We had the good fortune of connecting with Jonathan Yacoub and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jonathan, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’m no expert, but millennials are constantly trying to leave their conventional 9-5 job in pursuit of their dreams or starting a small business. At social events I find myself getting asked the same questions regarding the risk of starting a side hustle or abandoning a monotonous gig. I typically give the same advice. Just do it (please don’t sue me, Nike). If you are genuinely serious about pursuing your dreams and aspirations through the means of starting a small business; then do it with intent and sincerity. You can’t half ass the process. You will never be successful if you just get your feet wet, you have to jump into the deep end. At the end of the day, this endeavor becomes an identity. My art and passion for it has consumed me. It has to be a risk you are willing to take. I was going to be a dentist, but flipped a total 180 and got my masters in fine arts instead. I don’t regret a single decision. I was young enough to completely alter my career path. It was a calculated risk that required meticulous planning. I’m currently proud to call myself a professor of art and photography and an artist who runs a successful photography business. I invested all my free time into this skill. I’ve dedicated most of my adult life to adopting this art as a lifestyle. I’ve invested my soul in attempt to perfect this craft. It defines me, and I don’t take that lightly.
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.
My name is Jonathan Adel William Yacoub and I am an Egyptian American artist and professor who uses digital photography as a medium for my work. My fantastical worlds form a nuanced duality that tip-toe the threshold of existence and artifice; ultimately inviting the viewer to surrender themselves to the suspension of disbelief. My works provide the mundane with a hyper-reality. There’s a relationship of metaphysical aspects of time, space, and existence. The work treats space with a deep human intimacy by rendering the most ephemeral concepts and elevating them. I received my MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2019. I’ve been working as a wedding and editorial photographer for the past 11 years as well. It was a business I built from the ground up, it took time. A successful business and practice doesn’t uproot over night.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Orange County, the best thing about living in SoCal is the short distance to so many different worlds. If I only had a week? We would spend some time scaling rocks in Joshua Tree national park, take a ferry to the Channel Islands to play with foxes, spend a day frolicking at Disneyland, eat some poke on the shores of a private Laguna beach cove, then finish it off with an evening in San Diego exploring various coffee shops and scotch bars haha.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mentors and classmates at CGU, as well as my friends who inspire me daily!