We had the good fortune of connecting with Jonathan Brooks and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jonathan, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?

I pursued an artistic or creative career because everything I was ever drawn to was either artistic or creative, or I would find a way to add artistry and creativity to anything that wasn’t. I was always smitten by drawing, painting, photography, fashion, music, dance, acting, … anything having to do with the creative arts.
I grew up loving The Twilight Zone and Creature Feature, Movie Stars and Rock Idols, The Photographs of Time Life and Vogue Magazines, LP Records and Mixed Tapes, and MTV Videos.
In kindergarten, I learned to sing The Carpenter’s hit “Sing A Song.” Then at Emerson Elementary and Rockway Junior High School, I was started acting and singing in the plays “Oklahoma” and “Li’l Abner.” At Rockway I played around in band for my three years there. By my senior year at Southwest High School, most of my classes were creative. Out of 6 periods in a day, 3 were chorus classes and one was drama class, leaving only a math and English class to round out my curriculum.
I found art and creativity in everything I did. And from the way that I dressed to the way I decorated my room confirmed it. I was constantly doodling on anything I could get my hands on, from my school notebooks to notepads around the house. Then two and a half years of Architecture at Miami Date Community College ruined drawing for me due to its stringent rigors. It seemed my only choices  to switch my studies to Graphic Design where I felt freer and less hindered , and soon turned to Advertising and Fine Art Photography as my double major years later at the University of Miami.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned as an artist is that perseverance is the key to success. Perseverance means not giving up and having a consistent determination on working towards your ultimate goals, regardless of problems, struggles, difficulties, obstacles, and rejections. If you keep going and pushing forward, your persistence and tenacity will eventually pay off.
After the early death of my father from cancer, I decided life was too short not to be doing what you love, and decided to seriously pursue my art. Although it has been a long and arduous undertaking, I continue to strive towards my goals every day.
One of those goals has been to have my art used as public art. After many years of submitting to public art calls and being rejected, I’m very excited to be one of three artist finalist in an upcoming Miami Shores Fine Arts Commission. I’m on pins and needles awaiting the announcement of the winner by the Miami Shores Village Board, and hope to hear which artist has been chosen by August. But regardless of the outcome, I know I’m a step closer to achieving one of my goals.
If my proposal is selected, I can cross another goal off my list, and if it isn’t selected, I’ll dust myself off and keep submitting to other calls. As the famous Julie Andrews quote goes “Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.”

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

Down south in a Historic Village is a little gem called The Tea Room at Cauley Square. It has been around since the 1970’s and It celebrates the popular British pastime of afternoon tea, serving incredible teas and a fanfare of delectables such as soups, finger sandwiches, quiches, scones, and sweets.
It is the perfect place for an amazing breakfast, an extravagant champagne brunch, or a simple afternoon lunch. Every single thing on the menu is of star quality. Their incredible specials are always a delight, with selections like an out-of-this-world Lobster BLT Wrap, a mouth watering Lamb Gyro, or their Cajun Crusted Dolphin. And a copious and exceptional assortment of teas (available in a different pot sizes) are incredible accompaniments to any of their spreads. If you have room, their decadent desserts are always welcomed winners.
With your choice of six rooms to enjoy your visit, you can try a different spot every time you dine. I guarantee their outstanding ambiance, food, and service will be remembered and talked about fondly by any guests or friends you invite.
When you finish your meal, you can browse through The Tea Room’s array of antiques, or visit the rest of Cauley Square and their 10+ acres of gardens, shops, art galleries, apothecary, and wellness spas. It is certain to be an unforgettable experience or afternoon.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

My big shoutout is to all those on the the internet that support and help artists promote and sell their work.
First would be Miriam Naficy, founder of Minted, an artist forum created to uncover the world’s best creative talent with her unique marketplace and design challenges. Minted connects designers and independent artists with art lovers all over. Through collaborations with Minted, I have been able to sell my art to collectors internationally, even in places as far as the Philippines and Hong Kong. In addition to selling my work on the minted site, I’ve also been able to get my work “Dreams” at West Elm and “Two-Tone Transistor Radio” at Pottery Barn Teen through their artistic collaborations.
The next shoutout would be Talenthouse, a global creative network providing opportunities for creatives to work with global brands through their creative briefs. Through Talenthouse, I’ve had my work seen on Germany’s hit television show Only Love Counts, had Eurythmic’s Dave Stewart view my work when looking for cover art for an album he was working on, and had my photography chosen to promote One Direction’s Niall Horan’s solo album Heartbreak Weather.
Other sites that have helped promote and sell my work have been iCanvas (where I license some of my work), Redbubble (where My Coffee Shop features t-shirts, pants, dresses, clocks, acrylic blocks, and more), Threadless (where My Christmas Shop includes accessories like phone cases, beach towels, throw pillows, blankets, and even shoes), and Displate (where I have some Candy, Roses, Clouds, and other collections on metal plates).

Website: www.JonathanBrooks.net

Instagram: https://instgram.com/JonathanBMiami

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-brooks-4478905/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JonathanBMiami

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JonathanBrooksPhotography

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/JonathanBMiami

Image Credits
-Courtesy of Minted -Courtesy of Pottery Barn Teen -Margaret Write for Parachute magazine -All Other Images: Jonathan Brooks

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