Inside the Artist’s Studio is Artful Living’s exclusive look into the innovative, intimate lifestyles of creatives. The studio is a place of curating, of inspiring, of creating. These distinctive spaces play an essential role in the artist’s process and are a direct reflection of the personality and attention to detail that go into each work of art.
Internationally recognized artist Jimmy Reagan is a young talent who works primarily with oil pastels and acrylic paint to produce vibrant art that is influenced by the iconic Vincent van Gogh. Diagnosed at a young age with autism, he brings his dreams and experiences to life through his passionate visual voice.
How would you describe Jimmy’s studio space?
Jimmy’s studio space is in the family room of the home he shares with his parents, sibling and two black Labradors. It’s the hub of the house. He describes the space as colorful, bright, peaceful and messy with paint everywhere.
Jimmy works on his pastels on a 100-year-old bench that was his great grandmother’s. The bench is full of his oil pastel “tick marks” — Jimmy’s term for his characteristic small, short strokes of paint. The carpet beneath his easels is spotted with acrylic paint that has dropped from a bottle, brush or palette knife. His paint table — a library table that was also his great grandmother’s — is marred with paint and littered with tubes, brushes and paper towels.
The space is sunny, facing south and bounded by windows. Jimmy often paints with sunglasses on.
How long has he been in this space?
Jimmy has been working in this space since 2009. He began creating artwork that year following an illness.
What are his studio must-haves?
Sketchpads, permanent markers, oil and chalk pastels, acrylic paint, canvases, tools like a palette knife, box cutter and dremel, music (classical, Dr. Dre, Led Zeppelin), books and magazines, and family and friends.
How does the space foster creativity?
The studio space is a central part of the house: the family room. In contrast to artists with dedicated studios for quiet creation, Jimmy is inspired by the constant activity of the house and his family. It is an idea-generating space that is full of warmth, light and friendship. Jimmy likes to work around other people and enjoys the input he receives from others. However, he is unlikely to take too much advice; he often acknowledges the suggestion but likely will do something totally unexpected.
What’s the best part of having a studio in the Twin Cities?
Jimmy enjoys visiting galleries and museums throughout the Twin Cities. Among his favorites are the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Weisman Art Museum and Caponi Art Park. This provides Jimmy with an outlet to explore both local and international works of art.
Living in a city that appreciates the arts has not only influenced Jimmy’s work but also allowed him to share his perspective of the world with a wide and appreciative audience. In addition, the Twins Cities boasts a large support system for people with different abilities as well as a community rich with patrons with a passion for the arts.