We had the good fortune of connecting with Linda Jacobson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Linda, why did you pursue a creative career?
I had a passion for drawing and painting as a child which stayed with me as I grew up. I remember when I was about seven years old, sitting in a neighbor’s upstairs room with the sun pouring in, I put the colors Prussian Blue and Canary yellow next to each other and I truly had a mystical experience. This is the moment I knew I wanted to be an artist! When I started college, I didn’t think it was possible to pursue a career in fine art, but at the age of eighteen I made a commitment to be a painter. My heart led me to art school. To this day, I find true joy and centeredness in my art-making.

I worked as an illustrator for a fashion newspaper for a while after Otis which led me to Art Center to study illustration. But fine art called me. Through the support of teachers and doing the work I loved, I followed my inner voice. I realized that between selling some work, doing some illustration, and instructing art I was able to support myself. I couldn’t think of anything better in this world. In my late twenties, I traveled to Europe with a well-known artist, Arthur Secunda, and I  learned what it was like to be a successful fine artist.

In the 1990s I pioneered an innovative,  life-changing program at UCLA, Art and Transformation. This program fused creativity, mythology, healing, and spirituality. I fully believed in the mythologist Joseph Campbell’s words, “Follow your bliss and doors will open that you never imagined.”

Art has sustained me my whole life, providing meaning and passion.  Rationally it didn’t make sense, but I feel I was able to express myself to the world in a unique way.

There is always a risk when you travel the road less taken. I believe in taking the path that feels right for you, regardless of what society says you can or cannot do. I was always a little rebellious and never listened anyway. It took courage and some sacrifice to follow my heart but it’s been infinitely rewarding. I feel that through my art I am always renewing and re-creating myself.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Actively painting and drawing, working on commissions, promoting, teaching, and updating my website.

A career in the arts is up and down, so it’s important to be flexible and go with the flow. I’ve had successful career years and others that were quieter but more creative. In the quiet times, I was able to go deeper within my work (as in this pandemic). It’s all good. I think it’s important to keep focused on one’s intention and vision and not to veer from that. I’ve also learned that whenever I try to do something I think will be successful, or what I think someone else wants, it never works for me. I have to follow my inner creative voice.

I’ve also found great joy in teaching and creating art programs such as Art and Transformation for UCLA Extension and my personal “Art and Spirit” classes and retreats. I’ve led creativity retreats in the Santa Monica Mountains, Big Sur, Santa Fe and Europe, as well as classes in my Venice Studio. I’m having fun teaching on Zoom during the pandemic right now. I have a wonderful community of talented artists, experienced, and beginners that are rocking it!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Venice, so my favorite thing to do is a walk on the wide Venice beach by the water up to the Santa Monica Pier. If you are lucky, you can watch the pelicans diving gracefully in and out of the water and even see dolphins frolicking! Then of course pre-pandemic (and post-pandemic), a ride on the Ferris Wheel is totally exhilarating! It’s an amazing view over the complete coastline north all the way up to Malibu and down the south coast to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

A cafe I always love going to is the “Fig Tree” for breakfast or lunch on the Venice Boardwalk. Sitting outside on their patio, you can enjoy the warm breeze on a beautiful morning and watch the world go by. Skateboarders, roller skaters, surfers, guitarists, singers all kinds of interesting characters walk by. The other thing that I love is my wonderful dance classes at the Electric Lodge near Abbot Kinney Blvd. led by Jill Strauss, “jillyjazz.com” I’ve been a regular for many years and now during pandemic zooming and dancing online. They are so fun and put me in the best mood!

Also worth mentioning, I love to visit the Getty museum. Taking the tram up the side of the hill is awesome and then view their wonderful collection of Impressionist paintings or another wonderful exhibition they are presenting. It’s lovely to sit in their beautiful courtyard/garden and have tea or coffee.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to honor my mentors and teachers. Lorser Feitelson, the pioneer modernist painter and brilliant teacher at Art Center, was one of my great teachers and mentors who helped shaped my vision as an artist. He supported me to trust my inner creative voice while teaching me about the importance of art history, the artists of the past who continually nurture us with inspiration, and what it means to be an artist. Helen Lundeberg, the renowned poetic abstractionist painter, was a huge influence by example. Just being in their presence as a young art student gave me an image of what it’s like to be a dedicated professional artist. Helen had a very successful career at a time when women when had a difficult time creating that. They both inspired me so much. I’d also like to honor my Shamanic teacher, Don Miguel Ruiz. I had the privilege of “apprenticing” with him for a decade. Learning how to heal inner wounds within myself and others, and how to truly experience the mystery and magic of life in communion with the divine source that I have been able to put into my art. I am also grateful to all the galleries, museums, and venues that have supported and shown my art and most recently the lovely feature on my work by IzenMiller Gallery.

Website: www.artandspirit.net

Instagram: www.instagram.com/linda_jacobson_/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/artandspirit

Other: lindajacobson.net https://mrgfineart.com/linda-jacobson https://www.artsy.net/artist/linda-jacobson

Image Credits
Brittney Cottrell

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.