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Jocelyn Teagarden’s arts

Jocelyn Teagarden © John Gerard

Jocelyn Teagarden is an upcoming artist based in St. Louis and owns JT’s Art Shoppe. A self-taught painter, she is also a pharmacy technician and planning for six-year schooling at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy to become a pharmacist. She enjoys painting with acrylics using all sorts of subjects.

Interview by Stephen Thompson, Ph.D.

Welcome to OpenBeast. Tell us about yourself?

Well, the best way to put it is that I am a person who has the most diverse interests. One of my favorite things to do is travel. I love to see the world, the new cultures, and everybody in them. Most people don’t even realize just the small, local culture that every hometown has. I also enjoy pharmacy quite a bit. Coming from a family that had both parents working for a pharmaceutical company, you could say the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. I knew that I was truly passionate about chemistry and pharmacy when I didn’t do so well on a chemistry test, and instead of feeling sad, it only fueled my interest more. I think that if it were easy, I’d get bored. And I like that I have something that can challenge me in the right way. The art aspect of my life is still similar to pharmacy because it’s always a learning experience. Every day I figure something new out, in whatever field I am in that day.

How and why did you get into the world of painting?

I have always loved art since I was a kid. I was always creating something new, and it wasn’t until the past few years where I picked up painting. I’ve always been an independent person, and that has made me into a very do-it-yourself type. I like puzzles and art, in a sense, is also a puzzle. Trying to figure out where to put color here and there, why is that working or not working. It interests me. Painting was something I hadn’t tried and I just happened to be good at it. A few art books here and there and, I just kept painting. I can always learn something new as I paint, and that’s what keeps me going with it.

Talk to us about your recent paintings.

This past year, I did a whole series of fairy tale-themed paintings. These were for my art class where we had to pick a theme, make art with it, and turn it in. So I of course picked the challenging theme. But, I am a much better painter because of it. One recent piece I did was of this large flower. I used a photograph I took when my mom and I were in Vancouver last summer. This piece was much larger than my others measuring 20inx20in. And again, I learned so much trying something new. Some of my pieces, say my lion for instance, are at vantage points that most people shy away from. Some of these characters look straight at you, which sort of suit the story they are from. Trying things that are something hard to properly pull off help me to grow as an artist! I am excited to start working with larger and larger pieces and I can’t wait to figure out how to paint the next piece.

So how did JT’s Art Shoppe happen?

It happened actually very quickly. It was early May of this year and my friend Paige Waltrip asked to buy a painting. All throughout the year she had seen me work on piece after piece. When she offered me a very decent amount of money, it really got me thinking. Maybe I should actually sell my work. True, it had been an idea, but it’s hard to gauge if your work can sell when only close friends and family see it. I then went to my boyfriend, Michael Bauer, and asked for his input on the matter. Before I knew it, he had set up a Saturday morning gig at Rick’s Roadside Market during their farmer’s market day. I then was lucky enough to be a part of the festival and that truly solidified my dream that people not just like my art, they want to own it. And at such a young age, that is so gratifying.

Tell us about your team and/or mentors.

As far as JT’s Art Shoppe, is concerned, I have two people that are extremely helpful, Michael Bauer and Olivia Cassidy. For Michael I gave the title of “business and sales manager.” He is always with me while I sell on weekends and he helps to keep everything in check. He is very well spoken and people are just drawn to his personality. He knows the “ins and outs” of business and it’s wonderful to have someone so committed to helping me go somewhere with this. Olivia is my photographer. She takes all the photographs of my artwork which enables me to make art prints. She is a photography student at Missouri State, so it’s wonderful to have a friend who really knows her stuff. By having both of these people helping me, I am helping build their resume as well. I like to pay it forward, so to have friends that are so willing to help for no pay is amazing.

As far as mentors go, it’s just the supportive atmosphere I’m in. My parents have always just let me be myself, whoever that was that day. My aunts and uncles always encouraged my art as well. The different high school teachers also helped to give me perspective on where I could improve a piece. It was so nice to have everyone be so willing to help me out.

How do you get inspired?

To me, inspiration is everywhere. Anywhere I go I try to see how I could translate something to canvas; what new puzzle could I have. I also have friends who will flat out tell me “you should paint ____” and it tends to be a nice challenge (smiles).

Any upcoming initiatives/plans you would like to mention?

I hope to one day end up in a gallery where people from all walks of life can see my art and have their own individual take-away from it.

What are your leisure time activities?

In my free time, I love to go out and spend time with friends. I am a big concert lover and enjoy going to see local and national bands play. Like most St. Louisians, I enjoy Cardinals games a lot and being outside in Forest Park. I am also a huge movie lover. New, old, really really bad, I enjoy them all. When I do get to, I love travelling around. I’ve been to Europe twice, and plan on going again. By seeing the world far away and what’s in my own backyard, I think it has given me a better perspective in life.

Thank you and we wish you the very best.

For more details about Jocelyn Teagarden, visit http://jtsartshoppe.wix.com/jocelyn-teagarden

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