We had the good fortune of connecting with Dontrell Jackson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dontrell, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I went to school for art but I didn’t go straight into my art career after college because I was scared and wanted steady money or at else everyone was telling me me that so I went into warehousing and worked as a paintball referee literally worked 7 days a week most times and I wasn’t happy with my life so in 2019 I took that leap of faith and went full time artist and I’ve been happy or mentally in a better place since
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Yes, I am an artist! I love to paint, i don’t know what is about being in a room with a blank canvas and being able to create and fix anything you want to; its just an awesome feeling. Been painting for a living since 2019 and I wouldn’t go back and change anything. My art is very different as I use a cross hatching art style you would normally see used with a pen or pencil but I use a paint brush. So folks love it some folks don’t understand it, either way i create. I got to this point in my art career by not giving up on my dream. Like I said before, I’ve worked warehouse for about 5 years straight and added a second job as a paintball referee working 7 days a week at times and not being happy and just drained everyday not really knowing if I was going to be doing that for the rest of my life. Physically and more so mentally I was worn out on the warehouse business as it wasn’t what I went to school for and I what I truly wanted to do so in 2019 after things seemed to be slowing down at my warehouse I quit and full time artist. It wasn’t easy at all it was very tough to actually start the business side of art and investing everything you have in your craft. I call it “going broke” for art; knowing that I have a goal and just create as much art as possible and get better and better. Learning lessons from customer service to show percentages and vendor licenses and deposits etc etc. It has definitely been a learning art journey as I continue to emerge as an artist I continue to better my customer service with my clients and learning from the past on things not to do and always making sure im secured on the money part of art as well, just a lot of learning as you go. I want the entire world to see my art, meaning I want my art to be all over world and I want different cultures to see what my art speaks them visually and on the inside and know that I seriously put time and passion into every art piece I create
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to a couple places, first place would be is the beach especially living in Southern California I’d definitely take them to the beach. Also I would take them to a skating rink and I mean on a adult night because that’s the best nights to go skating. That would be at Skate Express in Chino California by the way. I don’t really have a favorite place to get drinks but I’d definitely go get drinks somewhere with a nice outdoor patio area for guests and a nice view of course. Art museum’s of course, Southern California has tons of galleries to view so I would take a visitor to a couple of those. Most definitely would have to go paint balling, that’s probably one of my favorite things to do that a lot of people don’t know I know i like to do. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shoutout my mother because she does so much for the business “arTrell” & just for my life in general, being a single mother of three children and working 3 jobs to keep the bills paid when I was kid she was always my motivation to do better in life and to one day repay her and take care of her with my art. Another person would be my Nana because she is always there for me and helped my mom raise me. Always giving me advice when I need it and even when I don’t think I need it but I do (haha) . She see’s my progression in my art and believes in my art career, “stay humble for good things are coming” is an example of encouraging words i get randomly in the morning, love you mom and nana
All photos by JHowardPhotos And arTrell