About Tola Jerry’s Artist of the month for March 2010
Tola currently lives in Chapel Hill, NC. He grew up in Beaufort, South Carolina the son of Nigerian parents. He attended boarding school in the northeast, returning to the south to attend college at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1991. In 2006 he graduated again from UNC Chapel Hill with a Master’s degree from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication as a Roy H. Park Fellow. He currently works as a social media consultant and software developer through his start-up, Sonecast.
I love painting and the more I explore it, the more I’ve learned that art imitates life and life imitates art. The process of painting to me is fascinating. I’ve been learning that painting is as much about navigating my own internal dynamics as it is about any artistic ability I might have. One of the greatest challenges I encounter when painting is getting out of my own way and setting aside my own early expectations of what a piece needs to be. Time and time again I find that letting go is the key to successfully finishing a painting. It’s the feeling of surprise and understanding that I get when a painting finally comes together that keeps me coming back and excited to continue working. The more I paint, the more I learn. I’m incredibly thankful for the lessons in conflict, fear, perseverance, growth, understanding, joy, happiness, strength, and confidence that have been part of the fabric of my experience as a painter. One of the most interesting things I’ve found as an artist is that no matter how ugly a piece gets as I’m working on it, with a little bit of faith (ok, sometimes a giant sea tanker full) and a willingness to keep going, it always ends up working out Ã¢â‚¬â€œ almost without exception.
I hope you enjoy the work here as much as I have enjoyed creating it, painting is truly a labor of love for me in every sense of the word.