21 Under 31: Young Artists to Watch in 2016 | Julian Tejera

New Jersey

Julian Tejera, Quiet, oil, 36 x 24.

Julian Tejera, Quiet, oil, 36 x 24.

Art Education: Bachelor of fine arts in illustration from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, and master of fine arts in painting from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I’ve also spent a great deal of time with Dorian Vallejo, who inspires me artistically and intellectually.

Style: Contemporary realism.

Creative Spark: People, usually. Their stories, features, ages, and clothes. My paintings are composed around a specific individual, so despite being genre scenes, they also become portraits. Recently I’ve been captivated by light and creating luminous paintings with glazing and scumbling. Technique and subject matter in unison drive my urge to keep creating.

Second-Choice Career: Something with theology and psychology. Having grown up in a religious education system, I am drawn to the intersection of the mind and the feeling of needing to believe in something. As a child I wanted to be a paleontologist. “Julianosaurus” always had a nice ring to it.

Best Advice Received: From artist Greg Manchess: “Draw all the time, even and especially when you don’t feel like drawing.” Basically, inspiration doesn’t come on the wings of a muse. You just have to keep working.

Favorite Studio Music: Hip-hop.

Favorite Work by Another Artist: Any of Rembrandt’s later self-portraits. Also Bouguereau’s NYMPHS AND SATYR for its dynamic composition, use of light, and impeccable craftsmanship.

Future Goals: Painting and teaching. As long as those two things are happening, I’ll be happy.

Price Range: $300 to $4,000.


Featured in the September 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  September 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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