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Meet Jeston Rodriguez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeston Rodriguez.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’ve been creating since I was 2 years old. Now let’s be real, I was terrible, but that’s where I started. It wasn’t until kindergarten, I got my hands on the Scary Stories to tell in the Dark books with the original illustrations by Stephen Gammell, is when I finally had a focus for my art.

From that point on I have been obsessed with everything horror/macabre, and it reflects in a lot of my art work, including my commissions. I’m a Houston native, but I went to art school in New Hampshire and really found my “voice” in college. Being back in Houston (2015) it was definitely a bit of a struggle to regain my footing as an artist here, but Houston being very big on and supportive of the arts, it hasn’t taken long to build a following and find my niche.

Please tell us about your art.
I don’t really stick with one medium over the other, I dabble in oils, acrylics, watercolors, gouache, colored pencil, graphite, pastels… I’m sort of a jack of all trades. I’m even looking into making my own ornate frames out of clay next! I’m a sucker for detail work though, I’m an illustrator at heart, so to really appreciate my work, you have to get up close to really take in the work.

I tend to romanticize death and the macabre. So my work reflects those influences, along with a lot of botanical and occult imagery as well. I spend a lot of time researching the language of flowers, folklore and ghost stories to make sure that what I am portraying is correct, as all of my work has hidden symbolism. My main goal with my work is to showcase the darker aspects of life. I love drawing in a viewer with something beautiful and watching them slowly become aware of what’s wrong with the subject, and then they become uncomfortable. I want people to be able to take away an appreciation for darker, more haunting artwork, I know that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I hope to convince them otherwise.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
Oh goodness, the best advice I can give is if art is your passion and you want to make this work, then there are no excuses. Make creating like breathing, make connections and hunt down opportunities, which won’t just fall into your lap. Even if the shows or connections end up being flops, it’s still experience. Don’t let rejection set you back. Hold yourself accountable because no one else will. Learn from other artists and enjoy the ride. It’s scary as hell but so worth it if it’s what you want in life.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I’m always looking for new shows and am constantly in shows each month! You can check out my work by following me on Instagram @kissthegravestudios for a lot of in progress shots, upcoming shows, and a look into my process. Same thing with Facebook Kiss the Grave Studios. I also have a website www.kissthegrave.com

Best way to support my work is dropping into art shows and supporting myself and other local artists! Commissioning me for your own personalized painting, purchasing originals or prints. If you are unable to support my work monetarily, sharing my pages on your personal platforms, liking and commenting on posts, word of mouth, it all helps!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jeston Rodriguez

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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