JJ's Portrait
JJ Levine

City, State (or Country):
Berkeley, CA

Watercolor, Painting, Drawing

Artist Rising URL:

Member Since:

This is a subtitle. It’s a 16px Bold Arial font face in black and it serves to give the reader a snipit of what they’re about to read below
Artistic Background
I had dabbled in drawing as a teen, but I didn’t start painting until I was 29. I had always wanted to pursue it, but I had made other career choices until then.My husband is a pastor. We did missionary work in rural Mexico for ten years. While I was there, I fell in love with the artisan spirit in Mexico – everything they do is so vibrant and colorful. I moved back to the U.S. in 1993, and started painting as a form of art therapy to deal with my clinical depression. Previously, I had never given myself permission to pursue my art. So I took classes and had the help of a few mentors to help develop my style of painting. I painted as a hobby for a few years, and then needed to support my ‘addiction,’ so I started selling my artwork locally in Louisiana.
Selling Offline & Online
I have two galleries in New Orleans selling my work now, and I also sell via my own website and through Sistino and Artist Rising. Displaying my paintings online is different than the usual way of showing and selling artwork, but I live in a small rural town, so there’s not much of an art scene here. The Internet has really helped me to connect with collectors.
About Her Art
I see my art as a gift that was lying dormant in me, and it’s been very fulfilling since I’ve taken this on. I have a rich, imaginative inner life. I’m still a kid at heart, so I like to have fun.Instead of painting buildings in a cold, boxy style, I like to paint the story of a home or a street scene. Technique is great, but when you focus so much on the science of art, instead of the intuitive process, you lose something.I paint in acrylic and I like the flexibility that it gives me. I paint fast, so I’m more fluid when I paint in acrylics.
I don’t take myself seriously at all – I do it for fun.
About Giving Back to the Community

From my 10 years as a missionary in Mexico to volunteering for Hurricane Katrina relief, humanitarian work has always been a part of my life. After the hurricane, our family volunteered at the shelters, but we still wanted to give back whatever we could. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of my artwork goes to hurricane relief charities. Over 16 months, I donated over $11,000. I’m also considering donating to other causes, such as hunger relief in Africa.I find that this is the only way that I can be successful – if I give something back.

Advice to Other Artists
Believe in yourself, because in the beginning, no one else will. It took 6-7 years fro my work to get recognition, for people to take my paintings seriously.Develop your own style. It’ll take a while to find what you’re about, but when you go, go for it, full-on.
Find a mentor, that’s what really helped me to develop as an artist.
Be bold enough to dream your dream.

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