Jeremy, Before & After


Jeremy flew out to Los Angeles from New York City to apprentice in my studio for a week. For 7 days we awoke and went in the studio until 5pm working on his self portrait mixed media painting built to 60″x 72″ on well stretched canvas. This was an opportunity for Jeremy to have new experiences and expose him to the possibilities of a creative life. The portrait on the left was created on the first day in the studio and the painting on the right was completed on the 7th day. Under the images is Jeremy’s writings about his experience, he was about 15 years old at the time.


My Most Rewarding Experience

It was the twenty-eighth of December. That was the day that I embarked on a journey. A journey, which may change forever the way I look at life and my artwork. For my birthday, my grandparents bought a painting for me, by an artist whom they know. Gregory Beylerian, the artist came to my home in order to personally sign the painting for me. The night turned out to be much more special than a signing. We got along so well, that he invited me to come to Los Angeles for a week, to work on a painting with him. That is exactly what I did. On December twenty-eighth, two thousand one, I ventured into a whole new world.

Although I have been away from home before, I never quite experienced anything like what followed. For starters, I was flying alone and it was post the September 11th period. This trip certainly taught me how to depend upon myself. It definitely was my first step towards independence. The plane acted as a bridge, which brought me into a whole new world. Going on a trip to a place where I have never been before and going without parents was exciting. Staying with an artist and his wife, who I hardly knew and adapting to their lifestyle and culture was unique.

It was a rewarding experience because on this journey I formed a foundation, which shed a whole new light on art, in ways I had never seen before. It had always been a hobby for me, picking up a piece of paper, doing some scribbles and that was it. Now I saw it in a way that made me consider the possibility of venturing into this talent of mine, and pursuing it as a passion, which could lead me into my eventual career.

I have always been fascinated with computer art, but was only familiar with the basics. Greg’s teachings helped me to learn much more about computer art. His teachings also helped me become more knowledgeable of art in general. Just the fact that I was being taught by a professional artist, and was his apprentice was beyond cool, it was thrilling and rewarding.

Greg and his wife, Jude, treated me differently from my parents. Parents tend to be overly protective, no matter how old one is. Greg & Jude treated me like a full grown adult. They introduced me to their friends, who asked me many questions about myself. It was fun telling everyone I met, what my life was like in New York, because I had never done that before. Just sitting down discussing real situations and asking and answering dozens of questions, helped me to get to know them better.

Living as an artist seems to mean planning your own schedule, setting up your own limitations and planning your creative time. It often means going to bed late, waking up at will and working as long as the inspiration lasts. This lack of schedule is so different from getting up; showering; eating breakfast; going to school; coming home; doing homework; having dinner and then going to bed.

Although the trip was only a week, it truly changed my whole way of thinking. I knew I had matured. My parents realized it very quickly because of the way I acted and handled situations. They even made jokes as to whether I was in a pre L.A. or post L.A. mode.

Bennington College is where I would like to be this summer. I would like to be primarily involved in the art and literature programs, because these are the areas in which I have the greatest interest and where I could offer my best support.