No, not the ITV host you might have seen on British TV.
I'm a kiwi artist living in New Zealand.
A few years ago, (in 2011 to be precise), I began experimenting with watercolour and ink mixed media painting.
I didn't think too much of it at the time, but fast forward a few years, I was being commissioned to make artworks for world renowned names including:
More on that in a moment, but first...
Welcome to my website!
As you may have heard I'm a mixed media artist from New Zealand.
If you've come searching for an eloquent, and well written biography
I'm dyslexic, and I suck at writing.
Especially about myself
But since you're here i'll give it my best shot using a method that I frequently use when I go food shopping
Alright, here we go
1. Growing up:
I was born in Utah USA,
but I was raised in Auckland, New Zealand.
School was a struggle. Yay for being dislexia.
(If you don't know what that is its basically difficulties with reading and writing.)
Most places I went people were humoured by my name.
It went something like this...
"Jeremy Kyle! Like the guy from TV?"..
At which my regular response was:
Yep... just like him.
Haven't heard that a thousand times before...*
Anyway, lets continue
Due to my struggle with the academics I pursued graphic design through to university.
I went to three universities.
Yoobee Design School
Quite a few aye?
I wasn't kicked out or anything...
Let's just say I was still improving as a graphic designer, haha.
It was during university, I decided to do something crazy...
I was going to become an ARTIST.
Yeah I didn't really think that one through.
You know that old stereotype, the Starving Artist?
I was 20 at the time, I didn't really know how to paint, but I loved it
I'm not exactly sure why I was so drawn to the idea of being an Artist.
It was just a feeling
It was like a voice whispering 'This is the way you should go'.
This was only amplified by a guy I met at a Church called Bill.
Bill said: you should chase your dreams and ask God for big things.
I was a bit skeptical of that,
but I kept it at the back of my mind anyway.
So I set out in pursuit of my dream!
No mentor, No experience
Just pure passion.
I painted for friends,
and a music group named Esther Melody Band whom gave me a project to make art to convey their music.
If you're thinking
Thats all well and great Jeremy... But I want to get to the good stuff.
Show me the big projects.
Well if you just want to see 'the big projects'
just scroll down on my websites home page
if you want to know How these big client projects came about
dare to continue reading my story...
Anyway, lets continue
Shortly after working with Esther Melody Band I found myself in Fiji making some portraits of the kids from the local villages.
The kids were very excited over their artworks, and we drew a large crowd.
This caught the attention of an Australian School teacher named Rodney who was on Holiday in Octopus island resort.
"This is great!" he said
"You should come to Melbourne and teach at Saint Kevins College.
We'll pay you and you can stay with me".
I flew over a few times to see Rod over the years.
Teaching classes at Saint Kevins College.
Teaching was pretty cool.
But I had a dream in my heart
I want to 'Make It' as an Artist.
I want to paint for the biggest brands in the world!
2. The Dream
Fast forward a few years
and after going through a whole lot of failures, tears, rejection and isolation...
some cool stuff finally started to happen.
My work began to be noticed!
Firstly it was 2pacs estate.
It happened while I was driving down the freeway when my phone start to violently vibrate
I look down at my phone like what the heck?
So I stop my car.
I open up my phone.
And my heart just about leapt out of my chest...
The offical pages of 2pac were featuring my art to his 10 million or so fan base!
And ontop of that the 2pacs brand management were wanting some of my art!
Yeah I couldn't work the rest of that day
I was way too excited!
Especially since 2pac was my favourite hip-hop artist growing up.
Then the features began to increase!
It went from 2pac to BuzzFeed
Then The Hobbit,
Then Hooped Up,
Then bunch of others.
'This is amazing!' i'd say to myself.
But deep down, my dream still felt out of reach.
I wanted to make Commissioned Art projects.
I just felt powerless.
I wasn't getting the breakthroughs I was hoping for,
I was still just a lonely, struggling artist.
3. The Prayer
A large amount of time was going by and not much had changed.
