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Artist Profile: Jordyn Rector

[nicevideo link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6J92wjI9_Q”]

Interviews conducted by Randy Rataj and Logan Effertz.

Jordyn Rector, a Painting, Drawing and Printmaking senior Photo by Randy Rataj
Jordyn Rector, a Painting, Drawing and Printmaking senior
Photo by Randy Rataj

Randy Rataj: Can you tell us about your artwork?
Jordyn Rector: I am a figurative painter. I paint mostly from oil and my subject matter mostly revolves around the effects of photographs. I paint from multiple exposures and long exposures. I have pixilation in paintings, and I am trying to move away from it to get some new ideas but that’s where I find myself leaning back towards.

RR: How did you get into making art?
JR: In the 6th grade I got stuck in an art class and I called my mom immediately. I went down to the front office and said, “You got to get me out of this. There is a bunch of weird people in here and they are all weird hippie freaks and I don’t want to do it,” and she said, “Okay, I will do it as soon as I can.” Then I got home from school that day and I called her and said, “Mom, please don’t take me out of this class. It’s so cool; the teacher likes Metallica and we get to draw all day, so I just kept on making work and now I’m painting.”

Logan Effertz: What is your muse in most of your paintings? What do you see most often in them?
JR: Often I paint from photos of myself. It’s really hard to break away from that after using myself for so long, but I am so easy to get in touch with. But sometimes… I might paint a photo of a family member or paint from photos of my best friend or something like that. But, it’s usually myself.

LE: Is there a reason why you choose familiar faces over non-familiar faces?
JR: I’m actually trying to get to the bottom of that myself. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I have constant access to myself and I don’t necessarily have ideas [at] convenient times or even time for models at convenient times. And I like that I’ll do absolutely anything for my own work and I won’t get that kind of dedication from just anybody.

RR: What do you think of the so-called “box of imagination?” Do you think inside of it, outside of it?
JR: I think I think both inside and outside the box. In my sense of the box, it’s more of an academic box because in order for paintings to be good paintings they have to be academically inclined as well as conceptually inclined at this time. You have to really consider both sides of the box.

RR: When you are imagining your paintings – tell us about the process – how do you start making them? How do you conceptualize your piece?
JR: I start by writing about everything I am thinking. Usually in conversation with my best friend, I will think of something or I might have a dream or something I will write down. I will start elaborating on it with sketches Then I take from the sketches photos, and then I take the photos and I may crop them for different compositions, or take a billion photos in different light…Then I start to paint.

LE: Is there any kind of music you enjoy listening to while making art?
JR: I do like to listen to Thom Yorke. He has really crazy beats, and that gets me going sometimes. I’ve been really into jazz and swing lately. I really like Andrew Bird’s “Bowl of Fire,” and Tom Waits… Pretty much anything that moves me.

RR: Here is another out-of-the-box question: if you could eat one more thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
JR: It would probably be honey nut roasted cashews with curry powder on them. I get them at fresh market; they are really good. I eat them when I paint; I can only eat so many of them. So, it’s good because I don’t get too fat from them.

Jordyn Rector replaces her actual legs with a drawing of her legs she created Photo by Randy Rataj
Jordyn Rector replaces her actual legs with a drawing of her legs she created
Photo by Randy Rataj

RR: So does that food inspire you, do people inspire you, [or] do you wait for inspiration to just happen?
JR: I can’t really wait for anything to just happen or else I wouldn’t paint many months out of the year. You’re really lucky to get inspiration and if you look everywhere I suppose you can find inspiration in anything, but I like to go back to my idea book and constantly just work.

LE: When did you know that you wanted to have painting as your major/future career?
JR: I knew that I wanted to do this after I tortured myself for a year studying biology. When I first went to college, I went to school for Fine Arts. I thought that that was what I wanted to do because that has been what I wanted to do since I was 11 years old. Then I decided, I am going to take a semester off of this and try to do something realistic. I tried to do it, and my mom said, “No you can’t do this. You’re not going to be a doctor, you’re going to be an artist.” So, I went. I’ve been working it out and everything seems to look good so far. I just have to work a lot harder and cross my fingers.

LE: Was there ever an artist who inspired you to choose a creative occupation?
JR: I find a lot of inspiration in music, mostly. I really like Regina Spektor a lot and how she has her own rules–she makes everything for herself. She’ll make new words, she’ll make new beats, everything. I like to try to do that in my own work and not necessarily follow all of the rules.

RR: Where do you see your art going in the future? Do you have any plans after school?
JR: I would like to go to grad school. Before I apply for grad school, I want to do some more internships, maybe at museums or galleries to see what type of direction I want to take with my work… I still don’t feel like I have really found myself in that way.

RR: Is there anywhere the rest of the human population can see Jordyn Rector originals?
JR: I have a show coming up. It’s opening [at] February’s Art Walk at the South Light Gallery… it’s the three finalists from the Ladnier [Endowed] Scholarship. And, then in March a group of printmakers will be showing at South Light Gallery and I am one of them. I also have a blog, jordynavalee.com.

RR: You do a little bit of printmaking as well. Do you tend to make similar things in printmaking as you do in painting, or do they tend to vary in style?
JR: My subject matter crosses mediums. I go with an idea and I run and run with it until I am just so tired of running with it and [I] pick something else up along the way.

RR: Do you have any closing statements about your work?
JR: I do have something to say… I am going to continue to work hard with my paintings and I might go somewhere other than paintings for a little bit but I will always be painting. Hopefully the places I go will come back and make my paintings a lot better.

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