We had the good fortune of connecting with Jerome Tiunayan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jerome, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I think the most important factor behind my success is the connections and relationships I’ve been able to forge through sharing my work. The individuals and communities that support and uplift me, share opportunities with me, offer constructive criticism, and (sometimes) trust me with their hard-earned money are what really keep me afloat creatively. It’s very easy to approach art from a transactional, consumerist standpoint, especially with how ubiquitous and fast-paced the Internet has made it. But being able to transcend that and actually build rapport with the faces behind the screens is what strengthens my foundation and gives me more solid footing as I try to learn and create more.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work, similarly to many artists, is largely self-serving in the sense that I utilize it as a vehicle for unpacking, exploring, and understanding personal trials. I am continuously inspired by artists who inject elements from their personal narrative into their work and I’m constantly searching for fresh ways of incorporating my own. The past year and some change has provided a considerable amount of source material to sift through; I’m excited to analyze how I’ve been affected and distill that into my work. It has by no means been easy to get to the minuscule platform I have, and I’ve only barely scratched the surface. The key, like with anything worth attaining, is consistency. If you’re meant for something in the same way that I feel I’m meant to make art, your soul will tell you. You just have to listen and be willing to work.
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.
We’re definitely hitting any galleries or museums that have any fire shows. The Whitney, MoMA, the Guggenheim, and any of every gallery down Chelsea. A jaunt through Central or Prospect park is necessary as well, especially after being cooped up in our homes for what felt like an eternity. Food is a toss-up; could be anything from SEA in Williamsburg for some Thai to Crif Dogs in St. Marks for wild hot dogs to Pollo Mario in Woodhaven for impeccable homestyle Colombian. Throw in a stroll through SoHo or LES to window-shop a bit, or hit some vintage spots (Front General Store in DUMBO or 10 ft. Single in Williamsburg are musts).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shout out the Chicago art community (certain individuals know who they are) for making me feel like I’ve lived and made work there for years despite knowing pretty much all of them only through social media and physically visiting the city just one time. I’ve got mad love for everybody there and I hope they know how much confidence they’ve given me in pursuing the kind of work I want to make.