Artist Spotlight: Jo Beer
I love people. There is no such thing as an ordinary person- everyone is extraordinary in some way, and they all have something that makes them stand out from the next person.
The purpose of the artist spotlight is to bring awareness to notable artists pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. The art world constantly expresses its thoughts on canvas and other visual mediums based on culture, politics, and social commentary. I am continually looking for people who inspire me in this world with their artistic expression. I hope you enjoy these great artists' artwork and support them. Now let me introduce the artist that we are going to be spotlighting today!
Would you please tell everyone your name?
I am Jo Beer. I am a full-time painter based in beautiful Cornwall, UK.
How would you describe your art?
My work is predominantly figurative. I regularly paint private commissions, and these pieces tend to be fairly formal portraits. However, when painting what I choose to paint, I like to use unconventional compositions, quirky viewpoints, or angles. Sometimes half a face is more interesting than a whole one, for example. My work is quite expressive, characterful, contemporary, and always in oil.
What motivates you to create art?
I love people. There is no such thing as an ordinary person- everyone is extraordinary in some way, and they all have something that makes them stand out from the next person. I like to showcase whatever I feel that something is; whatever little thing interests me will hopefully appeal to the viewer too. I come across so many fascinating people who don't consider themselves as such, so it's good to be able to get others to study their portraits and appreciate the person for what they really are.
Who inspires your artistic creativity?
There are many artists whose work I admire, e.g., Tai-Shan Schierenberg, Paula Rego, and Jenny Saville, but when I think of inspiration, it comes down to one man. Vincent Wilson ( Newlyn Sch of Artists) was my art teacher throughout the school.
He told me before I left that he would be so excited to see real potential in a pupil that he could imagine them having a career in art. Generally, when he came across them years later, they had become a nurse, builder, or whatever, which made him sad.
This stuck with me. I decided that I would make a career in art. My goal was so that if I ever bumped into him, I could tell him and thank him. Vincent is now 88, he has my work on his walls, and I have his on mine, and he comes to the openings of all of my exhibitions.
When did you know that you wanted to become an artist?
My mother taught me to draw at the age of about 4. It is the only thing that I excelled at. It is something that I have always done, and it has developed over time. At first, I would have jobs to subsidise my art income, but eventually, the art overtook the day job. I have never considered myself someone with a job but paint on the side; I was an artist who had a job on the side.
What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming an artist?
I would advise anyone wishing to be an artist to create what they love. If there's something that they're passionate about, keep at it, regardless of criticism ( and there will be some). I would frequently be asked," why do you paint people? people paintings don't sell"...well, they do. If you produce something you love for reasons that are important to you, the work will have integrity. Not everyone will like it, but some people will love it.
Where can we go to find your work online?
Online sites where my work can be found:
jobeerart.com, Saatchiart, Artfinder, Rise Art, Zatista, iCanvas, Artchilli, Olinartgallery, Instagram, Facebook.