I am so delighted and honored to feature a very dear friend of mine, Jodie Aznar as my first spotlight under the “Leave Your Mark” segment. It’s been exciting to witness her artwork progress throughout the years and I could not be anymore ecstatic to share her story and talent with you all.
“Many know my face, but few know my heart.“
Who is Jodie? Tell us about yourself…
I’m Jodie Aznar, I’m 29 and I’m Filipino American — (American is questionable during this time). That’s my usual introduction about me, but to delve deeper… I’m an August Leo. My favorite color is purple…like plum color. I’m a graphic designer, although I did the nursing thing for a bit. I’m gay and have been proudly out since 2014. I have a toy poodle, Marley who’s my fur child. I’m a hopeless romantic with unconditional love in a world full of Tinder swipes and conditional love. Many know my face, but few know my heart. (Corny? Lol)
What is your background with art and how did you get into it?
Art has a always been a part of my life. I started drawing at a young age. For some of my peers, it was just a hobby or pastime but for me it was my escape. Little by little, those drawings became my life. I remember being a kid and pretending I owned a magazine company. So I drew everything…it was like a cartoon version of J-14 magazine. I did about 10 “issues” until my mom found them stuffed under my bed one day and was livid about all the computer/printing paper I wasted. Needless to say my magazine line didn’t last long. (Lol ) RIP to Just Jodie Magazine (I think that’s what it was called).
What type of work do you enjoy doing and/or identify with most?
I enjoy drawing portraits. I really love drawing people of all types. It is a very common subject matter in art and many have their signature styles, but I believe a portrait is more than realism. A portrait captures a moment in time of that person’s life and is captured forever. Anything art associated with music or typography is also my favorite. Using lyrics from a song to form a person’s face is one of my favorite combinations in art.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration behind your work?
I love Impressionism and this art movement definitely inspires my style of art. (Georges) Seurat was my favorite due to his use of pointillism. Through many trial and errors during my life, I found the style and expression that really helps my work impactful and unique. If I were to describe myself and my work to people, I’m basically a human printer.
What is your a favorite piece and why?
This is tough because I loved works from my past, but my current stuff I believe have more depth and thought behind it. If I had to choose one as my favorite, it would be “The Three Levels of Spectacular” because it combines portraiture and warping optics – a new concept I’m trying out with newer pieces. I also love it since I had two of my friends pose for me several times and drawing people I care about always makes the piece more sentimental. It also allowed me to show that people are all the same regardless of their exterior shell. That’s what the piece respresents at the end of the day.
As an artist, what role do you have in society and/or how do you wish to contribute?
I want people to fall in love with a new style of portraiture. Realism tarnished the portrait. I want to show the lines that created that eye or hair strand or dimple. I want to show the flaws that really makes us human. Relatable. Understandable. Palpable. Connectable. People that can see themselves from a portrait of someone else. Portrait is more than just realism.
Explain a time where you’ve used talents to inspire the community and how do you hope to keep doing so?
I’m not sure if it inspires anybody yet, but every year since I was 16, I’ve participated in the annual Lake Worth Street Painting Festival and drew for that whole weekend. Initially it was with a group, but I recently branched out on my own to do pieces of strong women in society and pop culture. I guess I hope it inspires young women to be strong, and help inspire young boys to support the growth of strong women. I recently did a portrait of Mulan (half Disney version, half live action version) and a girl came up to me and said, ” Wow I love Mulan… she’s my favorite!” That alone meant the world to me. I hope I inspire girls to take their place in the world and be proud of who they are. To build strength when they are down, to build knowledge when they are lost and to build compassion when they are hurting.
What is your professional goal and how have you progressed?
Honestly, my goal is to draw more or try a new media or challenge for my portraits. (I’ve been having an “artists block” due to the recent events, the normal daily stress and my mental health issues.) I try to set aside 2-3 hours every Sunday to draw again and I’m hoping my production can go up like when I was in my early 20s.
Cliche question, but who (dead or alive), would you like to collaborate with and why?
Just one person? That’s hard.
I guess the Brazilian street artist Kobra or poet R.M. Drake. I love Kobra’s large portrait (there’s one in downtown Lake Worth of MLK Jr.) His style and colors are amazing. I think our ideas together could produce amazing stuff! It’s definitely in my comfort zone, except for his large format style (I prefer smaller sized art) but it’ll also challenge me. R.M. Drake would be next since I’ve loved his poetry for years. That’ll be a good idea combining his words with my art. I even have one of his poems tattooed on me. It’ll be a fun collaboration in my opinion.
Lastly, what is the best piece advice you can give in life?
Great advice is usually influenced or inspired by previous advice that was given…A lot of great advice came from mostly my English teachers (they all knew how much I loved to write).
Here are a few things that I’ve learned from each of them:
- Mrs. Dropco (7th grade) after playing the game Telephone “Never believe everything you hear.” Simple and to the point (lol)
- Mrs. Williams (9th grade) “It’s not a Burger King world out there. You can’t always ‘Have it your way.'” It’s a Nike world, you ”Just Do It.'”
- Ms. Cowart (10th grade) “Still waters run deep” wrote that in my yearbook also during my senior year.
But if I had to give some to others…
- “No matter how big you build your empire, never forget those who helped lay down the bricks.” – Unknown
- “Get involved, then evolve.” -Unknown
- “It’s always darkest before the dawn” Shake it Out by Florence and the Machine
- “In youth we learn; in age we understand.” -Marie von Ebner-Eschenba
To see her progress and more beautiful pieces, follow
To Jodie: Thank you for being my very first feature on this segment. I’m so thrilled to finally be able to help showcase your beautiful talent to the world. Your passion really shines through your pieces and I’m so proud of everything you have accomplished thus far. I can only hope you continue to inspire and educate others through your art. I’m so blessed to be able to see your progress and be exposed to your abilities and just know I will forever support you! <3
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All the love,