There’s no reason to stop doing what you love just because you’re busy. For instance, the artist for our feature today, busy as he is with his job and his family, still finds time to draw and sketch in between.
In this week’s blog post, we get to know more about Justin Pastores! We hope you enjoy this feature and find something interesting in it!
How long have you been doing art? When did you “officially” get started?
The earliest that I can remember was in the 1st grade drawing my favorite cartoons (X-Men and TMNT). I kept it up through high school, but I officially got started in my early twenties by taking classes at a junior college.
Why did you choose the type of art that you do? Was it a deliberate choice or something you discovered you preferred as you learned art?
I noticed in my teens that my drawing wasn’t where I wanted it to be. So when I started taking it more seriously and being more exposed to foundational learning, I discovered that I really liked those subjects (still life, portrait, landscapes) and the creative process. After getting comfortable, it got easier to draw what I was interested in.
Going with what you like when learning something new is definitely a good place to start because you’re already interested in whatever it is you’re doing.
For anyone encountering you for the first time, can you describe your art?
No. I just draw and paint things. That’s always been a hard question to answer because it’s hard to claim a style. I don’t think I have one. I feel that is the job of the viewer. I hop from one look to the next. But I could say that I focus on subjects that are relevant to me and takes form in illustration or traditional fine art.
Which specific work would you show someone who's seeing them for the first time?
Something easy to digest like a plein air painting or a portrait.
What's something unique in your art style that can be seen in all of your works?
Yikes. Not sure. I have a different approach depending on the medium I use. When I’m making a series, there’s a common theme in the subjects. I had a series of work that involved figures carrying a mountain of things, which ranged from using graphite, pen, and watercolor. Each medium had different results. Currently, I’m not working on a series, but so far the subjects involve my day job.
When did you realize this was something you wanted to do?
As soon as I noticed that I wasn’t bright at everything else! Art was something that I received praised for, escalated in, kept my attention, and felt good about.
Did you go to art school or study art professionally? If not, how did you teach yourself?
I started at a junior college, learned watercolor and the basics there, then transferred to a state college where I was exposed to oils and got a BFA in traditional art. I later on worked as an art instructor and learned a ton from my peers. I practiced everyday and surrounded myself with others who I thought had greater skills than me, so I can steal their secrets.
Being around your peers or people you look up to can definitely give you a boost! There’s a lot to learn from other people when everyone has their own style, no matter the level. You also have a source of inspiration, not to mention fresh ideas, because typically, no two people will see one thing in the exact same way.
Do you have a “day job”? Or are you a full-time artist?
I’m a letter carrier for the city of Berkeley, CA! Art has taken a side position ever since having a family and delivering mail, but I still try to squeeze something in.
How do you find inspiration?
Things that I’m attracted to changes by how much I’m exposed to it. Before, it was me going out painting a scenery inspired by artists that I admire. Then it became work of my kids and their toys. Now it’s things that revolve around work. Of course, there’s Instagram and seeing endless amount of artists on there.
Pocket Journal Refill
What’s your typical day like whenever you’re in the middle of completing a piece of art?
I don’t have much time for art these days.I look forward to Inktober every year since it keeps me busy, I don’t have to think much, and allows me to reach a daily goal. Some years I finish, some I don’t. If I start something, I prefer to finish it in one sitting or by the end of the day. I work small, so it’s easier to maintain that goal. For this year of Inktober, I finish the prompt a day before and work on the next. I usually have the idea marinading in my head throughout the day. I start drawing in the morning, ink at night, and post the next morning. Sometimes I do it all at once.
Not every artist is the same, of course! Others want to be able to finish everything in one go, others take their time and complete a project part by part, section by section, in a much slower pace. It really depends on what works for you, your schedule, and even the type of style you have.
Which one are you? Make sure you share it with us in the comments!
What materials did you start with? What materials are you using now?
Other than crayons and color pencils? Plein Air Watercolor. This includes the tripod, palette, board, paper, etc. I was inspired a lot when I saw a teacher painting outdoors with his class. These days it’s simplified down to a Lochby Pocket Journal and a fountain pen. Quick, easy, no set up, finish and go. Eventually I’ll go back to full gear!
Who are your favorite artists?
Too many. I’ll list them in categories. I realized that some of these artists cross sections, but I feel it’s easier to divide them this way.
Kim Jung Gi
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists out there who want to make a living out of their creative talents?
Practice. Use social media for good, not evil. Set goals. Be realistic.
“Dive in 100%.”
We agree. If you’re trying to learn something new and want to do it better, there’s no other approach you can take: dive in fully and commit to it by practicing as much as you can. It’s the only way you’ll be good at it!
To see more of Justin’s works, don’t forget to follow his Instagram account right here.