I sign my work j3rny, playing with the phonetic coincidence of the word “journey” with the initial letter of my first name along with my last. It is fitting as in my work I capture moments of spiritual encounters or journeys. For me the most direct path to a spiritual encounter is through nature. So I depict portraits of the human figure interacting with the natural world, with plants, insects and animals. In recognizing the present moment and breathing in the magnitude and marvel of the simple elements of one’s everyday environment, we encounter ourselves and therefore the pulsating essence that inhabits and connects us. I exaggerate proportions to defy logic and provoke reflections about the beauty, importance and potential of all creatures. Technically speaking I aim to construct a rotundness and palpability in my figures using color schemes and textures. I would like the viewer to sense a sculptural materiality, a fleshiness that one can almost bite into, perhaps adding to the weight of the mystical concept behind each piece. My personal journey begins in Detroit where I began art-making from a young age. In my college years I developed a practice with soft pastel on paper and was afforded the opportunity to do an exchange year in Brasil. These factors were of the most formative in my here and now where I am currently living in São Paulo and am dedicated to mural painting.