Sunday, July 25, 2010

Introduction: Jeffrey Alan Love

For the next six months I am going to be posting my work for TAD here, and thought that an introduction of who I am now, where I want to be in the future, and why I think TAD can help me get there would be a great way to start.

I was raised in a military family, and lived all over the world when I was younger - from Germany to South Korea to Hawaii and a little bit of America in between. I loved to draw, and wanted to go to art school, but thinking that you could never make a living at art, I ended up going to a liberal arts college in Colorado where I majored in English: Creative Writing - somehow missing the point that it is just as hard to make a living writing as it is making art. Two years into it I applied to Ringling as a transfer and was accepted, but decided to tough it out and get my bachelor's degree in English. After graduation I enrolled at the Joe Kubert School in New Jersey, but before classes began my band was offered a record deal. I thought that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and withdrew from classes and proceeded to spend the next six years or so in Philadelphia playing music and occasionally touring around the country. It was a lot of fun, but deep down I always wished I was pursuing my dream of being an artist.

In 2007 I left the band and moved to Virginia to study at Virginia Commonwealth University - I had seen that George Pratt taught there, and that sold me on VCU. When I got there, though, I found out that he had just left to teach at Ringling! I was crushed, but discovered that there was another amazing artist teaching at VCU - Sterling Hundley. I had decided to apply to attend the Illustration Academy in the summer, and Sterling offered to help me put my application together. From that very first talk I realized what a wonderful resource he was, full of knowledge and with a natural talent for imparting it to students. For the next six months whenever Sterling had office hours at VCU I would show up - I tried to always have something new to show him, whether it was a piece I was working on or an artist I had discovered and wanted him to tell me what was working in their art and how I could do that myself - anything to get him to talk to me.

In the summer of 2008 I attended the Illustration Academy in Sarasota, Florida and it is an understatement to say that it was life-changing. For the longest time I had thought that finding the knowledge that I craved about making art was not available - it was something that would just come with time and making a lot of art on my own. Art schools did not disprove this notion - at traditional art school it seemed like I was only learning how to talk about and justify my art instead of learning how to make it better. The Illustration Academy changed that. John English, Brent Watkinson, Sterling Hundley, Doug Chayka, Jon Foster, Chris Payne, Anita Kunz, Barron Storey - they all showed me that there are teachable, quantifiable things that can make you a smarter and better artist. It may seem like a small thing but it has completely and irrevocably changed my life.

I dropped out of VCU after that and after a year of making art on my own started apprenticing with Sterling. The Academy had poured the knowledge into my head but Sterling helped me shape it into something I could use. Working with him for the past year and a half has been one of the most transformative and rewarding times in my life.

In addition to being the Resident Assistant for TAD RVA I am also a student in TAD's Career Mentorship program. The Career Mentorship program is similar to a graduate program, for artists who want to change directions in their career or take their work to the next level with the guidance of TAD's instructors. Over the next six months I plan on producing a portfolio focused on book and comic book covers - I will be turning in a piece every monday starting tomorrow. My goal with TAD is to make the transition from student to professional artist. In the two summers I attended the Illustration Academy I learned more about art and art-making than I had in my entire life previously - to me TAD is the Academy taken to the next level - it is a year-round Academy. Complete immersion, high-quality instructors, dedicated students, and strict deadlines - I can't wait to see where my work is in six months, and I look forward to sharing the journey with you.


  1. Jeff,

    If the work you're making in six months is even more wild than the stuff you're making now, I can't wait to see where you end up.

    TAD sounds like it's going to do some really cool stuff. I hope it only gets better with time.


  2. That mysterious mark making is kicking all kinds of butt! Can't wait to see what you create next. That big brain of yours and your point of view is going to conquer the art world any day now.