Jake of All Trades

Jacob holding a colorful abstract painting, acrylic on canvass 30"x40"
Jacob with a new painting

Jacob L.E. Oliver is a visual artist, poet, and musician. He lives a couple of blocks away from Central and is a regular in Creative Experience, coming at least a few days a week to work on digital art or music. “There are too many resources in this place to just do one thing,” he says.

Jacob has always loved libraries. He stumbled upon Creative Experience about a year ago, shortly after moving here from Belleville, IL, and he was excited about the endless possibilities he saw. “It was sensory overload!” he says.

In a few days, Jacob will be 24. He doesn’t have specific plans yet, but he might have friends over to his place to jam or paint.

Lately, Jacob has been focusing more on painting than music, but he also sings and plays guitar and keyboard. He’s been teaching himself Pro Tools, and he reserves the Recording Room now and then. More often, he spends his time at one of the Pods, working on digital paintings.

His abstract paintings don’t start on the computer, though. He usually paints at home, using acrylic on canvass or scavenged wood. Sometimes he does live painting, creating at a venue while a band is playing. He brings his paintings to the Library, uses the free scanner on the public photocopiers to digitize them and imports the files into Photoshop in Creative Experience. From there, he may layer multiple images on top of each other and manipulate colors, contrast or other qualities. His process is experimental from beginning to end. He likes leaving his paintings open to interpretation and letting viewers see what they see.

Follow Jacob on Instagram @asymmetricalsoul

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