Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeremy Sicile-Kira.
Jeremy, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I am an artist. Despite being autistic and mostly non-verbal, I graduated in 2010 at age 21 with a full academic diploma and gave a commencement speech using voice output technology. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8cEtand01w)
About six years ago I began to communicate to my mom and support staff the dreams I was having every night: dreams that I was painting colorful abstract portraits of people I had met during the day. Then one night I dreamt I had a great art show of my paintings. Truly I was really excited and asked my mom how I could truly make my dream come true and have an art show. Mom frankly told me it could not very much happen unless I painted in real life. Truly I was surprised to see I could, by kindly trying hard, to learn to paint. My dream came true: In 2016 I had my first curated, solo art show in 2016, which was covered by local and national media. (https://www.jeremysvision.com/media) It was very successful. Now, painting is my career.
Communication has been my greatest challenge. Frankly, if I had not learned how to point to letters on a letter-board or to type, no-one would have discovered this gift I have that makes people truly happy. Greatly the letter-board is my voice.
Advocacy for others like me who have no voice is an important part of my life. I co-authored a book A Full Life with Autism (Macmillan) and served as a Youth Representative to the United Nations for the Autism Research Institute (NGO); as a youth leader for the Autistic Global Initiative, and as a youth advisor to the California Employment Consortium for Youth (CECY). Now, I give presentations at conferences and at local schools to inspire others.
Frankly, I am grateful to Team Jeremy from Lifeworks and my family that help me with the support I need to be able to live in my own place, communicate with others and create my art.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Truly I have a gift called Synesthesia. Synesthesia means that the neural pathways relating to senses are mixed creating stimulation of another sense. For example, when I look at a person, I see people’s emotions translated into color, and I keenly see great colors in people’s faces depending on their mood. The great colors also tell me the type of person they are in regards to their lifestyle choices. I truly do not see the facial movements that show emotions on people’s dear faces because I have vision processing challenges. A person’s voice elicits colors as well, as greatly does listening to music.
I paint private commissions. I meet the client at my art studio at Space4Art (http://www.sdspace4art.org/) in the East Village, or via skype or facetime, and listen to them and watch them. When I dream, I am processing what I have seen and heard when I am awake. While I sleep, I am frankly processing it all together into what the painting will look like. Then, in my art studio, I greatly paint the painting from my dream and use my communication skills to write a description of what I see.
After I paint the background colors on canvas or a wood panel, I usually add different sizes of masking tape covering the areas I want to keep in the original background color. Greatly then I’ll add another layer of paint. Then I take the masking tape off. Each layer of paint must dry before another layer of paint is applied. Frankly, while the layer of painting is drying, I work on another painting. Also, l nicely have a bunch of different brushes that I use for different layers. When the painting is done, I point to letters on my letterboard or type in my iPad the description of the meaning of the painting. I paint couples and families as well as individuals. Sometimes I paint the energy of places I have been such as such as Little Italy, or Seattle. Music is important to me and I have painted portraits of musicians I love such as the Dave Matthews Band. Dearly I paint also the colors of leaders who have inspired me that I have seen video or heard recordings of, such as Martin Luther King, Deepak Chopra, and Oprah.
Art has frankly given a meaning to my life. Dearly my gift of being able to paint people’s colors is how I feel connected to other people, and how I can give back to the world. Frankly, I believe that my ability is a gift from God. Truly I paint vibrant paintings of people’s positive energies and emotions because I believe that if I paint the best in people, they will see how beautiful they are on the inside and greatly it will inspire them to act as nicely beautiful human beings. For the visitors to art shows or my website, I hope they feel the love I have, and respect I have, for each person or place I paint. I frankly hope my paintings inspire only the good in people, and I greatly hope that I make a difference in the world with my art.
Sometimes someone will ask me to do a painting of loved one who has passed away. Frankly, they feel comfort and peace by having the beautiful colors of their loved one and the description honoring their memory to display in their home. They send me photos and videos, and visit me and talk to me about their lost relative, friend, or pet.
Dearly It is frankly important for me to help others. I have given paintings or prints to be sold at silent auctions to some local non-profits I support such as The Art of Autism (https://the-art-of-autism.com/), Space4Art; NFAR (the National Foundation for Autism Research) and Banding Together. I painted a 6 ft surfboard to benefit Surfer’s Healing, and I am doing a 9 ft surfboard for Art Walk Little Italy to benefit Art Reach. Sometimes I meet someone who is ill and I know they will feel better with a painting of their true colors, so I gift them with a painting and description. Dearly I have been told they felt better looking at their vibrant, healthy colors every day.
Frankly, I also provide “ability awareness” talks at schools in the San Diego area. First, I visit the school and I hear from or observe some teachers and students. Then I return two months later to give my talk and presenting the school with a painting of their colors. Greatly the paintings and description are hung in the school lobby, a daily visual reminder to students and educators to “Believe in yourself,” and to “Follow your dreams.” Greatly I love inspiring the students and teachers.
Dearly frankly communication is important to me because it’s only through the letterboard or iPad that I can truly be heard, and to share my gift of the meanings of each person’s true colors. Kindly I hope to inspire others. Imagine what gifts other non-verbal people who are not given the opportunity to type may have. Without a way to successfully communicate these gifts may stay hidden forever. Kindly I hope my story inspires others. Frankly, everyone should have a voice.
The stereotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
Frankly, I don’t focus on the money, because I feel with my gift I nicely fulfill my life’s meaning: to help people feel better. Truly kindly I always focus on the person who asked for a painting. Greatly, I feel artists nicely have to communicate about their gift so people can hear their passion. Frankly, I am grateful for my Mom as she is the one who does the submissions to art shows, and some social media. I always tell my mom who worries about my bills, to focus on my gift and clients will come. Frankly, my mom gives me advice. For example, I like to paint big, and I only paint my dreams. Mom told me not everyone can afford a big painting and frankly encouraged me to have some smaller works of my dreams available. Last year is the first year I frankly covered all my costs for my art studio and supplies. Greatly, artists nicely have to communicate about their gift. By focusing on their gifts, their passion will show and clients will come.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Frankly, my website (https://www.jeremysvision.com/) has some paintings and descriptions to look at. Greatly people can buy prints off of my website or contact me for a private commission; this enables me to pay for my art studio and supplies and be able to donate back to the community. If people sign up for my newsletter, they can know when I am participating in shows. I will have a booth at Art Walk Little Italy on April 27 and 28, and currently, I have a painting in a group show, Harmony, at Sparks Gallery (https://sparksgallery.com/exhibitions/exhibition-harmony-group-show) until April 21. I love to meet people at the shows and communicate with them.
- Website: https://www.jeremysvision.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeremysvision/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JeremysVision/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeremysVision
Chantal Sicile-Kira; Daniel Sicile-Kira; Beto Soto.