What inspires you? Is it an amazing meal, the beauty all around us in nature, live music or art? I seek out all of those experiences and in this case I discovered local artist, Jordan Stubbs on Instagram and her style immediately grabbed my attention. Having recently sold her first woodworking piece at a local art exhibit, hosted by Art Party, TX I was intrigued how this petite young woman came to wield electric saws in order to make gorgeous, geometric art pieces. She was kind enough to invite us into her home she shares with her husband, older brother and 3 dogs. After a very warm welcome from their French Bulldog, Tucker and Boston Terrier, Ollie I couldn’t wait to start firing questions at her about her eclectic style. Her woodworking skills are only a portion of her talents and my eye was drawn to her bright and bold line art featuring animals both real and mythical. She has an affinity for drawing birds which she attributes to her Dad’s photography hobby and all the bird species he captures in photos.
One piece can take 40 hours or longer to complete yet her walls were brimming with images and that didn’t include her folders full of half finished sketches. Jordan’s husband is a high school art teacher at Pine Tree High in Longview and together their home is like a private gallery. When I asked her about formal art training she had to laugh as she admitted she failed the only art class she ever took. I love that story because her art teacher tried to force Jordan to follow the rules of each assignment which obviously doesn’t lend itself to much creativity. Looking around me as I stood in their shared workspace I was in awe surrounded by all these striking images. Many reminiscent of stained glass only on paper. The vibrance and detail in each of her pieces made it difficult to choose a favorite.
Jordan grew up in Carthage, TX and comes from a close knit, creative family. While she certainly loves creating art she has a day job at a local bank where she enjoys helping her customers. When she’s not working she is busy devouring books and renovating their home of 6 years with her husband. I had to ask where she got her impressive woodworking skills but aside from 7th grade Shop Class she is basically self taught and in my opinion an inspiration for taking on such large scale projects like her honey bee pictured on their back patio. Using scrap and reclaimed wood, Jordan meticulously sketches out her designs, measuring, resizing, scanning in her image and even using a makeshift projector to get every last detail in place before cutting pieces. Once each piece is put into place and the wood is sanded, the edges beveled and each piece is stained the result is stunning.
Newly 27 years old she is freshly aware that people often have unrealistic expectations of artists. After participating in a number of local East Texas art fairs and shows she is hesitant to take on custom pieces. The general consensus seems to be if you are an artist you can draw or create anything. While Jordan is certainly capable of creating a pretty wide variety of art she stays true to the style she has developed. When she has an idea in her head she often turns to her Dad’s photographs or even a Google search to help put the idea on paper. When I asked her some of the biggest challenges she faces as an artist she said copyright infringement is a real problem, not only for her but many artists because images can be taken so easily from the internet and reproduced.
One thing that struck me about Jordan is how humble she is about her natural talent. I think she’s just starting to catch a glimpse of what she is truly capable of and it’s really exciting. In an ideal world she would love to open a co-op working space with her husband where local artists of all ages can create, trade supplies and teach or learn new skills. She’s currently wrapping up a wooden cow skull piece at the moment and is debating on what to work on next. Look for her at Longview’s upcoming Art Walk and follow her on Instagram to see more of her work. You can also find her on Etsy.