Making a Global Impact: Always thinking globally, Jean-Pierre’s expanded his reach beyond North America. “I think it is extremely important for me to impact international audiences because I believe there is a [negative] global perception of black Americans. I think it’s important for young black Americans to redefine that perception. We are known for being athletes and entertainers. I want to use my art to promote us as intellectuals and entrepreneurs.”
Giving Back: Jean-Pierre often lends his talent to communities across the globe in an effort to rebuild underprivileged communities. The Chicago native says it is his most recent non-commissioned piece that he considers his most prized to date: Bronzeville-Noir in Chicago. The piece was created through a partnership with Passport Carriers (A non-profit organization dedicated to exposing urban youth to international travel).
“I encouraged many people from the community [including] people hanging on the corner to pick up paintbrushes and help. Parents also brought their young children out to watch. Getting people from Bronzeville to contribute to the legacy of the community in Chicago, my hometown, makes this piece so impactful to me.”
Advice for up and coming Artists: “Stay committed and build lasting relationships. Balance the studio time with the business side and maximize creativity throughout,” he continues. “Understand that full-time isn’t being confined to 40 hours a week. Don’t get into the art business for money; get into this business because you love and enjoy it. You also have to invest in your craft. Purchasing quality materials, studying, and learning are essential to growth and development. You have to be your biggest supporter. You must understand that there are ebbs and flows with artists as there are with more traditional jobs as the environment and economy changes. So be prepared to weather all storms.”
What’s next for you: Jean-Pierre isn’t stopping any time soon. “The fourth quarter gets really busy between business, community work, and travel. I am currently working with the Boys and Girls Club of America to create a community mural in Los Angeles in January 2013 in support of its dipolomas2Degrees initiative, which assists students with transitioning from high school to college. It’s in sync with my mission, so its an honor to be able to use my art to support the initiative.”