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Art & Life with Jarod Octon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jarod Octon.

Jarod, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Like most artists, my childhood was the most influential in relation to what I create. I fell in love with the story telling of Disney movies and Marvel comics. As I got older, sub-culture brands took over the edges of my school notes. I would doodle skateboard or hip-hop related logos such as the Wu-Tang Clan. I think these types of designs made the biggest impact on my current style. But it was not that apparent after graduating from Monte Vista High School. In fact, I abandoned my creativity to work a full-time job and aimlessly study general education at the local community colleges. It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I realized a creative career was possible for me. So, I took a leap of faith and joined the student body at Platt College San Diego. From that moment on I was dedicated. As a late bloomer the rust had taken hold of my natural abilities, but I carried on humble and hungry. Despite all the setbacks though I’ve been rewarded with many accomplishments, largely as a result of being patient and putting my best foot forward. I graduated as an alumnus, got hired as an art director and now I work full time as a graphic artist for a candy company. I truly feel blessed. What I’ve learnt is that it’s never too late to realize your true purpose. I was lost for many years, but I eventually found my path. Better believe I won’t lose sight of that again.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My art style is a blend of both analog and digital. Every work begins with a pencil and paper then evolves using a variety of software. Basically, I try to keep one hand classically trained and the other adaptive to modern day techniques. It’s the best of both worlds. Much of the work I create tends to be colorful and light hearted. The reason for that is because I want my audience to smile and be instilled with positivity. It’s all about good vibes. There’s so much turmoil in the world and I don’t need to contribute to that. I’d rather bring people together based on our similar interests rather than push someone away. If I’m not problem solving for a client, I’m most likely curating personal projects based on my own interests. Such influences might be magical or outer-space themed. I really love plots that involve the Hero’s Journey (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter). These topics will always trickle into my work.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
For anyone interested in a creative career, know that it takes time to establish yourself. For every successful person you might idolize, I would bet money that their own journey was long and filled with sacrifice. You have to be prepared for the long haul. Just do the work and don’t overthink it. Of course, strategizing will help but don’t get lost trying to make everything perfect. You can’t be afraid to share your work with the world. Don’t hide away in a cave hoping someone will shine a light on whatever it is you have to offer. Share it wherever you can! Lastly, if you learn to love the process the results will be that much more rewarding. Make the mistakes, get better and eventually people will take notice of your hard work.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
On June 23rd I will participate in Art Street. The annual event is hosted by the College Area Business District and will boast 30+ artist booths including myself. That would be prime time to meet and talk in person. I generally share the majority of my work on platforms such as Instagram and Dribbble. Aside from Dribbble, where I use my full name, my social handle is Octon Originals. The username is also a moniker, which serves as outlet for all of the ideas I seek to materialize as limited-edition products. My current collection of “Rare Relics” can be seen by visiting jarodocton.com/shop.
 

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All illustrations and product photography were created by Jarod Octon. The personal portrait of me holding a skateboard, which I also designed, was photographed by Natasha Englehardt.

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