kids and still working full-time, he began showcasing his works in local Exhibitions, Events and is frequently called upon for Live Painting gigs. Up to date, he’s had pieces seen on major networks such as MTV2, Showtime, Spike TV and even licensed some pieces to NBC-Universal Studios. He is the sole apparel designer for UFC Veteran Ben “Killa B” Saunders. The task of relevancy spawned custom mural commissions for schools, businesses and private residences. He’s been fortunate enough to have numerous commissions on numerous surfaces such as walls, wood, canvas, apparel, surfboards, skateboards….you name it, he’s applied his creativity to it. He’s not known for being a mass production artist, but the sky is the limit. He’s taken great pride in paying close attention to clientele and customizing imagery to really catch the Creative Vibe in the moment. He truly enjoys the visual experimentation. Some aspects of the Art World and the way certain people run the business may be a little distorted, but that will only make his genuine approach to business stand out and people will continue to enjoy working with him.
“I truly love people, their personal journeys and listening to their visions to enhance their spaces(s). There’s something beautiful in everyone and everywhere. I am glad I have an additional voice and use it to identify that beauty in my work. Let’s collaborate some more!”
- December 2016, "Rage Against the Scene", Live Permanent Painting, Allapattah, FL
- December 2016, "Exposed", Live Painting, Yolo Downtown Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- December 2016, "Nike Airforce 1 Event", Live Sneaker Painting, Simon's Sportswear, Midtown Miami, FL
- December 2016, "Breathe Mural", Live Permanent Painting, Wynwood Arts District, Miami, FL
- December 2016, "Antiques & Design Mall Miami", Exhibit, Miami, FL
- November 2016, "Nine at Mary Brickell Village", Exhibit, Brickell, FL
- October 2016, "Miami Home Show", Live Painting, Fiberglass Sculpture for Infinytoons US, Miami Beach, FL
- August 2016, "North Miami Beach Library", Exhibit, Honoring Latin-American Artists, North Miami, FL
- August 2016, "Wynwood Art Walk", Live Painting, Wynwood Arts District, Miami, FL
- July 2016, "Wynwood Art Walk", Live Painting, Wynwood Arts District, Miami, FL
- March 2016, “Dania Beach Seafood & Arts Festival”, Street Art Competition Winner, Dania Beach, FL
- February 2016, "Grassroots Festival", Live Painting and Exhibition, Virginia Key, FL
- January 2016, NBC Universal Studios, Art Licensing, Atlanta, GA
- January 2015, “Business for the Arts Broward Fundraiser”, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- November 2015, “Concrete Beach Brewery: Solo Exhibit”, Wynwood Arts District, Miami, FL
- May 2015, “FWC Lionfish Fundraiser” Silent Auction for Guy Harvey Magazine, Pensacola, FL
- April 2015, “Mona Betancourt Group” Silent Auction and Live Painting, Coral Gables, FL
- December 2014, “Equality, Freedom and Justice” Mural for Florida New Majority, North Miami, FL
- December 2014, “Art Beat Little Haiti Mural Project”, North Miami, FL
- November 2014, “Project Ethos” Fashion Show Live Painting”, Villa Azure, Miami Beach, FL
- November 2014, “Return of the Bang”, WYN 317, Wynwood Arts District, Miami, FL
- October 2014, “Solo Exhibition”, Moksha Roots Live, North Miami, FL
- September 2014, “Art is…” Exhibit, Gallery 1310, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- September 2014, “With a Little Help From My Friends” Exhibit, WYN 317 Gallery, Wynwood Arts District
- September 2014, “A Swing Thing”, TSL, Wynwood Arts District, Miami, FL
- July 2014, “Analog Art 2” Exhibit, Yo Miami, North Miami, FL
- July 2014, “Peruvian Independence Day”, Moksha Roots Live, North Miami, FL
- June 2014, “Rated Art Grand Opening”, Rated Art, Miami Gardens, FL
- June 2014, “Art Meets Nature: Miami Mixer”, McCormick Bldg, Downtown Miami, FL
- June 2014, “Cuba Skate”, WYN 317, Wynwood Arts District, Miami, FL
- June 2014, “Yo Miami”, North Miami, FL
- May 2014, “TSL Live Painting Exhibit”, Wynwood Arts District, Miami, FL
- May 2014, “7th Everglades Awareness Benefit Concert”, Moksha Roots Live, North Miami, FL
- May 2014, “Style Mafia” Benefit Exhibit, Broken Shaker, Miami Beach, FL
- April 2014, “Moksha Family Arts Collective”, North Miami, FL
- April 2014, Live Painting, Moksha Family Arts Collective, North Miami, FL
- April 2014, “You and I Are Love” TSL, Wynwood Arts District, Miami, FL
- March 2014, “Secret Art Show” Exhibition Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- November 2013, “One Love Nutrifest” Live Painting, Coconut Grove, FL
- November 2013, Gallery 2014 Group Exhibition, Hollywood, FL
- October 2013, “Miami City Rum”, Miami Design District, FL
- October 2013, “Life is Art”, Downtown Miami, FL
- October 2013, “Goodwill Project Mural”, Calle Ocho, Miami, FL
- October 2013, Irreversible Winners Exhibition, Honorable Mention, Hollywood, FL
- July 2013, “Art Takes Paris”, See.me Contest, New York, New York
- April 2013, Talenthouse “Mumford & Sons”, Los Angeles, CA
- April 2013, GAB Studio Exhibit”, Wynwood Arts District, Miami, FL
- December 2012, “Art Basel 2012 Commemoration Mural”, Wynwood Arts District, Miami, FL
- August 2012, “Locust Projects Exhibition”, Wynwood Arts District, Miami, FL
- July - October 2012, “USA Frames Annual Exhibit”, Sunny Isles Beach, FL
- May – July 2012, “Jade Ocean Collection”, Sunny Isles Beach, FL
- January – March 2012, “Living in Asia Exhibit”, Miami, FL
- November 2011, “David’s Café Exhibit”, Miami Beach, FL
- January – March 2011, “Tattoos On Your Skin Exhibit”, Miami Beach, FL
- March – April 2010, “Bar 150 Collection”, Miami, FL
- September 2010, “Books & Books Café Exhibit”, Miami Beach, FL
- November – December 2007, “Baumgart’s Café Exhibit”, Ridgewood, New Jersey
- November – December 2007, “The Marlin Hotel Collection”, South Beach, FL
- August 2006, “Britto Central Annual Employee Exhibit”, Miami Beach, FL
- January – February 2005, “Orlando Visual Artists League Gallery”, Orlando, FL
- October – November 2004, “Orlando Visual Artists League Gallery”, Orlando, FL
- September – October 2004, “Florida Hospital Fundraiser”,Orlando, FL
- June – September 2004, “UCF Library Art Book Exhibit”, Orlando, FL
- May – April 2004, “UCF BFA Student Exhibit”, Orlando, FL
- LAB Miami Wynwood
- NBC Universal Studios
- Jetset Miami
- Showtime Networks
- Miami Marlins
- Campbell Drive Middle School
- Le Jardin Community Center
- Peskoe K-8 School
- M.A.S.T. @ Homestead
- Citrus Grove Elementary School
- Peter Lik Design
- UFC Veteran Ben “Killer B” Saunders
- Little Jet Set, Inc.
- La Vie Spa
- Christopher Columbus High School