Artist Profile: Jesse Snyder
It’s always exciting to find Vermont artists whose work extends miles (and sometimes galaxies) beyond landscapes of the lake and mountains. With a portfolio of animated images, technicolor Animals of Triumph, and gleefully fornicating fruit, Jesse Snyder’s endlessly inventive mind busts him well out of Champlain Basin iconography and into worlds the viewer has yet to even begin imagining.
HVT: What is your personal background?
JS: I was born in Vermont and have been doing all kinds of art for my entire life, both traditional and digital. I’ve studied animation, and I have a degree in game art & animation from Champlain College. While I still do a lot of digital work for my day job as an art director, I’ve recently been focusing in on traditional acrylic painting, which is something I’ve always loved doing, but never had the time or space to fully explore it until recently.
HVT: What’s the source of your artistic inspiration?
JS: My inspiration depends on what I’m working on and my surroundings. Mostly, I’m just inspired by my own need to create art. I’ve always been an artistic person. I’ve never really been able to picture ideas in my head that well, so I’ve always drawn them out. At this point, I just need to get my ideas out there. For a long time, that meant drawing them in pen or maybe in Photoshop. Lately however, they’ve been coming out on canvas in acrylic paint. I’ve always liked that any idea I have can be made a reality. If I want to see a bear ride a shark like a jetski, I can make that happen. If i want to see an enormous neon-colored chicken, that can also be done. It’s a fun concept to explore and serves as plenty of inspiration.
HVT: What’s your personal and artistic relationship to Vermont?
JS: Besides living here my whole life, I can’t say Vermont directly inspires my work, but living in Vermont has definitely given me the kind of environment I need to feel like I can express myself artistically and even make a name for myself locally.
Growing up somewhere relatively small, but with a rich art scene, helped me feel like this was something I could actually do. I think we’re the perfect size, where you’re not so much a drop in the ocean but a drop in the lake. It still takes work and a certain amount of luck to get noticed, but the odds feel like they’re stacked more in your favor here, as opposed to somewhere like NYC, where you’re up against millions of other artists.
HVT: What’s your relationship with cannabis?
JS: We were high school sweethearts and have been together ever since.
HVT: What’s your vision for cannabis in Vermont?
JS: While I do support it being legalized for recreational use, I won’t be totally comfortable with it until it’s legal on a federal level, the general stigma that comes with being a cannabis user fades, and it’s as socially acceptable as alcohol. Until then, we’ll still have all the same issues we’ve been dealing with for decades.
HVT: Where are you based, how can people see your work, and what’s the best way for folks to contact you?