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Hello

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My Story

I vividly remember the first time someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was in preschool learning about my future for the first time. Being born in Florida, 3 hours away from Walt Disney World, I was a big fan of animation; I filled in the worksheet that I wanted to be an animator, I drew a little sketch next to "animator" of an older version of myself drawing who knows what on a lightbox. I don't even know how I knew to draw a lightbox but I did. Summer art camps always drew me in more than any soccer or flag football program. When I was about 10 I moved to Pennsylvania and soon began taking private art classes with Leigh Pawling. When I began high school, not much had changed, I took art classes as much as possible. Dan Krueger and Colleen Ayers molded me into a daring young art student, and I began to prepare for art school as my path for college. Before going to art school I apprenticed briefly with renowned screen printer Daniel Dens where I learned the in's and out's of making art for galleries, stretching canvas for the first time. With art school drawing near and my salad days quickly peaking I was drawn into a world of mind altering substances, experimenting with different psychedelic chemical compounds. At just 17, for better or worse, I was primed and ready to see all art school had to offer.

I landed at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, MD. Soon to follow were some of the most challenging and life changing moments of my life. New people, new places, and yes new psychedelics. I fine-tuned my drawing, painting, and printing skills, and picked up video and sculpture skills, experimenting over and over and over again. Rarely I would focus on an artistic thesis' such as violence in religion, sound and music, the human form, or performative art dealing with the modern world and the effect of technology. Before the first semester had come to an end, I had my first manic episode. It lasted about a month of me thinking I was the second coming of Christ before I came out of it and landed into a deep depression that lasted through the winter months. When spring came, I brushed off the trauma of bipolar and carried on as usual but before my sophomore year of college began I found my self once again thrown into the depths of mania, this round with a darker tone. This time around I got medicated. The meds got me out of the mania, and I dodged a wave of depression and returned to MICA a few weeks late. Sophomore year of college is when I really started to dig into video, renting out equipment every so often and pushing my chops with Adobe Premiere Pro.

The semester came and went without too much trouble. 

2016 came and I traveled around for spring break attending SXSW in Austin, TX. I was 19 at the time and by now heavily engulfed in drugs and alcohol, and more importantly, off my medication. I began to think I was telepathic, I built an entire world that solely existed in my mind. As of writing this, the movie, Everything Everywhere All at Once is hugely popular and receiving rave reviews, but that movie nearly sums up what I experienced in 2016. However, coupled with multi-verse hopping, I was telepathic and therefore only expressed my true feelings and ideas telepathically. As you may have guessed by now, no one truly knew what was going on in my head. I have no idea how I passed any classes in my last semester at MICA. I was hospitalized on April 3rd 2016, my 20th birthday. It was a weird night in the hospital. Somehow I tricked the doctors into thinking I was fine and continued to live manic and unmedicated for another month. Before I was hospitalized again, institutionalized briefly, and finally sent to rehab. 28 days later, I was sober, stable, medicated, bored, and lost. I was in and out of AA & NA rooms, attempting 12 steps programs, and within a few weeks, once again smoking cannabis and drinking. Hey what's stopping a 20 year old from living?

I spiraled here a little bit and lost my way. So I dropped out of MICA. 

Over the next 3 years I worked in restaurants beginning to distance my self from the art world. I became a very passionate chef working my way up and down and up again, the restaurant ladder and moving around to different cities. Baltimore, to Atlanta, to New York City, and back to Northeast Pennsylvania where most of my family lives. With cooking brought the kind of stability that doesn't exist in art school. The kind of stability I need to be healthy. You may hear the opposite about restaurant life, or maybe you've read a book by Anthony Bourdain, but cooking is exactly what I needed to get out of my head, and into reality. 

In 2019, my mother, founded studio BE. I began to work with her and the team as a creative and tech savvy 23 year old, after deciding that the restaurant industry was financially unsustainable. Something that restaurants like NOMA are now admitting to.

Today I run a freelance video content service and market myself for the creative I have always been. I am getting back to where I was before college with my work, and finally, truly living up to my potential. I have been completely stable and medicated since 2019 and laying off the psychedelics, although I do like to spark up a joint and have a beer from time to time. 

-Jake

March 2nd 2023

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I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

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