The last couple of weeks have been quite interesting. I started this year with the full intention of taking a break from social media platforms. That all lasted all of what seemed to be a week or so, before I dove head first into the web again. It has been quite hard distancing myself from these spaces that provide instant validation and gratification. I think the silver lining is the fact that I am aware of the power that the internet has and how it affects my every day life and emotions. However, I do believe I am making progress in my journey to staying present and enjoying the now. I think trying to quit these platforms all at once was not the smartest plan but I have been keeping myself accountable when it comes to productivity. Im making sure that I am using my free time to accomplish tasks that need to be done as well as spending time creating.
With that being said… I’m back… on social media that is. Im going to try to limit my screen time or work on it. I will let you guys know how that all pans out.
In other news… I recently participated in a local Public Art project entitled “Casita Taproom Masterpiece” the project involves local and regional artists painting the faces of beer barrels at a local brewery here in Wilson, NC. Casita Brewing Company is located at the heart of Historic Downtown Wilson at 217 South Street. My piece completed the second season of the event. The Barrel is on display in their taproom and will remain on display until the beer is ready to be tapped. If you enjoy craft beer I would suggest you drop by this spot and checkout all they have to offer. If you’re an Artist yourself and are interested in taking part in this project in the future. I would suggest reaching out to them to check on availability.
My fear of heights aside… this was an awesome experience and I’m thankful for the opportunity to expose my artwork publicly.
What else is new? I purchased a new Polaroid camera and am really enjoying the creative liberties that it has given me. Photography is something that I am new to and although I have no experience shooting film photography. I decided instant film would be an easy way to ease myself into the medium. Although I’m aware the two are worlds apart I like to think this will encourage me to shoot film one day. for now I would encourage you to follow me on this journey as I document people, places, and experiences through instant film photography. Checkout the ”Portfolio” page loacated on the Menu bar, for a new virtual gallery link featuring images I’ve captured thus far.
I hope you’re succeeding and accomplishing your goals. But if you’re not, remember tomorrow is a brand new day. Stop, take a breath, and reevaluate your plan of action. Peaks and valleys.
The importance of living in the present has thrusted itself into the top of my list of priorities for this year. Never before have I been more aware of the amount of time I spend thinking about the past or the future. I mean even as I’m writing this blog post I’m doin just that. Thinking about the past and the future. I think reminiscing on old memories and dreaming of new ones to come, are all healthy parts of what it is to be human. However, from my experience it seems to me that missing those moments can bring us pain and suffering, which hinder us from enjoying the blessings we have right now.
I’ve prayed for clarity and day by day my thoughts become clearer. I’ve been able to process my emotions and come to understand why I spent so much time in the negative. I made a conscience decision to stay positive and stay present. That is not to say i will not falter. When and if I do I will pick up right from where I left off and get back on the path that leads me.
Im taking action by taking a break from social media applications like Facebook and Instagram. This isn’t a permanent change but I do hope this will help me become more focussed and productive. The decision has definitely been a difficult one as a lot of an Artist’s exposure, now a days, comes from social media presence. I think however there needs to be a balance in everything one does. I don’t believe one can be consistent with the creation of work if their time is offset by distractions. I think the very tools that are set up to help us reach our goals are the very same ones that debilitate our ability to reach for them. I hope this break will allow me to spend more time creating and staying present.
With that being said I want to clarify that I’m not jumping into this change “cold turkey” because simply- it’s not that easy. I’ve deleted these apps from my phone because that is the main and most accessible distraction but I am allowing myself the ability to access these platforms from my IPad as an incentive to create. I know that when I pick up this piece of technology I am going to either work on Digital drawings, which I’ve been experimenting with more over the last couple of days, or create updated for my website. At which point I justify checking these apps because I’ve made steps towards reaching a goal. It is important for me to be able to still access these platforms because not everyone aware of my journey and I need to be able to get back to some of my messages.
All in all I think this is the right decision for the me right now and if and when I decide to make changes to my routine it will be because I am ready to. I hate that this post doesn’t update you guys on much of my recent artistic endeavors but this is a space for me to share more than just Art. The works of the mind are just as important, ya feel me?
Ive got some exciting things planned for this year and I cant wait to be able to share some of them with you guys in the future. see you guys soon.
2021 has been an incredible year for US. I say us because without all of you none of this would be possible. I am forever grateful for everyones involvement in my journey.
I originally set out to create a vision board/ list of goals for the coming year. That’s when I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and write down a list of the achievements we reached this year. The process itself has been so rewarding and seeing everything written down really just makes this year feel even more special.
I cant wait to see where this new year will take us and to those of you who are actively a part of it, thank you from the bottom of my heart. May all your hopes and dreams come true this new year.
