Q&A with Sterling Jacobs

Photo provided by Sterling Jacobs

Sterling Jacobs is an artist in south-central Oklahoma. He shared some insight into his art and creative process with us.

JNO: Could you tell us a bit about your creative process? How you get started, if/how you plan your projects ahead of time, etc.

SJ: I get right into the creative process. I think about what I want to do then proceed to do it and let the process take hold of me. What will come of it I never can say. That is of course the purpose.

JNO: What’s your background? How did you get to where you are now with your art?

SJ: I started doing art when I was seven. I was looking at a set of encyclopedias my grandmother had. I opened up to see portraits of the presidents. Afterwards, I never looked back. I went to college to hone my skills. Also, I educated myself and, by doing so, learned how to create my identity and express the fluidity of how that identity ebbs and flows within the chaotic currents of ones life force.

JNO: What message do you hope to communicate with your art?

SJ: Art is for everyone. Its very process is therapeutic. Also, I believe art is used to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

JNO: How does current social or political issues influence you?

SJ: I am a believer in inclusive rights for all people. People should not have to conform to any expectations society puts on them in assessment of their own self worth based upon their contributions to social machinations forthwith.

JNO: Who are your biggest influences?

SJ: My biggest influences are Vincent Van Gogh, Hieronymous Bosch, Auguste Rodin, Bernini, as well as cartoon, video game genre of the 20th century.

This is part one of our Q&A. Part two will be posted at a later date.

Book Recommendation: Real Artists Don’t Starve

Real Artists Don't Starve coverI have been putting together a list of books that I’ve read that I would like to recommend to you. I was going to wait until I finished reading my current book before I posted that, though.

Then I decided it would be a disservice to you to put that off. Yes, this book is that good.

It’s Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins. In it, he tackles the myth of the starving artist and offers tips and suggestions for how we can thrive, regardless of what creative field we are in, instead.

He uses a combination of historical and contemporary examples, expert advice, advice from artists of all stripes, and his personal experience.

I’ve read a few of Goins’ other books and liked them. They’re all solid and have great information and advice. In my opinion, though, Real Artists is his strongest book to date.

I’m only about halfway through it and I already highly recommend you read it at least once.

Click here or on the image above for a new window to open for purchase options. (It’s currently $1.99 on Kindle.)


I have started going to a local stamping group. We meet once a month at a scrapbook store. This month, the group coordinator showed us how to do a “polished stone” effect using alcohol inks.

I loved it!

I loved the flexibility of the inks and how they can look so vibrant and so muted, depending on what I added to it. I bought a couple inks and a bottle of blending solution.

When I got home, I looked up “alcohol inks” on YouTube. I found a couple things that piqued my interest. I went to Hobby Lobby on Saturday and got a starter set of inks that had a dobber, pieces of felt, 4 or 5 inks, a small bottle of solution, an instruction booklet, a small Distressed Inks ink pad, and some cards for inking.

I did a couple polished stones like the ones I did at the stamping group. Then I watched more YouTube videos. One was an artist dripping ink on a glossy canvas of some sort and blowing the ink through a straw. I had to try it. The picture with the post is what I came up with. I like it! A lot. Not just the image, but the inks.

I might be hooked!

This is a very new medium to me. Playing with it is getting me motivated and excited about other things I have in progress and need to finish as well.

When is the last time you gave yourself permission to just play with something new? For that matter, when is the last time you let yourself play, period? Have you considered that playing could be an integral part to reigniting your creativity? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Happy creating!