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Meet Bryan DeJonghe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bryan DeJonghe.

Bryan, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Though I may not fall into the “traditional” notion of an artist (i.e. musician, painter, photographer), I have, like so many others, taken up my own unique approach to artistry. As a young boy, my first instrument was a soccer ball. As I grew older and transitioned from soccer player to soccer coach, I appreciated more of the poetic and strategic nuances that make up “the beautiful game.”

In my mid-twenties, I began to develop more of my artistic self through poetry. I observed my poetry process move from a private, therapeutic means of expression into an audible spoken word form. As the awareness of myself in the world increased, so did my desire to express my human experience with others through poetry.

During this same time of my life, my love for adventure led me to travel the world. Although I had no formal photography training or even a professional camera, I began capturing my travel experiences by snapping photos with my iPhone. When Instagram arrived, I suddenly had a platform to mix my travel photos with my words of poetry, and most importantly, a community of friends and artists to share it with. Shortly thereafter, I started a travel blog. Since I had so greatly benefited from other travel bloggers, I wanted my blog to reflect helpful tips when traveling (i.e. remote places to hike, what to eat, how to get there, etc.). The blog also features a list of my future travels and some of my poems.

More than calling myself an “artist,” I consider myself a participator in the creative community. I continue to engage with others through social media through the sharing of very real human experiences and similar interests, and by supporting the artwork and art-forms of others. I am very grateful to those who have supported and encouraged me to create along the way.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
The art that I make is really an Instagram-kind-of-art, if you will. I mix poetic language with beautiful pictures of nature. I will oftentimes include a human into my photo composition to get the audience to think about themselves inserted into the scene or cosmos, around them. I hope to think that my art tingles our sense of mystery and beauty with poetic and humbly honest language. I want my work to express this reality: the frailty of human life, and yet our divine reflection. It is within that juxtaposition that I hope my words and images flourish.

I believe in a Creator who made us in His image, and so, therefore, I believe that we are co-creators. I create to help make sense of things, and to express the emotion and experience of being human. I feel the gentle and yet pressing desire to create because I was made to do so, and in doing so, I fulfill some of my purpose – to honor God, to love others, and to serve the community. At the end of it all, if any of my photos or words have gotten you to say, “ahhh” or wonder, or question or feel loved, or encouraged, then I have succeeded even in some small way.

In your view, what is the biggest issue artists and creative professionals have to deal with?
I’d say the biggest challenge (and blessing) facing artists today is the accessibility of information. The good news: the social media era has made it easier than ever for anyone to share art. This has given rise to talent we would have never seen or heard of. The bad news: this can lead to the over-saturation of the creative market. How then, does an artist stay relevant with so many others doing the same thing? I do not think that people who are true to what they are doing need to worry about this.

A platform will always exist for those who want to share their work. But how does that work creatively capture the attention of our audience – an audience that is already inundated with large amounts of “art” every time they open their mobile device? That challenge, for me, has pushed the bar higher for quality work. I feel that this ultimately is a good thing, as it pushes artists further into their abilities and thus bolsters the creative market.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Travel blog, helpful tips for travel, a list of future travel plans, and more poetry.
Instagram, Twitter

I’m glad you asked how you can support me. You can support me or my work by saying hello to me. One comment or one interaction is worth a million “likes.” Tell me how the art makes you feel, how you relate or how you don’t relate. Conversation and connection are very important to me. It is far too easy for me to create and then remain anonymous. I want to be known.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Bryan DeJonghe

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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