Stranger 65/100 – Jessie

100 Strangers - JessieWhat brings you uptown? “Painting.”

Meet Jessie.

“Yeah, I used to paint a lot of people. I used to paint a lot of trees and stuff. I really want to be an architect, but they do a lot of computer work, so I don’t like that fact. I would rather take the same aspect of the buildings and put it into my artwork. You can tell just by the lines that it’s architectural.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “{laughs} Probably to not lose focus of my goals. Because there’s a lot of times where… people would tell me… doing other things are more important than doing your artwork. Art is always important to me, so I always feel like never give up. Which I never lost it… I just sometimes lost focus.”

What is your biggest challenge? “Now my biggest challenge is challenging myself. Finding new things to challenge myself is a challenge because I feel like I’ve conquered a lot of things. I can pretty much draw anything, so it’s like I want something to challenge me always.”

“Right now, this (current painting of the Hearst Tower) is pretty challenging because of the dimensions especially this right here (the front steps) is kicking my ass… just this… just because it’s circular. You have to add the characteristics to make it look like it’s circular but also squared with the background. This right here is challenging.”

What are your goals? Where do you want to be in ten years? “My goal would be not to lose focus and to go somewhere with it in a way. Or at least be able to do what I do comfortably everyday. That would be my goal. Not even being rich or like successful but just knowing that I’m comfortable where I’m at, so that way I can always do my artwork without having to worry about anything.”

What do you worry about now? “Nothing really. I don’t really worry much. That’s why I live my life how I do now. I just come out and paint and just hang out.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “Spread love. That will be a big sign especially in Charlotte because I don’t like negativity. I feel like if you’re going to do anything, I would spread love, not negativity. Don’t be a hateful person. Be more of a loving person. That way everyone would get the message to love more and hate less.”

Technical Notes: It was an overcast day with very flat light. I used a reflector to draw more light to Jessie’s face.

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