We had the good fortune of connecting with Joe O’Neill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joe, what principle do you value most?
It is hard to distill it down to one word. What matters to me most is how I navigate the world. I want to do so with love and compassion. I want to be as much of a positive interaction as possible with the people I meet, whether for business or pleasure. This may be as simple as letting someone in while in traffic. In my personal life this means being a good friend and helping people when and where I can. In my professional life this means being easy to work with while still pushing for the best creative outcomes. I want to make work I can stand behind. Quality first, to the best of my ability. Like all humans I am fallible and far from perfect, especially in my personal life, but I strive to be and do the best I can.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an Artist. A painter. I straddle the line between fine art and commercial art, dipping into both. I make paintings in a variety of styles for gallery shows and I paint custom artwork/signs/murals for clients. Because I am selective about the projects I take on for others and the feast or famine nature of being a gallery artist I dont always support myself full time as an artist. To support myself and my art I dress sets in the film industry. The reality for most artists is that they will need other ways to support themselves. People dont talk about this much but it is something that needs to be acknowledged. “To have true freedom as an artist you must have another way to support yourself” (William Glackens) is a quote I read years ago that has been a driving force for me. Ultimately I am trying to make the best art I can, and I cant do that if my creative decisions are based on what bills are due. That said, there is nothing as gratifying as someone buying a painting from me or hiring me for my creative vision. Im still amazed that I can show up somewhere with paintbrushes and leave with money.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
“Paint the City Peaceful” where I was one of 9 artists who painted murals on the windows of the Beverly Center at the corner of Beverly and La Cienega. The beaches. The museums and galleries. As many live music shows as possible. Hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains. The Last Bookstore downtown is a must. LA has such an incredible variety of food its hard to narrow it down but some I like are Flake in Venice, where I just painted a mural. Musso and Frank. The Apple Pan in west LA, which is like stepping into Los Angeles from the 40s or 50s. Vegan Ethiopian at Rahel on Fairfax. Canter’s The street food in particular: taco trucks, taco stands, elotes, fruit with spices, bacon wrapped hot dogs. Full Disclosure: I have paintings at Dove Biscuit Studios at The Last Bookstore and Flake is a long time client.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are too many to list here.. My family and friends have always been immensely supportive. Other artists I have collaborated with, any one who has bought my work or hired me for a project. All those who have believe in me when I have trouble believing in myself, there are many. A book that I find indispensable is “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. It’s about getting out of your own way. Everyone should read it.
Website: www.doubleojoe.com www.joeoneillartworks.com
Other: Catalog available for my 2019 solo show “Secret Head Trip/What Struck Me” https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Head-Trip-What-Struck/dp/1687828156/ref=sxts_sxwds-bia-wc-drs-ajax1_0?cv_ct_cx=secret+head+trip&dchild=1&keywords=secret+head+trip&pd_rd_i=1687828156&pd_rd_r=db7ae90b-a572-47e5-8378-07a0fcfa563f&pd_rd_w=8nWw1&pd_rd_wg=9qp9n&pf_rd_p=2af54486-024b-43c2-a014-77f8e1ab2526&pf_rd_r=BWZ7F9V4K6E16RNWF3TT&psc=1&qid=1602438436&sr=1-1-25b07e09-600a-4f0d-816e-b06387f8bcf1
Artist Photo credit Cortney Kammerer Thornton All other photos by me.