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Meet Winston M Harrell of Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Winston M Harrell.

Hi Winston, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Winston Harrell is an American Artist that was born in Oceanside California in 1958. He later moved to Chicago Illinois. Where he started his early art career by participating in the mayor’s daily summer youth program for inner-city youth. To better fuel, his curiosity for the Arts enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu of Chicago in 1997, in the Art instruction Schools of Minneapolis Minnesota in 2006 he enrolled in Westwood College in 2007, and Art Institute of Phoenix in 2011. Where he received two AAS degrees and nearly completed the BA program for illustrators at the Art Institute of Phoenix Az. He moved to Mesa Arizona in 2011 where he continues to pursue his dream as an artist and illustrator. In 2012 he reopened his catering and home decore Art service ‘ My Artistic Cafe ” in Mesa Arizona. He currently sells his unique brand of Culinary arts and illustration at Jarrods Art Gallery and Tea house in downtown Mesa Arizona. My Artistic Cafe is a place where Art lives.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
In 1995 I was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia while attending Le Cordon Bleu of Chicago. After my diagnosis and The completion of my Chemotherapy. I made the decision to relocate to Atlanta Georgia in 1997. I was determined to pursue my dreams as a creative mind and I needed a fresh start. After my relocation, I concentrated my efforts on finding employment and a permanent residence. Although I had no family or friends in Atlanta was determined to succeed.

I found a position as a cook in Alpharetta Georgia which was located two hours away by bus from my apartment in Midtown Atlanta. Once I got off the bus I had to walk 2 miles each way every day to my new employment but again I was determined to be successful. After about I year, I finally found employment within the city limits but still was unable to purchase a car and was forced to continue using public transportation. Finally, after 5 years I secured a position at Grady Memorial Hospital. As a Nursing Technician, I worked mostly on the HIV units within the hospital and was considered to be one of the only employees to work with that population. At that time I made the decision to restart my Catering company ” My Artistic Cafe “.
I worked forty hours a week while I cooked, baked, and delivered and sold food at night. It was very difficult but rewarding

Due to my poor computer knowledge and lack of computer skills I made the decision to return to school and receive an AAS degree in Graphic Design and Visual Communications to better educate myself as an entrepreneur. I worked 12 hours shifts from 7 pm to 7 am on the weekends while I attended Design school and attended classes Monday thru Friday. My goal was to improve my artistic abilities and learn how to use and understand the computer effectively. It was very difficult since I didn’t have a car and took public transportation everywhere but I was determined.

Later I made the decision to enroll in The Art Instruction of School of Minneapolis Minnesota. This comprehensive Commerical correspondence course for emerging artists focused on the training and education of national art students. This program allowed me the opportunity to learn all the basic fundamentals of art while working a full-time job. I completed the 2-year program with a Certification in commercial Art and illustration in 2008. I dreamed of completing this accomplishment and was very proud of myself.

I found myself lacking the necessary tools that I needed to become a successful artist and illustrator. At that time my father was getting on in years and needed assistance with his daily care. I packed my bags and moved back to St. Annes Illinois a small suburb outside of Kankakee Illinois. The winter nights and cold weather took a toll on me and I shortly returned to Atlanta
Georgia. I made the decision to leave Grady Hospital and work as a cook again for Waffle House in Alpharetta Georgia.
Again my Aging father needed assistance so I again packed my bags and moved to Mesa Arizona in 2011.
Again I was determined to increase my knowledge of graphic design and illustration by enrolling in the BA program for illustrators at the Art Institute of Phoenix in 2011.

Again faced with extreme hardship I attended the program for two and half years while I worked part-time at Golden Corral.
My goal was to gain the knowledge necessary to own and operate an art business. I traveled 6 hours a day on the bus for the duration of the program until I was physically no longer able to continue.

Working as a cook for 3 years at Golden Corral of Mesa, and then four years for Brookdale of East Arbor I developed a newfound respect for Culinary Arts.

As a result of continuing health issues, I retired as Cook In 2018 in 2017 I became an active member of the Phoenix Gay Men’s Chorus.

I located a position as a Recreational Leader in Tempe Arizona for the Foundation for Senior Living where I worked with developmentally challenged young adults and seniors. In this role, I am fortunate enough to teach, instruct, educate and support people with disabilities. It is a very rewarding job and a truly fulfilling career choice which I extremely enjoy to this day.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am considered to be a storyteller and illustrator. My artwork style is a cross between the line art of the 1940s and the provocative art of the ’70s and ’80s.

My animated style of illustration is a complex combination of Graphic Design and hand-drawn illustration. My style of design has been compared to Alphonso Mucha and Maxfield Parrish of the 1940s.

My intricate patterns and attention to detail are some of my best qualities as an Artist. This brings a unique perspective to each piece of artwork that I create. My color selections are bright and vibrant giving to the viewer a sense of purpose. My medium of choice is an acrylic and water color combination with the usage of fine markers and pencils.

I am most proud of my seven-piece series of illustrations called ” The Power of Arizona “. Each piece is handcrafted and reflects my artist’s viewpoint of the terrain of the southwest.
In addition, my collection the Soul heart of Mans reflects my need to see a world without color. I developed this series to better understand my place in the world as a Creative and to hear my voice as an Artist.

My understanding of finding the right subject matter sets me apart from other artists in that my mind percieves the world in different values of color and design which allows me to create art that translates into recognizable shapes and forms.

What are your plans for the future?
I am currently seeking an artist location/gallery where I and other artists can showcase and exhibit their Artwork. My goal is to serve really great food while showcasing great local talent.

Pricing:

  • 24 x 18 framed prints $150.00
  • 24 x 18 Canvas Wraps $ 200.00
  • 24 x 36 Canvas Wraps $ 300.00
  • 8 x 11 framed prints $45.00
  • 20 x 20 designer pillows $65.00

Contact Info:

Image Credits
All artwork and designs Created and copyrighted by Winston Harrell

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