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Jacob Hawthorne

My career grew out of my childhood hobbies of drawing and writing. I spent many happy hours as a kid outside in my Indiana backyard, drawing and photographing the natural world around me. I feel fortunate to have had such a free-range childhood while many of my friends spent most of their time indoors. As I got older, I began to read extensively and developed a love of writing. I enjoyed being in the journalism club in high school. When the time came for me to choose a major in college I was able to combine all of my passions into a degree in digital arts. I went on to pursue my master’s degree in studio arts, which allowed me to master my craft while I grew and developed as an artist. Upon graduating from college, I worked as a marketing manager and honed my writing skills. After years in Los Angeles, the lure of nature led me to leave the city and make a home in Houston, Texas. I followed my dreams and became a freelance blogger and writer. In April of 2020, I took a job with Schmidt Fine Art Gallery and have been blogging about art ever since.

In addition to the journalism club, I enjoyed wrestling in high school. I was in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and my Christian faith has seen me through many trials. I enjoyed a happy childhood with my loving and supportive parents in Layfayette, Indiana. Unfortunately, both my parents died when I was in college at UCLA. My entire world was ripped out from under me, and the only way I was able to continue on was by leaning on my faith. Though I was personally devastated by losing my parents, I found peace knowing that they were faithful Christians and were in a better place.

Fortunately, I had a strong community at UCLA. I found a home early on with Sigma Alpha Epsilon. My brothers in Sigma Alpha Epsilon helped to support me and get me through that dark time in my life. Focusing on serving others has always helped me see what really matters, and I firmly believe that you find your life when you give it away in service to others. I grew a tremendous amount through the many charitable and leadership projects I was involved in during my days with Sigma Alpha Epsilon. To this day, my fraternity brothers remain among my closest friends.

During this time, not surprisingly for a college student, I suppose, I developed a love of good craft beer. I joined the Brewing Bruins and learned to make beer. This hobby has stayed with me in the years since college, and I always have a small batch in the works. I have even won a local award for my American style amber lager. My friends and family are always thrilled to help bottle and drink my latest creations.

My life is not all writing and drinking, though, as enjoyable as I find both activities. I have always loved being outdoors. One of the reasons I left Los Angeles was that I wanted to be able to get back to nature. Nothing is as beautiful to me as a sunrise in the wilderness. I spend my free time hiking, kayaking, and camping. Living in Houston allows me the opportunity to enjoy nature much more than living in Los Angeles did. I recently enjoyed a two-week backpacking trip, and the chance to get away from everything renewed my spirit. I always come back from nature with renewed energy and creativity. Though it can seem counter-intuitive, disconnecting occasionally from the constant buzz of email and other digital notifications can actually make me much more productive when I return. Even a brief walk in the woods when I’m stuck on a particular passage can help me find the words I need. Fresh air is often the antidote to writer's block.

While I was ready to leave Los Angeles, I will always be grateful for what I learned during my years at Northrop Grumman. I was able to learn all of the ins and outs of social media and marketing. It was through the pressure of daily, sometimes hourly, deadlines that I learned to write with purpose under time constraints. My experience in marketing taught me to look at my writing through the “What’s in it for me?” perspective. I always keep my audience in mind when I’m writing and deliver content that fulfills their needs. With my background in service and my skills in marketing, I find it natural to see the world through my clients’ eyes. It is easy for writers to become too introspective at times, and my marketing experience helps me get out of my own head when necessary and look through another’s perspective.

In my current role at Schmidt Fine Art Gallery, I am able to bring together all of my varied interests and spend my days doing what I love. We represent some of the best new talent in the art world, and I love getting to know our artists and writing about their work. I find it incredibly fascinating to learn about and share the different processes and inspirations that drive today’s artists. Having studied art myself, I am able to understand and convey the meaning behind the artwork and help our customers enhance their experience of buying and owning art pieces. Our artists are inspired by the natural world and their lived experiences. I enjoy being able to share not just the artwork with our customers, but also the story behind the art. As compelling as the picture itself may be, sometimes understanding the circumstances that led to its creation is just as fascinating. I take the time to listen to the artists tell their stories so that I can share that with our readers. I also enjoy learning and sharing about the technical aspects of the artwork.

While I’m thrilled with my current work, as far as the future is concerned, I am looking forward to spending more time developing my own skill with photography and continuing to grow as a writer. I dedicate time daily to pursuing my own artistic vision. I am endlessly inspired by the trails in and around Houston. During a recent kayaking trip through Buffalo Bayou, I was able to take some amazing photographs. I am learning a lot from the artists we represent. Working with artists, art buyers, and art dealers is extremely rewarding and something I hope to continue to do for a long time.

 

Please Read my work in Conversations about Art


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