Jonathan Thunder is a painter and digital media artist with a focus on canvas painting and animation. Deeply connected and influenced by his Native heritage, his bold work inspires conversation around his themes of identity and internal dialogue.
Courtesy of Jonathan Thunder
What's your mission?
I've only ever wanted to be an artist as far back as I can remember. My art has taken me to some pretty cool places. It has allowed me to tell my story as well as collaborate with others who need help telling theirs. I think the mission is to keep doing what I love, creating things and learning from it, and stay true to my dreams.
What is the biggest challenge or greatest sacrifice you've made in pursuit of your passion?
The first time I put my work on the walls of a gallery I was intimidated. I had spent countless hours pouring my heart and spirit into those canvases. I wasn't making "commercial" or "safe" pieces of art that would fit nicely on the wall at your family restaurant or inn. These were pieces that came from my life in the most honest way I knew. When I arrived at the reception for that exhibit I was so nervous to go in that I paced outside the building until I made the decision to leave. But I came back to the gallery and went inside, and I talked about the work with all that attended. Some comments that night let me know that there will be people who are turned off by my work, but I lived through that initial reality check. I actually have grown to be enlightened when I hear harsh criticism about my images. At least they are looking long enough to feel something. For the most part, I consider my audience when choosing how to convey my message, because I want them to catch my drift, and it's served me well in my ongoing dialogue.
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