We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeremy Janus and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeremy, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I look at risk as an opportunity. I have always kind of been the oddball and made decisions that others thought were not in my best interest, but they are always based in a risk/reward ratio. If I take a risk and it doesn’t work out, it is a life lesson well learned. I try to take calculated risks as I am a very analytical person, but sometimes things just won’t go as planned and that is okay. If you are not risking anything significant then you are never going to gain anything significant. A lot of people play life in their comfort zone and I try to avoid that in a lot of senses. The only way to learn, grow, and continue to evolve in life is to take risks and you can’t do that if you never step out of your comfort zone.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My artistic journey is really just an extension of my life. My early days battling depression and anxiety brought me to nature which helped heal my soul. Drawing and painting also helped ease my pain as well and taught me so much about colors, lights, and shadows. I didn’t bring those two worlds together until 4 years ago when I picked up a camera for the first time. The challenges associated with turning a hobby into a business have been numerous, but it is just like life, you get knocked down, you get back up, and you keep moving forward. Figuring out what doesn’t work is just as important as figuring out what does work. I had a number of projects fall apart this year when the shutdown because of coronavirus started, including starting to participate in festivals, artist presentations, and a 35 piece gallery that was slated to go up in the Denver International Airport (I literally printed the entire gallery the week prior). I went through a few weeks of depression until I picked myself back up and continued to push forward. In the time since, I have taken some of the best photos of my life, worked multiple festivals, been (or will be) exhibited in 10 galleries across the US, won 1st place for photography at the 73rd Annual Gilpin Arts Show, and developed an online course to teach people nature photography. No matter how tough the challenges are, there is always a way to overcome them and push yourself harder than ever before, you just have to think creatively and put in the work. I want others to see that you can make anything you want of your life, you just have to have a vision, passion, and a work ethic to make it happen. When you change your perspective, you can inspire the world!
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?
Colorado has so much beauty so it is hard to narrow a trip down to one area. But if I had an entire week, I would take them on a journey through the national parks in Colorado. I would start in Rocky Mountain National Park, then head south to the Sand Dunes, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and end in Mesa Verde. Each one of these is a gem in its own right and has such distinct characteristics from the others. Rocky Mountain has some of the most beautiful wildlife, waterfalls, and mountains in the state. The sand dunes are a spectacle to see and you cannot comprehend how large they are until you’re trekking your way up the mountains of sand. The Black Canyon is one of my favorite spots in the state and has amazing canyon views that showcase the wonderful interplay of lights and shadows in nature. Mesa Verde is a wonderful landscape and inspires awe to see how people lived in cliff dwellings on the sides of these mountains. There are so many beautiful places to see and experience between all of these locations but it would take a novel to list them all. The one aspect of travel that I have learned, especially in the last 6 months, is that it doesn’t matter where you are, the best, most interesting, and exciting people and places to see are the ones that are right in front of you. There is so much wonder and excitement in our everyday lives but it is up to us to make the most of them and find the beauty that lays before us.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family and friends. To say I have a supportive group of family and friends around me is an understatement. My family truly helped me through my darkest days of battling depression, anxiety, and suicide contemplation. Without their love and support I wouldn’t still be on this earth. They also embraced my early days of art and watched me grow and develop in that realm of life. Even when I decided to paint an entire 10 x 15 foot Batman and Superman mural on my dads wall in his house without him knowing, my dad still supported me (the look of shock on his face will be forever etched in my head). My friends embraced and supported my art when I first started sharing my work and it gave me the confidence to keep pushing forward in my artistic endeavors. My childhood friend Mike was the first person to tell me to pick up a camera at 30 years old (I owe so much of my photography career to him), and thus started my photography journey 4 years ago. All of my family and friends have supported me in my photographic journey since day 1 and that has pushed me to continue to evolve and develop my artistic style. I have met some amazing people on my photographic journey, one of which was my girlfriend Lindsey on a solo 10 mile snowshoe adventure. Without her love, support, and knowledge I would not have been able to grow and push myself in the way I have over the past year and a half. The inter-connectivity of my family, friends, and art will forever be intertwined and I cannot separate one from the other. The impact that my family and friends have had on my art thanks to their support is something I will cherish for my entire life.