Featured Seller: Justin Donaldson
Justin Donaldson is a Clemson, SC based artist creating beautiful lush landscapes in gouache. His inspiration is built on the need for peace and tranquility. In the hunt for these qualities he traverses forests, fields and rivers and takes his paints to the far reaches of nature.
Justin's work is created primarily with gouache, poster color, and open acrylics within the confines of his many sketchbooks. He hosts a killer store on Cubebrush and we just learned all about it.
Tell us about yourself. What do you currently do?
My name is Justin Donaldson and I am a full time artist and teacher. I paint a lot of plein air, sell originals and prints, and do background painting work for games and film.
What does your day look like?
I wake up, spend some time with my wife and kids and then kick off to the studio. When I get to studio I normally spend some time on a little admin work then spend half my day painting on commission or project work, and the rest of the day filming lessons.
How much time do you devote to art every day and why?
I like to get a good 3 or 4 hour chunk of pure painting time every day. For me painting is a safe place where I can lose myself in my work. I love the problem solving and the ability to find peaceful places. For me its a hunt for a mood. Once I have the mood in my scopes its a continual pursuit to get myself in that space and figure out how to communicate it. I LOVE it.
When did you decide you wanted to be an artist?
I decided I would be an artist about 8 years ago. I had just moved to the USA from Australia to be with my wife and I had about a year where I wasn't allowed to work while we were processing through immigration. I decided then that I would devote that time to really working on my skills.
How did you start building your experience?
Building my experience was a long process. It was a long time between my decision to start and actually being able to make a career around my art. I took that first year to build oil painting skill. Then I had to take a real job to make ends meet.
Eventually I found some work for a small games studio painting backgrounds. A few years later I took a leap into painting book covers full time as a freelancer. And a few years of constant grind before my own work really started to bring a degree of success and the freedom of being able to work for myself on my own material.
To what do you attribute your success?
My success I attribute to a few close friends in the art industry pushing me to dive back into the plein air painting that I had initially started with at the beginning, because thats where my interests truly were, and apparently it showed in the work itself. The minute I started focusing my social media on that aspect of my work it went viral.
Instead of presenting myself as an artist who can do anything I presented myself as an artist who loved to paint backgrounds and do plein air work… people were able to communicate about me and share my work!
What made you choose Cubebrush as your platform to create a store?
I have loved the lessons and tutorials I myself had purchased through Cubebrush and I wanted to be able to share my work in that same way!
What’s your favorite feature on the site?
I love having a place that is so focused on the same things I love. Being able to search through popular tutorials is always a fun things for me.
Any products on your personal wishlist? What do you like about it?
Any upcoming content projects you can talk about?
I just pulled together a long form gouache course that I am super excited about! But also, I have a series of painting inspired by Japan that I cant wait to finish, and I have been able to buy some really nice printing gear to perfect my printing process with, and I cant wait to get to spend some time creating super high quality prints!
Additionally, I'm currently working on "Lunafon - Tales of the Moon Oak" by Ddraig Studios.
Any advice for ambitious artists out there?
Spend some time in introspection! Decide what drives your own fascination and dive deep into it!
No matter who you are, there is something you have to share with the world that the world needs, so find it and share it!
What is your favorite asset on the Cubebrush store you sell?
I have a lesson called “Gouache and poster color - Overcoming the learning curve”. Its something I wish I had when I had started with those mediums and it will save you possibly years of frustration! Haha
If you had to recommend one product for a new artist, what would it be?
For new artists I would recommend either the gouache and poster color tutorial or a color mixing tutorial where I help people to learn whats really actually important in learning color, instead of spending time on things that are a little less important and getting stuck with their ability to mix!
Follow Justin here.