Interviewed and written by Tocarra Eldridge
As many individuals explore the art world, they often find artist works that they appreciate, take a liking to, or some in which they may not appreciate. There are artist who have been fortunate enough to become successful at their artistry due to the love and joy of the art, or unfortunately some who may never receive the opportunity to make a living out of it due to certain circumstances or the art struggle. At a young age, Gerald Ivey’s exceptional ability as an artist allowed him to distinguish his work from others. The Florida native is proof that one can be successful as an artist and nevertheless remain unique. Over the course of Ivey’s life, he has spent countless hours perfecting his craft and multiplying his artistic strategies while working with various mediums and art forms, maintaining a colorful and unique style. His studying also consists of learning at the Atlanta College of Art and Design in Atlanta, GA.
I had the opportunity to interview the master of his trade, Mr. Gerald Ivey and asked him about some of the wonderful art and creativity in which he has brought to the art world.
Tocarra Eldridge: What is one of your favorite pieces and why is that piece so special?
Gerald Ivey: Um! The one that I have here, it’s called “I Am History.” It’s a historical piece and I am at a point to where I feel everyone needs to know their history, so that they can move on and understand life.
TE: Do you feel as if drawing is something that you are born with or something that you can learn later in life?
GI: Well, there is a difference between drawing and creativity. If you are creative, you can do just about anything. If you are just trying to draw…well, you may be able to be taught how to draw. But if you are not creative, you probably won’t be able to come up with new ideas. It is easy to copy, but it is not easy to come up with new ideas, and that’s what’s lacking if you’re not creative.
TE: When did you recognize that you had the gift to be an artist?
GI: I drew and painted since I was young. I won my first art contest in the 3rd grade. From then on, I was getting in and entering into different events and contests.
TE: What are some ideas or thoughts that go on inside of your mind before you begin to create a piece?
GI: The ideas are there before I began to create it. I have some ideas in mind like 3 or 4 years prior to painting. I think of things way before I paint. Once it’s created in your mind, it’s pretty much done, as far as a creative artist goes. Then later on you apply it to canvas or whatever.
TE: What are some of the obstacles you’ve faced to get to where you are today?
GI: [Laughs] When I was younger, in school we had art shows. The art shows that I would attend, I would always win an honorable mention or 3rd place. When I didn’t show up, I would win 1st place. That’s because it was a lot of prejudice going on. It was hard to win if you were black. I had to deal with that a lot when I was younger! Today, I have to deal with people not being knowledgeable of art. Visual art is NOT published as much as music. So it’s hard for the next person to see the importance of it and appreciate it. In most cases, they’re ignorant to it.
TE: What do you think separates you from other artist?
GI: What separates me from others is what I create and what’s in my mind. I think like this…another person can’t do what I can do…I can’t do what you can do. I don’t stick to one form of painting. I like thinking of new things. All of my paintings are different; none of them look alike. My paintings vary; things are creative. I like to always do something new. I like creating different things.
TE: Do you have anything that you would like to add before we close?
GI: I think art is something you feel and it’s very creative. People should look more to their imagination when they’re creating something. If I was an art teacher, I wouldn’t teach my class to paint like me. I would let students be free and create how they feel like creating. I mean…who am I to say if whatever they’re creating is right or wrong. It’s a struggle being an artist. You just have to be persistent and continue to believe in yourself and in your work. If you create for the love of it, afterwards, the money will come. If you do it for the money, the love will never come. I love to create! I paint everyday! I don’t do it for the money; I do it for the love of it.
For more information please visit www.geraldivey.com
Last modified: May 14, 2023