For Jody Bergsma, becoming an artist meant fulfilling her destiny. We are grateful that she shared her talent with us to provide the #MountainTribe with ethereal animal t-shirts and a deeper connection with nature.
"Life is Art," according to Bergsma. "So whether I am riding horses, gardening, biking, running, or whatever, I experience the activity as an expression of art." Read the full interview below to learn more about Jody Bergsma's artistic influences and inspiration.
Above: The Journey is the Reward
Can you tell the #MountainTribe a little about yourself? Where are you from? What was your first artistic experience?
I was born on the edge of a pristine lake in the wilds of N.W. Washington. My Father flew planes in WWII and after the war became a bush pilot in the San Juan Islands. I flew with him constantly. My childhood was filled with images of nature.
The rainy N.W. weather created many opportunities for quiet art sessions at the kitchen table to pass the time. My mother and grandmother made sure I had all the art supplies a child could want and encouragement from them kept me creating. I had vivid dreams and loved sharing them through art. I remember my grandma asking…”Where do you get your wild imagination.” I always said, “The best ideas come from beyond the world."
You actually have a degree in engineering. Did you pursue a career as an engineer before becoming a full time artist?
I loved Engineering and Architecture, but I have never exercised my degree within a full time career. I was already painting and selling my work when I graduated and the success I was experiencing was too exciting to abandon. Art was the calling I had tried to avoid. My destiny was to paint.
How do you work your love for geometry and mathematics into your artwork?
Art History was a 2 year requirement in university and some of my favorite classes were on the architectural genius of the Greeks and the principals they incorporated into their buildings and sculpture based on the theories of “Sacred Geometry” as taught by Plato, according to Plutarch. I felt if the principles were so admired and timeless that I and my work might benefit by experimenting with them. I use classic proportional grids under my compositions. Visual math is geometry.
You also have a love for history and ancient symbols. Why do you feel it’s important to echo the past in your paintings?
Carl Jung proposed that we share a common ancient language beyond words…and that language is symbols. They live on beyond time and culture and I believe they resonate in everyone.
Above: Just Keep Dancing
Do you experience artist’s block? If so how do you work through it?
I keep a journal of ideas that come from internal inspiration. If I feel blocked I just pick up my journal. The well never runs dry.
On your FAQ page on your website you mention that your drawing “season” starts in the spring. Does your work differ from season to season?
Creativity and drawing in the spring is effortless. That is when you plant your ideas and then complete and harvest them throughout the year.
What is the most rewarding part of being an artist? The most challenging?
Creativity is in everyone. Each person has the ability to transcend the mundane and find their own inner artist. It is one of the most fulfilling expressions in life. It exists in every activity and occupation. This is my reward, to link with the creator within myself and find my potential. The challenge might be that your passion is sometimes not understood.
What is your spirit animal, and why?
I feel I have many spirit animals. Every time I paint one I feel their soul and energy. But out of all possibilities the hummingbird is my most constant companion and after that the raven and eagle.
What kind of projects are you currently working on? What’s next for you? (If you can tell us…)
I have recently been asked by several Native elders to paint them ceremonial drums. One must follow the signs. We saw a white eagle this week. I am sure it means something…you tell me.:)
Above: Peace at Last