Featured Artist Interview | Jeremy Belair

We are pleased to spotlight Jeremy Belair our October Featured Artist

About Jeremy Belair

Local Rochester artist Jeremy Belair has been creating unique woodburned art, multimedia pieces and acrylic paintings for 22 years. He was one of the featured artists at 540WMain’s inaugural INvisible Beauty in Pain exhibit in 2016, and has displayed his works in numerous art festivals and shows around the Rochester area. As a freehand artist, Jeremy was awarded a contract in 2018 to design the logo for the startup brewery Zen of Distraction Brewing Arcade in Horseheads, NY.

While Jeremy’s primary media is pyrography (woodburning), he has shown his ability to create unique and intricate abstract acrylic paintings that brighten whatever room they are in with his use of bold colors and sharp lines. A self taught artist, Jeremy has been able to hone his craft based on the feel of what he is working on, and his search to find a design within the piece of wood he is using, or even within the canvas on which he paints. His future painted works will be utilizing more natural elements such as landscapes, floral patterns and sunset motifs, all while keeping to his abstract roots. In hispyrographic  works, Jeremy also will be utilizing more of the natural forms within the wood he works on,and finding the true art within the wood, rather than creating a design to suit the wood in front of him.

Jeremy is located in Hilton, NY, where he lives with his wife Stacie, and their three children, a pack of precious pitbulls, and one reclusive cat. On the rare occasions he is not at work on his art, he can be found outside with his feet on the earth tending to a garden or walking through a wooded area looking for inspiration from nature.

See more more of his work here

When did you start your career as an artist?

JB: I have been creating art since I was a teenager working through my angsty years

Where did you get the inspiration for your work?

JB: I often find my inspiration through some life event.  Often times, it is finding a balance between different aspects of life.  This has led me to work in a lot of geometric patterns. Other times, I let my underlying thoughts out, and they are more abstract, though still keeping themes of symmetry and patterns.  My biggest influences are Salvador Dali and M.C Escher, though I have an appreciation for all of the classic artists.

What makes you want to be an artist?

JB: I like being able to mark moments in time with my art. It isn’t so much about making something to sell as it is expressing where my thoughts are at a specific point in time.

For you how does art relate to wellness?

JB: There is so much about art in any form that is healing in nature.  It can help us work through a difficult time through the words we write, the music we make, or the art we create that can convey our emotions.  Art is a healing and cathartic activity that allows us to get in touch with our true feelings and make them something “real” that can be seen, touched, or heard, and then more easily processed once those emotions are outside of ourselves.

How do you stay healthy as a creative?

I commonly look towards different styles of art.  I might gravitate towards one style more than others, but I am always interested in learning new techniques or art forms.

What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your career?

Honestly, finding the right market for my style(s) of art is sometimes very difficult. Art is very personal, so what I may be creating may not be what others (patrons) are looking for. It is a timing thing that I’ve yet to master.

When you aren’t painting/drawing/photographing what are you doing?

JB: Outside of art, I am either working, spending time with family, or outside enjoying nature.

What is it that inspires you to keep going as professional artist?

JB: Life is filled with art, and as an artist, I want to continue finding it and creating as much as I possibly can.

What are you working on now?

JB: I currently have an abstract painting series in progress of stylized nebulas.  

What’s has been your best experience so far as an artist?

JB: Creating a design for a local brewery that they liked so much that they asked for licensing rights to use it as an official logo has to be the absolute highlight of my career thus far.

What has been your biggest challenge as an artist? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

JB: My biggest challenge so far is that I am self-taught. I have never taken an art class in or after college.  As such, my techniques may be a bit awkward, and I know I have many things I can improve upon. I work through this by studying artworks of differing styles I would like to learn and sketching until I feel ready to tackle a full-on piece.

What advice do you have for others interested in pursuing as career in art?

JB: Create art for YOU.  This is a very personal field.  What you are creating may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you will find people that can see their own emotions or struggles within your art.  It will speak to them, and that is where your market lies.

Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know?

JB: Art is an extension of you. Make what you like, and your art will flourish.


Register for Jeremy’s opening reception

Sunday Oct. 7th // 4pm-6pm

Published by Calvin Eaton

(he/his/him) Calvin Eaton is a disabled community educator, content creator, and social entrepreneur, whose area of expertise includes antiracism, equity, justice, instructional design, and program development. In 2016 Mr. Eaton founded 540WMain, Inc. a non-profit online and community-based organization for accessible education and events that promote justice for all.

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