I can't recall when I first heard the name Jeredt Runions, but it was in the context of an art opening and a favorable impression was created. I had not seen his work but heard that he not only did interesting paintings, he also did live painting with some bands. It takes a special kind of confidence to put yourself out there like that.
Earlier this month I finally met the young man, at the art opening for Turtle at Washington Galleries. He's 26, and though originally from Solon Springs on the Wisconsin side of the bridge he now lives in the Twin Ports. I mentioned that I would like to see some of his work and he suggested I could find him at MN-artists.org. He also agreed to a short interview.
Ennyman: When did you first see that you were more creative or artistic than your peers?
Jeredt Runions: I realized that creating things came more natural for me than many at a very young age. I used to help my mother with crafts or always found myself doing something artistic. I wouldn't say MORE artistic than my peers, but I had lots of artistic things going on, which helps build you as an artist and person.
Enny: Who were your biggest early influences in the direction of making art?
JR: Definitely my mother; she has also been there for me, teaching me and guiding me along the way. I would also have to include my art teachers that I had as a child in public schools, especially Karen Johnson from Solon Springs who passed away from breast cancer when I was in 4th grade. This woman changed me then and even though she is gone, still teaches me today.
Enny: Where did you study and who were your biggest influences when you got serious about art?
JR: I was self taught with the help of my mother, and the public school system. I would say the streets, too. Traveling and living on my own since i was 17 is a Huge learning curve. And when I got serious about showing my art in galleries when I was 18-19 years old I was happily influenced by my girlfriend at the time. She pushed me to places i needed to go and show. Also a great couple that I have the pleasure to call my second Dad and Mom , Gary and Kelly Reed of Superior. Gary is and was a blessing for me! I moved across the street from his screen printing and sign shop (Reed Graphics) in South Superior when I was 18. One day I was taking pictures of my paintings outside to send to a gallery and Gary had seen me outside and walked over. He introduced himself and brought me into his shop. This was like going to art school for me, the man brought me under his wing and showed me different art skills of all types through the years. Telling me ideas, showing me art books. It was the best thing that could have happened in my life. HE IS AMAZING! Words can't describe the man! And Kelly, too, she is a mom that tells me the reality of art, business and living! I know I can count on those two any time .
Enny: You say that you quit making art for three years. Why did you quit and why have you started again?
JR: I did quit for several years. I was in a relationship that strained me artistically. I found myself working too much trying to make money and live the American way. For me that is not living! I was stressed and not myself at all. Soon after that relationship I found myself back on the art scene more than ever.
Enny: I heard your name with regard to painting while bands played locally. How did that begin?
JR: My stint with Live painting started about 5-6 years ago with a band that is really getting big now called Cloud Cult. They had some shows that I painted at, then found myself in that 3 year slump. After that hiatus I linked up with old and new friends, musicans, and artists from all over. I have been painting live now for 2 years strong and loving it all the time.
Enny: What's the difference between making art in a performance and making it in your studio?
JR: There is a huge difference for me and my style. The big one is time! TIME TIME I really spend some time on my studio stuff and the live is very quick and fast. You have to be in the zone. Being from a grafitti background that is in my blood to began with so it came natural.
Enny: I mentioned to you that I will be possibly doing a gig with some bands next month. It looks like that is coming together. Any advice?
JR: Always know what you're doing. never stall looking for an idea to pop up or the paint to dry. You always have to be doing something to make the image come out BUT most important To give the Audience a show! That is what live painting is for! Show people you are confident of your art and art making abilities.
Enny: Where do you see yourself five years from now, painting or taking another sabbatical?
JR: Well, I just started to go back to school for Art Education. I am a huge advocate for art and music programs and have donated a lot a money to public schools for their art deptartment from the sales of my art in the past. I have always been interested in teaching. I just needed to find time to do it!
Enny: Thanks for your time.
Jeredt's art is currently on display at the UWS library through December. He can also be found on Facebook and at MySpace.com/lifeitslikethat. Here's also a link to more of Jeredt's work.