Finding inspiration in hidden places
Josh Espinosa, 18, Missoula, is actually not an art major. Matter-of-fact, he had given up on art in elementary school due to frustration. It wasn’t until his mother’s eigth-grade art class when Espinosa found this inspiration again.
“Being in an artistic environment with her really helped bring back my creativity,” Espinosa said.
Espinosa has come a long way since his first doodles, creating works that awe his spectators and bring plenty of attention.
Most of his work is abstract and contains some underlying meaning, but most of the interpretations are left up to Espinosa’s appreciators.
“I let others have a chance at giving my paintings their own meaning,” Espinosa said. “Usually I just paint for fun and a meaning develops as I continue to work.”
The subjects of his paintings are stretched all over. From comical paintings of Pumba from the “Lion King,” to inspirational paintings of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Statue of Liberty, Espinosa covers just about any subject.
Espinosa said he puts plenty of feeling into his art work. It relieves his stress and gives him time to relax and the ability to express himself on paper.
“I love how painting makes me feel and that’s why people should do it,” Espinosa said. “I feel everyone has good ideas and feelings, and art is a good place to make them real.”
Espinosa’s works have a great sense of composition and are abstractly colored. Most of his pieces are covered in an array of comfortably mismatched colors. Espinosa also mentioned the painting of an aviator is one of his favorite works. It showcases the quality of mixed colors that brings out feelins of warmth and brightness.
“I like to mix unlikely things,” Espinosa said. “I paint colors that feel good together.”
Espinosa said he is always looking for inspiration in random animals, ideas, or even images or concepts he finds interesting.
“Whenever I see a cool picture on the internet I look for ways to draw it in my perspective and give it my touch,” Espinosa said.
One of Espinosa’s most sought after painting’s is his currently unfinished work of a black and white ‘Lady Liberty’ with red accents.
The symbolism of the work can be recognized as a powerful piece that brings about a sense of unity and can also be seen as revolutionary. It stands up for that which is peace and liberty.
Espinosa goes through about a three-week planning process with most of his paintings. Espinosa said he looks for certain qualities in the images he wants to create such as its possibility for an underlying meaning or how intriguing he finds the idea in general. He then starts his work by creating a grid on his canvas and drawing a pencil outline of his basic concept. The rest comes to him as it goes.
“I assign meaning to my paintings as I work on them,” said Espinosa, “painting lets me think and that’s when I get my inspiration.”
Espinosa’s newest inspiration is in mechanical works in the logging industry. His grandfather and father both work in big machines in the woods.
“I come from a family of loggers,” said Espinosa, “I admire my grandfather and father and their profession inspires me.”
Espinosa is currently a nursing major here at NIC. Espinosa mentioned that when he is not painting he is busy with soccer practice.