2nd Solo Art Show “Breathing”
Designed Public Art Piece
Designed for the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park & Museum
Painted my first Mural
Worked with Magnum Photographers in a Photography Workshop & created a Photo Book
Served on the Board of Directors for Eyes on Main Street & helped install this years Photography Festival
Won 1st place in this year’s Chalk Art Contest
Created and Launched my first Website
Designed, Created, Packaged, and Sold my first ”Sticker Pack”
Had my fist teaching experience teaching a week long ”Children’s Art Camp”
Was part of a group show entitled ”Silver Linings”
Was part of a public Art Project created in partnership with Eric Brown and Larema Coffee House where my photograph and interview was printed in a book along with other participents
Was interviewed by the Wilson Visitor Center and became part of a promotional video highlighting my Art and the Arts in Wilson, NC.
Was able to meet and collaborate with many talented Artists, Photographers, and Creators from the surrounding area and globally
Participated in a Podcast interview called The ”Wondering Creatives” led by Allie Coutts
This year I was fortunate enough to have been invited back to the Wilson Arts Annual Holiday Invitational Gala and Gift Gallery. The event is a invitation and member only exhibit of sorts where Local and Regional artists are invited to submit work to be put up for sale in the gallery’s Gift Shop. This is an incredible event where contributing members of the organization get a first look and ”First Dibs” on all the items submitted each year. The Gallery shop is of course then opened up to the public following the premier of the event and visitors may browse all items in hopes of finding one of a kind handmade and handcrafted pieces of art they can purchase for themselves or gift to a special loved one during the holiday season. Previously I submitted small watercolor paintings depicting whirligigs in my ”Polaroid” theme and was lucky enough to have sold all of them.
This year I decided to try something different. I put together a dozen ”Paper Crane Mobiles” the idea for these items originated from a lesson I taught at a Child’s Art Camp in partnership with Wilson Art which I lead earlier this year. The Cranes are a nod to my 1000 Paper Crane Installation, a part of my first Solo Exhibition entitled “Healing” in 2020.
Folding paper cranes has become a part of my identity at this point, and I enjoy not only the meditative process of making them, but also the source of joy they provide to the people I gift them to. They have become a symbol of hope and a wish for good luck and good heath to those who receive them. But also, much like a painting, they are a piece of me which is tangible and present with loved ones no matter the distance.
My hope is that people will love them not only for their aesthetic but also for their meaning. I am happy to be able to share this project with the public and I am excited to venture out of my comfort zone of creation.
Only a dozen of these will be available this year but I will definitely consider creating more in the future if they are a success.
The Gallery shop will be available to the general public beginning November 19th and the holiday sale will run through December 23rd.
If you’re new here then Welcome! This is my own little corner of the web where I upload content and information about me, my artwork, and my experiences.
I wanted to take a minute to sit down and talk to you guys about an amazing opportunity that was presented to me. I was approached by Carolyn Hill, the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park & Museum’s Visitior Services Coordinator, in regards to the museum’s interest in commissioning me to created a design for them. The design (see top and bottom of webpage) will be used for a T-Shirt Design that will likely and hopefully launch during this year’s Whirligig Festival. If you are not familiar with the Whirligig Festival or the park itself, I would encourage you to visit both the following websites, wilsonwhirligigpark.org and whirligigfestivalnc.org. Over the last couple of weeks I worked with the museum to bring this idea to life.
I commenced this project by visiting the park and rendering a series of ”Studies” or preliminary sketches that highlighted areas of interest that might otherwise be difficult to identify through photography alone. Armed with what was a handful of sketches I began working on a draft. This whole process was a bit new to me, as I usually work backwards in the sense that I work on a final piece from the beginning and work out the kinks as I go along. I’ve realized how detrimental this is to my creative process, but it has also challenged me to come up with solutions at the drop of a dime. There is a sense of safety working in a more traditional way. What I’m suggesting is that allowing myself to plan out the design and working from bits and pieces that were produced earlier in the creative process resulted in less casualties and complications. Will I take what I’ve learned from this experience and apply it in future works? more than likely not. As a self taught artist I can tell you that nothing I’ve learned thus far was credited to caution. Instinct and impulse has and continues to propel my creativity. Allowing myself to make mistakes allows me learn and grow as a creator. I am aware that certain situations call for different procedures and that I am able to compromise.
Certain clients and projects will expect and require you to create a series of sketches and or drafts that allows them to clearly see your vision. In some situations artists will allow a certain number of revisions that are allowed to be made during the creative process. Although I am familiar with these, there haven’t been very many instances where I’ve had to apply them. I don’t consider myself a designer and my experience with design work is limited to only a handful of projects. I am incredibly thankful for this experience as it has taught me it is okay to skew away from the way I frequently do things.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t intimidated by the importance of this project. I say this because ”creating a design for the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park & Museum” may seem like a small achievement two years from today. Today I am proud of this achievement, because two years ago this opportunity was only present in my dreams.
