Artist’s Statement

My name is JP Colin. I came to the professional arts scene late in life. I started off life in a violent, economically and socially distressed mid-20th century immigrant community on the outskirts of Los Angeles County, California. Challenged by a largely misunderstood American Racial Diaspora between the Deep South and the West Coast, and the constraints of living in Invisible Poverty, it was a life of great hardship. In my twenties, while I was enlisted in the United States Air Force, I served as a Cryptolinguistic Specialist and Intelligence Analyst at the National Security Agency, working on highly classified and controversial efforts supporting “Secret American Wars.” It was a time that stripped away most of my delusions about the supposed “beauty of mankind.” Then, an unimaginable series of chaotic events involving a mentally ill spouse and grotesquely bizarre misfortunes dominated my life until I was fifty-nine years old. I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and was close to giving up on life when I was finally awarded very modest Veterans Administration Disability Benefits. It was then that I rediscovered the Power of Art returned to a formal study of Art and Creative Writing at a public university in the American Southwest.

I don’t create Art. Art creates me. At a point, I lost the most intimate parts of myself and most of the exotic and youthful dreams I had. This happened as a result of the seemingly never-ending train of tragedies that defined most of my life. For the largest part of my life, nothing felt real except the pain and sadness. My capacity to feel hope was almost nonexistent. I suffered panic attacks, night terrors, insomnia, unexplained body pains, brain fog, and I cried whenever the wind blew. I barely functioned. I traveled across many therapeutic and spiritual paths over the course of my life, but nothing else eased the pain and initiated the healing like Art did. Losing the desire to create ideas, things, and relationships may be the greatest loss that a human can suffer, at least in a spiritual sense. Creating Art reshapes me out of that pain and sadness. I have become a collaborative artistic project between the personified spirit of adventure, the ghost of cruel optimism, and the various natural forces that govern the universe. Art is a way to share my extremely unique experiences, both positive and negative, with a world I have always felt as an outsider to. This has become my mission as an Artist. I seek to create with both mindfulness and humor. I move in whatever creative direction the opportunities take me. Art is as much about “process” as it is about any final product of labor.

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