Hi! I’m Jayce!
I just wanted to let you know a bit of my story! I am from Fargo North Dakota and spent all of my childhood there as well. I have 2 really cool siblings that I really really love. My sister Elayna is like the ~business/marketing wiz~ kid and my little brother Tommy is probably already smarter than me in a lot of ways. Its really entertaining how different yet similar we all are, but our biggest similarity is our vocabulary (which I take full credit for). Then there are my parents Danja and Darren (also cool cats). My Mom is a hair stylist who I give credit for my mad flow, and my Dad is basically the kingpin marketing big shot of the Fargo Jet Center, to whom I credit my musical abilities.
As a kid, I really liked music. My dad is a drummer (like a really good drummer) so I was always surrounded by music and watching other musicians practicing or playing at church. When I started to get older I started to pick up on things and my dad would help explain rhythms and different little techniques. At one point I decided that I wanted to take piano and basically our agreement was that I had to play until I was 16 at least before I could quit. Luckily when I was 15 piano started to click and be fun. I started playing with different groups at church, and I played drums/percussion in high school band and jazz band. I finally had a big musical click into understanding around my senior year when I realized I just had to stop caring what people thought and to just play. And it was a pretty noticeable difference, especially in my drumming.
Since then I learned how to play a decent amount of instruments pretty well! I am comfortable writing on piano, acoustic and electric guitar, drums, banjo, ukulele, accordion, the occasional harmonica, a dash of cello or mandolin, and basically anything percussive or with strings I am confident that I’ll be able to figure out. Not in like a cocky way, but after a certain amount of learning instruments start to blend and you can find a lot more similarities than differences. I’d say my current style is a bit more free flowing instrumentals. I used to be a lot more technical/funky in my writing but I’ve found that the more I write, the more I like just the way sound is and I don’t want too much getting in the way. My main goal is to try and transfer a feeling. I hope that the first time you listen to my music that you can close your eyes and have an open mind. I’d love to hear what it makes you feel!
You can find my song "I Know" on all streaming platforms :)
Now after all of that you are probably actually here for my art so I can talk about that for a minute hahahaha
Basically when I was a kid I remember I really liked tracing things. Cartoon characters, random pictures, the occasional person (although the faces always ended up disturbing looking) were my usual choices for drawing. Through middle and high school I took a couple art classes but I was way more focussed on music, I just thought it was fun and it was something that I thought I’d like to get good at one day. As years passed I kept drawing, mostly nonsense or funky repeatable patterns and I ended up at NDSU. In my 2nd semester I ended up taking a foundations of drawing class that really changed my life.
In this class I was the only non-art major (if I remember right) and it was pretty blatantly obvious hahaha! I remember feeling almost inferior but yet also incredibly inspired by the people around me. There were a ton of incredibly talented people in the class and I probably learned about the same from watching them than I did in the class. The professor’s main point that has stuck with me was him basically saying “yeah just draw for 15 minutes a day and you will get good eventually” and I was like “ok bet” and here we are 3 years later!
The style that was my favorite during this class is called subtractive charcoal. I think it is perfect for doing heavier looking portraits. It allows you to get this incredible contrast in this chiaroscuro extreme of lights and darks. I just love it, most of my black and white stuff that isn’t pen is in this style. The funny thing was that I had had a couple moments of breakthrough in the class where things started to make sense, but I never could figure out realism. Then the next summer passed, I kept up my drawing habits, and BOOM. There it was. It all made sense. Well not all, but you get the idea. I have a couple of the pictures up in the gallery on my page (or if you want to scroll to the very bottom of my instagram you can see them there too haha) and I remember how surreal the feeling was of things making sense for what felt like the first time ever.
Also during the class, I was taught this idea of scribblism (possibly one of the reasons you are here haha). Basically you start with your reference, and say heck the tiny details, hardly anyone sees these anyways, and just start sketching. It is slightly terrifying and liberating at the same time. The best thing is that I try and only take a couple hours or less a drawing, and to just keep moving, and somehow they tend to turn out looking pretty cool! I started out doing a couple portraits in this style, and then one day a friend asked if he could commission me to do a drawing of a bird for Christmas. Basically I remember being like “yeah I can definitely try! But it could very well end up turning out looking like trash” hahaha! And it went well! After that I was like “Hmm I wonder if anyone else would want something like this” and went and posted on instagram and next thing you know, I had money to eat again (I was in Hawaii and slowly but surely running out of money) hahaha! Ever since then I’ve been drawing and being amazed that anyone actually wants my art. I am truly so grateful to all of you that have supported me along the way. It blows my mind!
Once I got back from living in Hawaii for a while I had the thought that I should try and figure out color. It had always been so intimidating and seemingly impossible to figure out. I did a couple paintings that went well, but felt super tedious and not very fun so I had an idea. I thought “What if I paint a somewhat monochromatic painting in pretty non-realistic color scheme?” and gave it a whirl. You can see in my gallery a couple paintings of hands with either a paintbrush or a pen, and those were my first 2 oil paintings, and that’s when I fell in love with oil painting. Color was so liberating, and so much easier to put emotion into. Whenever a painting seems to be missing something, I seem to be able to figure out a way to make it make me feel something. That is what I love so much about it.
And finally my newest style, which I am fairly certain a majority of you reading this brought you here because of. I don’t have a name for it other than Name Art, but you get the concept. My friend Emily sent me a TikTok of someone who was doing full portraits just by writing a name and I was like “I wonder if I could do that?” Well the short story is that I figured it out haha. I love it, even though it is so tedious. And aggravating. And flat out annoying. The results are so worth it I think. I love the finished products so much, and I hope you do too : )
Well that’s my story, at least in terms of the art in my life! I hope it helps you get a better idea of who I am as an artist, and as a person. I hope you have a nice day!
Thank you so much for reading,