I want to end this blog by reminding you to…
do what you love today without fear. let the fear of failure fuel your desire to succeed and everything will fall into place. If its meant to happen, It will. But you have to allow it.
Special thanks to Carolyn Hill and the rest of the Museum Associates for allowing me to work with them and for being so understanding of my hectic schedule.
Be aware. This design is owned by the “Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and Museum”, all reproduction and printing rights are reserved by said party. I, Juan Carlos Duron Martinez, reserve the right to publish content depicting images of the design for promotional purposes on former and future personal webpages and social media networks. Reproduction and use of this design and content by parties not mentioned in this agreement are liable and subject to legal prosecution.
Hey guys, it’s been a while since my last blog and I figured it’s probably about that time. I’ve been very busy these last couple of weeks both with work and trying to get pieces ready and finished for an upcoming show in August.
One of the projects that I have been working on is a design for a traffic box. This project was a bit out of my comfort zone if I’m being honest, and I was hesitant to take it on initially because I was scared of the weird dimensions. When I was approached I was informed that I would be able to do a traditional art piece as opposed to a digital one. I don’t have much experience with digital work and although I could’ve opted out of doing a traditional watercolor piece and gone digital I stuck to the traditional route as it is more my style and I think by now I’ve pretty much established a relationship as an artist and my medium of choice being watercolor. That’s not to say I limit myself to this medium but in this specific situation with various other artists, more than likely, doing digital designs. It just made sense to do a physical, hand painted, watercolor piece.
It was definitely a struggle in the beginning as I wasn’t quite sure how to start. I knew what the dimensions of the actual traffic box were, and I was told the piece I was creating needed to be at least half the size of the original in order to maximize the quality of the image that would be printed and wrapped on the traffic box. In the end the original piece would need to be photographed or in some cases scanned. With these instructions in mind, I decided to break down the painting into actual panels as opposed to it being one whole piece. I made this decision initially because I did not have a piece of watercolor paper large enough to meet the “half the original size” dimensions. So I was left with no other choice than to break down the piece into separate pieces that would later connect to produce one large flowing image.
I don’t do a lot of conceptual work or design work in general. The instructions for the design called for a dinosaur themed piece of art. I knew I wanted to incorporate my personal favorite dino, the Triceratops. I wanted to create a scene that told a story. I searched the web for various references and inspiration. I fell in love with the works that had the subjects in mid action poses. I used a couple of reference for the dinosaurs’ body and poses, and then I played around with the positioning of the subjects within the image. later, I rendered details and features once I decided the story I wanted to tell. In the image I began to see these two characters from different paths of life meeting at a sort of crossroads. They are both heading in different directions and it is unclear where this interaction will lead them. It definitely seems to me like there is a startled look and feel to the Triceratops eyes as they spot the Velociraptor. Keep in mind, both story and design are being created as I go along. The story much like the painting/ drawing is developing as I lay down more lines and strokes. While all of this is happening, I am also considering composition and I am experimenting with my line work. I am designing the background, and I am making executive decisions to paint some areas and leave others without color to create contrast.
As I begin to add color, i am noticing certain areas and details that I want to preserve and I decide to to make a bold choice and keep part of the background in color and other parts of the background I paint straight black. This creates more contrast, while also allowing your eye to rest on individual parts of the piece. I tried to focus on making the piece flow. I also wanted to make sure each individual “panel” worked as an individual piece with points of interests in all four sides, as each panel represents a different side of the traffic box.
Once I fill the background on this side of the pice, I start to render the details in the background a bit more. At this time I begin to plan what will go on the remaining two panels and I decide to render some dinosaur eggs in the foreground. I also begin to toy with the idea of incorporating a whirligig in the background as this is a project for the city of Wilson, NC which is home of the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park. I review a couple of references and decide to feature “Duckie” which is one of four smaller gigs in the park. I very lightly paint the silhouette of the whirligig to bring it further into the background, while simultaneously creating depth in the image.
I finish the far right side of the piece with a couple of dandelions. The plants, trees, and the whirligig are obviously not relative to the time or location in which dinosaurs lived. However, I wanted them to relate more to the local environment and allow the viewer to imagine the dinosaurs living in an overgrown version of what would be a futuristic version of Wilson, NC if dinosaurs existed.
In the end we’re left to wonder what might have happened to the city of Wilson? What came of these two characters’ interaction? where is the missing dinosaur baby?
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how this piece came to be. I can’t wait for the piece to be printed and wrapped on the traffic box for everyone to see and enjoy. I will make a separate blog post with pictures of the final piece once the project is completed.
