• Miller Kern

Paintings on the walls

This article originally appeared in Ball Bearings Magazine

For as long as he has been able to hold a pencil, junior visual communications major Eric Jones said he has been drawing. He recalls his peers admiring his drawings back in elementary school.

“I have always had an understanding for visual things,” Jones said.

He now carries a sketchbook with him at all times, he said.

Though his major focuses on design with a heavy concentration in drawing, Jones works mostly in oils in painting.

He hangs many of his own paintings, both finished and unfinished, in his house.

“If you don’t have something on the wall, it’s dull,” said Jones. “The stuff on my wall just happens to be my own paintings.”

The in-progress paintings are displayed for motivation. Jones said sometimes he stares at the pieces, trying to get a better idea of how to finish them.

Although, his roommates all have favorites of Jones’ paintings, he said he doesn’t favor one over another.

“I’m so critical of all of my pieces,” said Jones. “I’ve grown so much in the past two years artistically, mentally, emotionally and physically. I’m in such a different place. I can’t limit myself to one piece. I push for each piece to be better than the last.”

Jones would love to sell his artwork, but he has not found the right demographic yet. Most of the people interested in purchasing his work are college students who can’t afford Jones’ asking prices.

Jones puts in anywhere from 20 to 100 hours on one piece, he said. If he were to charge minimum wage for the hours put in, pieces could cost around $700.

Money is not the reason Jones does his work, though, he said.

Though he does not typically sell his work, Jones does fill requests for projects. Jones once painted a lampshade for $70 for a friend.

While working on the lampshade, Jones found that he was not happy with the result of his painting. So he did what he said any other artist would have done: he started over. The result was a lampshade that, when illuminated, showed two paintings, one on top of the other.

For the most part, Jones said he describes his artistic style as surrealist. He pulls inspiration from other surrealist artists like Salvador Dali and Daniel Merriam.

One of Jones’ greatest achievements was Parkview Hospital’s Murosity Project. Jones created a one-foot by one-foot painting that was combined with other paintings to produce an 8-by-20-foot mural in Parkview’s newer location in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

After graduation, Jones plans to intern with Timothy Boor, a tattoo shop owner in Kokomo, then move to the West Coast to become a tattoo artist.

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