We had the good fortune of connecting with Dustin Harewood and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dustin, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think that risk taking is an essential act for an artist/creative. We all have different career goals, but there are some common truths in our processes. One would be how to differentiate our work/product from others at a time when there’s so much noise; so much to look at and listen to. How do we continue to push our work and ideas into new places and spaces? How do we continue to challenge and question what we do and why we are doing it?
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My two children are half black, half Japanese. Their whole lives have been spent moving back and forth between Florida, Barbados and Japan. My artwork has become an observation and reflection of them and these three spaces. Multiculturalism, Colonialism and Environment are undercurrents in all that I do. I was always good at drawing from the beginning, but it took a long time for me to become a good painter. There are many famous artists who I’ve idolized who were amazing painters from young. For me it has been a skill built from many years of patience and practice. A big lesson that I’ve learned is to just keep my head down and work consistently. Every day, every year I’ve just tried to do what I could. Usually feeling like I haven’t accomplished enough. Recently I had a moment where I looked back at the past five years and realized that collectively I’d gotten a whole lot done! It’s about the long game. This is a marathon, not a sprint, despite how social media may make you feel. You’re here creating now, but will you be here in three or four years still grinding? For most artists, that might be a no. It’s hard to stay motivated if you don’t experience any immediate attention or success.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a had a friend visiting Jacksonville, our first stop would definitely be to the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. We could easily spend a whole day eating, talking and looking at great art there! I’d probably take them to the beaches to visit a Void Magazine Pop up shop, and then stop for drinks at BREW in Five Points, or for Pacos coffee at Southern Roots. I’d definitely take them for a trip to Little Talbot to see the amazing graveyard of trees and then take a trip to the famous ‘American Beach’ in Amelia Island for a taste of important african american history.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people I’ve needed to become the person I am today. First and foremost my mother and father who encouraged my creativity from the very beginning. They signed me up for extra art classes at the Brooklyn Museum back when I was in the 3rd grade. They exposed me to so much and I am forever grateful. Shoutout to my former grad school Professors Carl Goldstein and Cora Cohen who were crucial in my academic growth as well as Aaron Levi Garvey one of the few curators who has championed my work. I’m not sure why, but as a black man throughout there have been quite a few jewish people who have been major positive influences on my life and career. The beautiful island of Barbados has been a constant influence and inspiration to me. And I can’t forget my beautiful wife and children who now are my chief inspirations for all that I do.