Mastrius Artist Mentor
This artist is mentoring at Mastrius. Visit our how it works page for membership details.
Mentoring Aspiring Artists
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MEDIUM: Oil Paint | Mixed Media Art | Graphite Art
SPECIALTY: ✔ Critiques
One of the great lessons in fairy tales, of which there are many, is to appreciate the magic of the seemingly mundane. To pay attention. This, right here and now, whatever that may be, is enough. It might all seem counterintuitive, but that’s my takeaway at least. With this in mind I am driven by a simple mantra: beholding wonder. While I don’t always succeed, I try to live my life so that my everyday experience is enriched by this idea. I try not to take anything for granted. Be open to the magic of possibilities, even when things aren’t really going my way.
I bring this mentality into my studio practice. As a ﬁgurative artist, my subject is almost always a person I know. Working with friends and family allows me to paint the familiar with a sense of love, instead of hiring a model to act the part. This allows me to focus on nuance without directing. Kind of like watching a movie a second or third time; you’re not surprised anymore, so you focus more on the smaller details. You pay attention to the things you didn’t notice the ﬁrst time around, which makes the experience richer. When a viewer feels comfortable and smiles in the presence of my art, I know I’ve succeeded.
From a technical standpoint, I am in an open dialogue with my materials. I guide that conversation in the early stages. But then I give it room to speak. What sort of alchemy is possible when I relinquish a bit of control to let paint simply be paint?
There is an excitement to not entirely knowing how something is going to turn out, despite years of painting and studying the craft. It isn’t to say I approach each painting with reckless abandon or without a game plan, but part of the fun for me is in allowing the layers of paint to guide my next decisions. This is truly where magic lives.
Listed below are this Mentor’s specialty skills. Join this group if you want to grow in these areas.
Specialty: ✔ Critiques
Colour and Composition
Providing Art Critiques
Teaching How to Self Critique
Supplies and Tools – what to use, where to save, and where to spend
Visual Problem Solving
Studio Time Management
“Mastrius has done wonders for my confidence. I have managed to step way outside of my comfort zone which has in turn given rise to so many more opportunities to further my art career.”
~ Deb, Emerging Artist
MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST
Julian Tejera was born and raised in New Jersey, bouncing around from diﬀerent towns and schools along the way. Being shy as a child, he found his voice by spending endless hours drawing in his sketchbooks or notebooks, instead of taking notes of course. Graduating in 2008 with his BFA in illustration from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, he soon realized that his true love of narrative was less in the fantastical and more in the quotidian. This led him to the Academy of Art University where he received his MFA in painting in 2015. Preferring to work directly with clients on commissions, he does the occasional group show or pop up in local galleries. Julian has also been featured as Southwest Art Magazine’s 21 under 30 (2016), a number of The Artist Magazine competitions, as well as published in Strokes of Genius 9.
Conquering his shyness (sort of), he discovered a deep love for teaching and engaging with students on their journey. Recognizing the challenges of painting from his own experience, few things bring him more joy than a student’s “AHA” moment.
He is currently working on a new body of work for a solo show in the Spring at Era Contemporary in Philadelphia.