Update: This piece has been installed and is on view at the corner of Nash st. and Pender St. in Wilson, NC. see images below.
I’m not so much a religious person as I am a spiritual one. Growing up I was raised in a Catholic household and certain beliefs and traditions were bestowed on me as they have been to most Hispanic households- I’m sure. I lived in an untraditional traditional household if that makes any sense. What I mean is that my mother is a woman of faith and if it were up to her we would’ve been in church every Sunday if that had been possible. Growing up my mother worked long hours in order to sustain our household as a single mother of four and so we compromised a great deal with the time that was available to us. With time being limited I didn’t really spend a great deal of it within the church. Nonetheless my mother always wanted us to have a connection with God. Truly speaking I struggled with my faith for a very long time for many of personal reasons and there were many of times where I found myself questioning the possibility of God’s existence. As I look back on those days I now realize I may have been a bit selfish. I think when times are hard and you feel helpless and angry your emotions tend to get the best of you- you tend to come to unrealistic conclusions. Why doesn’t God love me? Why doesn’t God help me, or us, even them? I know I’ve asked myself these questions a million times. Time and time again and I think I’ve always been proven wrong, with time. Sometimes blessings don’t come wrapped in glitter and gold. It takes time to understand why certain struggles or responsibilities have been placed on your shoulders. Whatever the case might be, you will come out a better person in the end because of it.
I may not frequent Sunday service but I do believe in God and I am a very faithful person.
With that in mind. I wanted to take a moment to talk about these three pieces, how they came to be, and what they mean to me. There was a period of time in the beginning of the year where I became very ill. I had a very high fever for about a week and a half and I felt very weak and could not function like normally. I asked my close friends to pray for me and I prayed for my recovery and that of others as well. Once I regained some strength and energy I took to painting to lift my spirits. This was when the first painting was created. I had been looking to create a series of paintings featuring succulent subjects for a while now and so I was playing around with different concepts and compositions. I added this lady bug as a representation of God. Why a lady bug?
There was a time when I had visited a local park in order to clear my mind. I was having a hard time doing so as many thoughts and emotions filled my mind. It was in that moment that a lady bug landed on my arm and so this small little creature crawled up and down my arm. I sat there and I thought of nothing but I was filled with joy by the ladybugs presence. Immediately my spirits lifted and I thanked God for this blessing.
The second image was a piece I produced directly after the initial one and this was a donation for a fundraiser that the Wilson Arts Center recently held. This image was created while I was still playing around with ideas for future works. The third and final image is a piece that will be exhibited in my show in August. The image is one of my favorites and is representative of the final composition design that will cary through most of the pieces.
The connection between God and this Lady bug is what inspired the inclusion of this imagery and so creating these pieces brings me peace.
Thank you for being here! Who would have thought I would be writing a blog post for my very own Website. This is so exciting for me and I hope its just as exciting for you to be a part of.
If you haven’t yet had a moment to check out the rest of the website I would encourage you to do that first before diving deep into this blog post. I want to make it clear that I in no way know what I am doing so bare with me and enjoy the ride.
Ive been wanting to start my own website to have a place to archive past, present, and future works. While also having a corner of the web all to myself not just Instagram and facebook, which by the way are great platforms, and I exist in both those realms. If you’d like to be my friend on facebook feel free to shoot me a request, but I will forewarn you I don’t accept requests from strangers most of the time. But if you are my friend or a recent acquaintance feel free to click away at that request button.
As for instagram, my personal account is @jc.duron and my Art account is @jcdmart. So if that fancies you, feel free to follow as well. On my personal account the majority of the content relates to what I’m up to, businesses and Artists I’m loving, food I’m craving, and more. While my Art instagram is a sort of virtual Gallery that existed prior to the creation of this webpage. That being said, that does not mean I will stop posting on either of those, but I think It will be nice to have a place where I can go deeper into what it is I’m thinking. How I am creating. A place to dump a large amount of information without it being overwhelming to those looking to consume a quick bite of information. I think this place is specifically geared towards those who are not only invested in my artwork, the process, but most importantly myself. This will give me the freedom to completely separated the artist (myself) from the fear of acceptance that is portrayed by the amount of likes or comments on a social media post. Because at the end of the day I’m putting this information out there with no expectations of it ever being observed or critiqued. But if it is welcomed or helps someone out in their own journey as an artist, then I feel as though I have done my part.
I don’t know how often I will be posting content but I will be trying to give you a more detailed view of how it is that I create and why it is that I create. If you have any suggestions as to what you’d like to see, feel free to drop me a quick message. If you’re wondering what sort of Art materials I’m using just ask. Anything and I mean anything you might be interested in knowing feel free to ask me.
thanks again for being a part of this journey, I hope you tag along for the ride.