We had the good fortune of connecting with Jesse Alexander Kantu and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jesse Kantu, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Being an artist can be very difficult sometimes, finding the time to create Art can be tough when you are working full time. I definitely believe in taking time to decompress and create new imagery every chance I get. It can’t all be about work, you’d drive yourself crazy. I try to stay in a place of neutrality, understanding that there is a given time for a given task, and try not to let one task run into the other. I think over time you appreciate the freedom more and more and you understand that working gives you the ability to produce what you really want out of life.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Most of the paintings I create deal with tragedy, suffering, loss and pain. I usually focus on common denominators that pertain to all cultures and the decision making they create that puts them in chaos. I try to show others how they can avoid these downfalls through visual equations. If you’re going to be in this game, you have to hustle, hustle and hustle some more. After getting home from an 8 hour shift I would start painting and not stop til about 3 am and then go to work and do it all over again. So you have to be committed to the dream, the goals and be disciplined. You only get what you put in. It is NEVER EASY, and can be frustrating at times. And it is NOT cheap, you have to resourceful, smart, creative about how to create Your Art. You overcome challenges by networking, working with other artists, establishing relationships that are symbiotic. It is not always about YOU try to help others and eventually you will be helped. This kind of energy will always Boomerang itself back to you. The lessons I’ve learned is that, Love is still the way, the True Path, Guide others and you will be guided. Feed others and you will be fed. Stay in a place of Neutrality and you will always be in harmony. We create art to heal, inspire and appreciate life, it’s not complicated, just a simple message for today’s chaotic times.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
well sometimes it depends on funds but the Museum of Fine Arts is a good place to start or you could go to the Menil, I like the Aquarium and Herman Park, the James Turrell Skyspace is nice, Dan Flavin Installation at Richmond Hall is great, Some of the Sculptures on Allen Parkway is pretty cool. Probably visit the Barbara Davis gallery, or Moody Gallery and maybe Gray Contemporary. .When it comes to food in Houston , you can’t go wrong, I like the Shawarma King on Hillcroft St, Darband Shishkabob, Gatlins BBQ, El Rey Taqueria, Jersey Mikes, Wingstop, Buffalo Wild Wings, Goode Co. BBQ, Tia Maria’s, 100% Taquito on S.W Frwy, Pho i 10, and Guadalajara. And if you just want to chill try Slick Willies

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I believe in the phrase that it takes a village to raise a child. So imagine what it takes to get an artist to be successful? First, Let me give thanks to the one above, my spiritual father who has blessed me with a creative spirit. There are so many people who have really shaped my decision making in the Fine Arts, here are just a few of them Paul Kittleson, Luis Jimenez, J.Hill, Karyn Olivier, Sharon Englestein,Terry Allen, Howard Sherman, Ibsen Espada, Michael Roque Collins, Jim Edwards, Harvey J. Bott, Michael Golden, Gonzo247, and Sergio Santos, all have helped me along the way in some capacity. I appreciate the support,assistance and critiques they provided.

Website: http://pyramidartservices.blogspot.com/
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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Jesse-Kantu/100012423903951
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Image Credits
all artwork courtesy of Jesse Alexander Kantu

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