Interview 27. JR Eisma.

Good things are worth waiting for they say…and the reply from this dude, well I waited and waited…and waited. But, no respons. I thought that he had gotten better ideas than to answer my questions, but however I decided to give it one more chance. Said and done, I sent him a reminder. He had just been very busy and forgotten about it. Lesson learned: don´t give up to quick!

And, yes, it was well worth the wait. He was generous enough to share his best tips on how to grow your instagram account. If you look at his figures then you know that he´s the man to learn this from.

I hope you will enjoy reading this as much as I did.

Artisterviewer: Hello there! I found this amazingly cool account on instagram, “jars.arts”, can you tell me who is behind it?

JR: Hey there! My name is JR Eisma from @jars.arts, or “JR’s Arts”

Artisterviewer: Ok. So tell me a little more about yourself please. Who is JR Eisma? Where do you live? How old are you? etc…and is that your real name or a taken artist name? Does JR stand for “junior”?

[asking questions like a machine gun…]

JR: I’m 25 years old currently based in Michigan, USA. JR is my actual name (initials for my full name), and I use “jar” because it sounds like “JR” if you say it quickly. I’m a mechanical engineer by trade but an artist at heart, and my current focus is illustrating commissions for couples!

Artisterviewer: Where and how did you learn to draw/paint?

JR: I’ve been drawing since I was a kid and am mostly self-taught. I had art classes in school which taught basic fundamentals, like one-point and two-point perspective. I always enjoyed drawing cities, and while they weren’t very complex, I attribute that to my strong understanding of perspective now. My tastes in art has changed multiple times throughout the years, and I explored other things like character design, creature design, landscapes, fantasy landscapes, horror, and now I draw cozy rooms. Even though I didn’t go to art school, I always kept a sketchbook with me so that I could doodle during my engineering classes or in my downtime.

Artisterviewer: You have a very special “cartoonish” style, are your style inspired from cartoons you’d say ? If so, any special?

JR: The style I draw of my room commissions doesn’t have a direct inspiration, but a huge influence for the theme is the artist Puuung. She illustrates romantic scenes of a couple in unique rooms. I loved her work ever since I first saw it, so when somebody first commissioned me to draw him and his partner, I definitely had Puuung in mind as I tried to capture the same cozy vibes.
Here’s an example of her work: https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/5b9ebc72250000320036fa96.jpeg?ops=scalefit_960_noupscaleHere’s the first couple commission I drew: https://www.instagram.com/p/B59CZvVDm13/

Artisterviewer: For how long have you been on instagram?

JR: I’ve been on Instagram since 2017, but started focusing on couple commissions in December 2019.

Artisterviewer: You have an impressive bunch of followers there, any good tips on how to grow your instagram account?

JR: I don’t think this is the only way to grow on instagram, but this is what’s worked for me:
1. Having a consistent feed with a recognizable technical style, or content, or both. If people know the type of content you’re going to post, they’re more likely to follow you than if you posted a bunch of random posts. If you have a strong technical style (brush strokes, anatomy, color schemes, etc), then people will know it’s your art as soon as they see it.
2. Posting regularly with high quality work. While posting daily helps, it’s not sustainable if your art takes multiple days/weeks to complete. For my own work, I only post once a week or less, and when I do post, I only post completed pieces, no drafts or sketches. If you post infrequently, then I think it’s important to make sure that every new post counts, even if there are multiple weeks between posting. I would share sketches and WIP pieces in instagram stories instead so that you can keep your audience up to date with your latest work, while keeping your actual page clean with only finished pieces. And then when you do post, share to other sources of media like reddit or twitter! Reddit has helped my art grow immensely.
3. Making sure your art is appealing to look at. This relates to the first point with style/content, but this means just keep improving your skills so that your art has strong visual appeal. Practice perspective, anatomy, composition, color, line weight, etc, and people will join you on your artistic journey!
4. Most importantly, make sure you are enjoying what you’re creating! If you’re only chasing follower growth then you’ll never be satisfied or happy. Enjoy the process of creating art and honing your craft and seeing how you improve over the years. Keep your old work so that you can see your personal growth instead of comparing yourself to others. Follower count is just a number, and not an indicator of how successful of an artist you are. Just keep drawing is my advice 🙂

Artisterviewer: Besides drawing and painting, do you have any other hobbies? Oh, and I forgot to ask, is the artistry your job or is it a hobby?

JR: I enjoy spending time in nature, hacky sacking, video editing, and spending time with family/friends 🙂 Art is both a hobby and a job for me, since almost all of my art on jars.arts is commissioned!

Artisterviewer: I am very old fashioned/old school I don’t even know the name of the tool I see on insta that you use to draw digitally with. What is it called and for how long have you used it?

JR: I use the app Procreate on iPad and I’ve been using it for 2 years now. Best purchase I’ve ever made.

Artisterviewer: Do you use other mediums as well?

JR: I used to draw traditionally and paint watercolor/acrylic, but these days it’s all digital.

Artisterviewer: What would you ask yourself (or rather…if you were me😆)….and what would the answer be?

JR: I get a lot of questions about my commission process, so if anyone wants to learn more they can check out my website www.jarsarts.com/process to see how it typically works!

Artisterviewer: Where can we find your amazing artwork?

JR: I’m on instagram at @jars.arts, @jars.drawings,  @jars.colors, @jar.saurus, @jars.doodles and @archeives! I also have my commission website at www.jarsarts.com

Artisterviewer: Wow man, that was a lot of accounts you got there. But, I totally understand it. I´m also having a lot of different things going on (actually more than I´ve got time for…). Thank you so very, very much JR. It was really super interesting and enjoyable to read your answers. Also very educational, so, thanks a lot. I love when I got these long “high-quality” answers, it´s like finding a little piece of the gold you´re digging for.

I hope you all check out his many accounts. I know I will! Off course I will also follow them all, I don´t want to miss anything of this. As usual, below you can see a few examples, some of JR´s works, those are from @jars.arts. Aint it great? I love the feeling, the cozy vibes you get by just looking at them!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s