Joshua Blankinship

how an outlet for Bipolar disorder turned into a life’s passion…

9As an artist in Jackson, TN, how has the local community influenced and inspired your artistic journey? Are there any specific aspects of the city or its culture that have had a significant impact on your creative process?

The city of Jackson and surrounding communities have had a tremendous influence in my art. West Tennessee is where I was born and raised—it’s in my blood. Jackson, in particular, is an incredibly unique place to live. You have the visuals and structures of city life by going downtown, the shopping and amenities of suburbia, and the rustic and colorful landscapes presented within rural living. All of these things can be found no more than 30 minutes from each other within the city.

Can you share some insights into your artistic style and the mediums you work with? What draws you to these particular forms of expression, and how do they help you convey your artistic vision to your audience?

Tennessee Titans All Pro Running Back Derrick Henry

Tennessee Titans All-Pro Running Back, Derrick Henry

My artistic style is a type of modern impressionism mixed with Fauvism and impasto. It incorporates feelings involved while capturing subjects, vibrant colors and physical textures. I typically work with acrylics or oils and use palette knives and brushes. Everything that I create stems and works toward mental health advocacy. I often equate the vibrant colors as visual mania while the physical texture relates to how rocky depression can get. Another artist friend named my unique style “Impressivism” because it doesn’t really fit into a classical genre and it’s stuck ever since.

What role do you believe art plays in fostering a sense of community and cultural appreciation? How do you actively engage with the local community through your art, and do you participate in any collaborative projects or initiatives that promote American artist appreciation?

Art is incredibly crucial (and often overlooked) in all aspects of community. The art within a community can tell you a ton about how a location is viewed by it’s residents as well as how it’s viewed by those from the outside. Just as a fresh coat of paint can transform the beauty of an old home, a vibrant art community can transform the pride of it’s residents while simultaneously creating a positive perception with it’s visitors. Personally, I love using my art to spread mental health awareness. As someone that lives with mental illness, art has saved my life. So, I often spend a ton of time shouting it’s therapeutic benefits while also holding public and private workshops with those that can most benefit from it’s therapeutic release of expression.

In what ways do you find inspiration and motivation in the rich artistic history and heritage of American art? Are there any specific American artists or movements that have influenced your work, and if so, how have you incorporated those influences into your artistic practic

With American artists, I genuinely appreciate several artists for different reasons that I feel are incorporated in my work. I enjoy the innovative and rebellious nature of modern artists such as Jackson Pollock and Jean-Michel Basquiat. And, most recently, I adore the work of current American artists such as Erin Hanson for their modernization of classic styles (such as Erin’s “Open Impressionism.”)

Joshua With Wife Rachel

Joshua with wife, Rachel

Looking to the future, what are your aspirations as an artist? Do you have any upcoming projects or exhibitions that you’re excited about? Additionally, how do you envision American artist appreciation continuing to evolve and grow, and what role do you hope to play in that development?

My aspirations as an artist are to grow and reach as many people as possible. I’d love to use my work to spread vibrant color throughout the world while also touting the incredible mental health benefits that art has to offer. As for upcoming projects, I’m extremely excited and honored to be the Featured Artist at the mental health awareness and fundraising event for Huntsville, Alabama’s mental health non-profit, Little Orange Fish in October. They do amazing things for those needing mental health services in the Huntsville community. I foresee American artist appreciation growing quickly in the future. As we’ve become inundated with negativity and divisiveness within our society, I feel that art’s calming and therapeutic attributes will be needed and celebrated more than ever. I’d love to play a role in creating awareness and helping people create their own comfort.

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Categories: American Artist Appreciation Month, Community Spotlight, Local News