Just small commissions here and there,
Selling some prints and doing some teaching on the side
You know, just doing everyday life.
So I thought i'd try something a different.
I remembered that guys words from years ago.
You know, the Christian guy I mentioned at the start of my story.
He said: "believe God and ask him for the dreams in your heart"
I'll give it a go.
I'd make a Daring prayer to the Big guy up stairs.
Now if you're thinking
'Dude. Prayer is silly I don't have time for that nonsense'.
You've probably got a really good point to make
But just hear me out
Because what happens next is crazy!
One day, I was on my knees in prayer,
Head bowed, eyes closed
and I prayed something like this:
I opened up my eyes
and guess what!
Nothing seemed to have happened.
Or at least so I thought...
Part 4. The Answer
It was 17 December 2015. (The morning after)
I woke up to an email from an American brand.
And it wasn't just any brand.
It was my childhood favourite.
The Chicago Bulls!
Now I have to emphasise something here.
Out of any brand I could have painted for in my ENTIRE LIFE
The Chicago Bulls would have been the ONE.
And whats even more amazing,
this was *Thee Brand* I had in my heart during my little prayer.
Anyway enough rambling, here's what happened
The Bulls commissioned me a series of artworks for their landmark year, celebrating 50 seasons of basketball history!
Some of the art now hang in the presidential suites at the United Center stadium.
Some of the art hangs in the players homes.
The art was shown to millions of people around the world
I got to see their games and facilities
I was gifted their 50th Anniversary Game Ball signed by all the players
I was even written back by my childhood hero Michael Jordan encouraging my work.
And lastly, and more importantly...
I've come to experience the power of prayer.
Now if you're thinking
'Dude. Thats pretty cool, but it was probably just luck
I didn't come here to read about some spiritual stuff.'
But this is MY story,
and since my first prayer happened,
I thought I'd try another!
So, here's how it went:
You wont believe who came calling next...
4. The Call from the United Nations
It was perhaps a week later I found myself on call with staff at the United Nations.
I was a little nervous as you might imagine.
Our first call went something like this:
My inside reaction?
OMG! (Quite literally)
This is actually happening!
I'm being commissioned by The United Nations!
Anyway I said yes, and to cut a long story short,
I ended up making five paintings explaining Ban Ki-Moons 'Agenda For Humanity' for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in 2016.
The art ended up on Television, the News papers, and a bunch of other places.
I was even privileged to stay with some UN representatives and visit the HQ in New York City.
But here's where it really starts to hit home.
At least for me.
God was apparently listening to my prayers...
I've never had anything like this happen before.
And since I seemed to have His attention,
I thought i'd ask for one more thing...
I discovered God has a sense of humour
6. Here comes The HISTORY Channel
About a week later my inbox gets a new notification.
You've got an email from the New York Times!
*Heart rate begins increasing
So, once more, I said YES!
I ended up being commissioned around 10 paintings in collaboration with The New York Times department (T-Brand Studios) for the HISTORY Channel.
And to top it off our project was listed top 10 in the world for the entire of 2016 by Adage!
Now I'm probably coming across as some spiritual Nut...
And in reflection you might be right!
But at least i've been open and honest with you.
I cant hide what happened to me,
This has become one of the greatest experiences of my life!
Anyway, We are now approaching the end of my story (the short version)
There are many other amazing things that have happened both during and since these incredible art projects,
But I need to get back to my artwork,
and you probably have other things to do today too
So inclosing here are my final thoughts for you
you made it to the end of my story!
Now you know a bit about me, i'd love to know more about you
Come connect with me on social media @jeremykyleart
I'd love to hear from you!
Thanks for taking the time to read my story :)
The Chicago Bulls 50th Anniversary:
Artworks that were commissioned to commemorate their landmark year of fifty years of basketball.
The United Nations:
Commissioned paintings for the 'Agenda For Humanity' project for the United Nations first ever World Humanitarian Summit.
The New York Times & History Channel
Commissioned paintings for the 2016 reboot of the famous America mini-series 'Roots'.