A&E

Student Spotlight: Fine Artist Jacob Dockery

     Jacob Dockery is a biochemistry student at Eastern University who will be graduating this upcoming May. If you don’t know Dockery in person, perhaps you’ve seen some of his captivating artwork on social media. Dockery’s most recent painting, which he dedicated to the singer AURORA, has received much attention over the past few weeks after its anticipated reveal on Dockery’s Instagram and Facebook accounts on Oct. 23. Dockery began working on the portrait in July of this year. He was able to finish the painting in time to give AURORA a copy of the painting at her concert in Philadelphia on Nov. 1.

     After having the opportunity to sit down and talk to Dockery about his passion for art, I learn that it was Dockery’s mommom who introduced him to art at a young age.

     “My mommom is an artist who made murals in people’s homes. I remember being really little, and she would sit me down in front of a canvas and just have me paint,” he says. It was during this time that Dockery realized he loved to create with his hands. Dockery continued making art throughout middle and high school and excelled in every one of his art classes.

     In regards to Dockery’s painting style, the artist shares that up until recently, layering acrylic paint had been his most-used medium. However, he says that now he’ll only paint with oil. Dockery expresses that it is the fluidity and rich coloration of oil paints that draws him to this medium. Oil paints take longer to dry and are more pliable when mixing. They offer more artistic freedom to make changes. In the future, Dockery would like to begin working more with oil pastels.

“Lake Bled” by Jacob Dockery. Dockery figured out “he loved to create with his hands” at a young age, when his mommom sat him down at a canvas and let him paint.Jacob Dockery/ The Waltonian

“Lake Bled” by Jacob Dockery. Dockery figured out “he loved to create with his hands” at a young age, when his mommom sat him down at a canvas and let him paint.

     Dockery describes his style of art as “photorealistic, but not the type that uses bright colors.” Dockery says he will not work with bright colors but instead prefers dark, gloomier tones that reflect overcasts. It is the nighttime, cloudy days and nature that give Dockery inspiration, and it is sadness that fuels his creativity. Dockery was directly inspired by AURORA’s video for “Into the Light” for his most recent painting, in which the 20-year-old singer explains how nature inspires her to write songs. In the video, she says, “Music for me is the best way to feel anything. I think we’re very afraid to feel, especially if it’s a sad feeling. We don’t want to think about anything that makes us sad.” Dockery felt a deep connection to this quote, because it is the same approach he takes when creating art.

     “I don’t want to say my painting style is depressing or dreary…[but I want people to know that] it’s okay to feel sad, and it’s okay to think about your sad thoughts because sometimes your sad thoughts can become your best memories.” Dockery believes this is why his art is so heavy and thought-provoking. He shares, “My art doesn’t mean I’m not happy because I’m so happy.”

     Dockery explains that he is drawn to AURORA’s music because “she’s such a deep thinker; she really thinks the thoughts that I thought my whole life. She is the same kind of artist as me–same tone, same wavelength, same heavy emotions and feelings as me.” AURORA started writing at age nine, and this “taught me that it doesn’t matter how old you are. If the talent, hard work and passion are there, it’s going to be great.”

     A strong appreciation of nature is another thing Dockery and AURORA both share. In Dockery’s art classes, many of his fellow students chose to draw simple objects or abstract pieces, but Dockery focused his talents on creating magnificent landscapes inspired by woods surrounding his home. The aesthetics in “Into the Light,” the bubble scene in particular, were perfect to Dockery. It is the reason Dockery chose to recreate it. While Dockery is no stranger to painting landscapes, this painting was his first portrait. Dockery says, “This is the first piece I actually fell in love with. It is the painting I’ll never give away.”

     To conclude the interview, I ask Dockery if he could sit down and have a meaningful conversation with anybody, who would it be? His response is surprising at first but makes perfect sense in the end. Dockery says he would choose Benjamin Franklin for many reasons.

     “Firstly, he is my ninth great-grandfather, which is probably the origin of why I am the way I am. He was so scientific but was also a writer. Scientific and artistic–that’s what I am. I would love the opportunity to talk to someone who had their hand in so many different things. That’s how I see myself. I want to talk to somebody [who] gets that,” Dockery says.

     Through Dockery’s passions and many talents, he conveys the powerful message that science can inspire art, and art can inspire science. The beautiful cyclic bond between everything God has given us and the importance of acknowledging the passion therein is a lesson Dockery learned very early on in life and continues to practice today. It is by creating with his hands that Dockery is able to balance each passion in his life with an aesthetic and artistic touch.

     Source: Jacob Dockery

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