Painting by Robert Joyner

Artist and Instructor Robert Joyner

Robert JoynerRobert Joyner is a full-time artist and instructor from Goochland, Virginia. He specializes in blending quality fundamentals with unconventional painting techniques.

Robert has a home studio where he creates art and online teaching courses. Although Robert strongly believes in developing solid fundamentals, his approach is typically very random. He likes to put himself in challenging positions that require him to rely on the basics to pull it off. So, instead of creating predictable art he opts to catch lightning in a bottle. This is what excites him!

If you would like to learn how to paint loose watercolors, and abstract style art with acrylic and mixed media, be sure to visit Crafted By Robert (acrylic and mixed media) and Watercolor Fanatic.

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20Q Interview

Posted 12/30/23

What's your name?

Robert Joyner.

Where are you from?

Hampton, Virginia.

Who are you today?

Full-time artist and happy husband with three kids.

What do you do (elevator speech)?

InspirationI create and teach abstract style art.

What's your story?

Since childhood, art has fascinated me. Even while being a full-time competitive dance instructor in my late 30s, I knew my passion for it wouldn't fade. To sustain my artistic journey, I started painting and opened an Etsy shop. Surprisingly, my talents led me to create the official art for the 2012 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. The journey since then has been truly remarkable.

Why is creativity important to you?

Expressing myself through art is incredibly fulfilling. Transforming a blank canvas or paper into something captivating is a journey I deeply cherish. Allowing my passion and mood to guide the process, I find immense joy in the unpredictable outcomes that arise from this creative freedom.

When did you discover your creative calling?

It took me years to pinpoint what truly resonated with my creative spirit. Along the way, there were numerous moments of frustration, where quitting seemed like a tempting option. Despite the challenges, I persevered, weathering every storm. While I can't pinpoint an exact moment, I knew art was destined to be an enduring part of my life when I began creating pieces that felt authentically mine.

How did you embrace it?

PaintingWith enthusiasm and determination, I fully embraced my passion for art. It became a journey of figuring out how to transform it into a sustainable job and career. During this transition, I continued teaching dance part-time, juggling both pursuits until I reached a point where I could confidently hang up my dance shoes for good.

How did that feel?

It was truly amazing to realize that creating art was going to be my lifelong journey. Despite the challenges that naturally arise, I was confident I could overcome them and become the artist I'd always envisioned. While the ideal image never fully materializes, the process remains incredibly enjoyable and fulfilling.

Where has your journey taken you?

I've reached a point where I have control over my time. Being able to work and paint on my terms has allowed me to be there for my family — a priceless treasure to me. It's been the most rewarding journey ever!

What challenges have you faced?

I can't recall major hurdles apart from the immense dedication and effort required to reach this point. Balancing work, teaching dance, and finding time for art was demanding. Early mornings, late nights, and whatever it took to elevate my art to a profitable level. As my art gained recognition, I gradually reduced my dance teaching commitments until I knew I could pursue art full time.

What worked for you?

I relish the challenge of embarking on new creative endeavors. Back then, I was single with no children, and I managed my finances meticulously, ensuring I wasn't overly burdened. This financial stability allowed me the freedom, both in terms of time and money, to fully invest in my artistic pursuits.

What didn't work?

PaintingEvery artistic journey has its twists and turns, and I've certainly had my share. There were times when I tried to imitate other artists, a common experience for many. However, I learned the importance of trusting my own instincts and creating without limitations. I'm grateful I went through this process before the era of YouTube and social media; the constant influx of information might have made finding my unique style more challenging.

What three tips can you share to help others starting on a similar path?

  1. Don't let your admiration for another artist's work confine your own style; true creativity blossoms when you explore various mediums and subjects, constantly experimenting to embrace fresh ideas. It's essential to understand that painting finished pieces all the time might limit your growth as an artist.
  2. Always cherish the simplicity of pencil and paper; mastering your basics here can significantly elevate your artwork, often more than diving straight into painting.
  3. Remember that every artistic detour is a valuable lesson; the more you experiment, the more doors of creativity you'll unlock.

What are you working on now?

After investing more than five years in developing online courses, I've made a decision to shift my focus significantly towards my personal artistic endeavors. Venturing into the realm of non-representational art and embracing larger canvases has been a refreshing change for me. While I've begun experimenting with canvas, my heart still leans towards the familiarity of working on paper, although that preference might evolve over time.

What's coming up for you in the next year?

When it comes to art, I focus on the essentials: consistency and treating it as a business. Looking forward, my aspiration is to delve deeper into abstract art, exploring new and thrilling creative avenues.

What else do you want to do?

I already have a lot on my plate, so, in terms of future plans, it's best to keep it simple!

How will you make it happen?

By avoiding overwhelming myself with numerous projects that could stretch me too thin. Been there, done that.

Where can we find you online?