We had the good fortune of connecting with Jesse Perry and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jesse, how do you think about risk?
Risk is on par with passion. The more passionate you are about the things you love in life, the more willing you are to take risks to achieve your dream. I consider myself to be a passionate person and I have taken a great amount of risk in my life and my career, yielding both failures and successes, but all of my experiences have made me who I am. Any choice can lead us down a different path, but I wouldn’t change a thing about the chances I’ve taken. Without risk, there is no reward.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a native to Arizona, I was raised around Southwestern art, by a mother who was herself, an artist. As a child, I did not have an appreciation for the desert, but as I grew older and developed a creative voice for my work, I realized that there was so much life and color in the desert and that this was a home I could be proud to call my own. Once I accepted my place, I was able to develop my style and process. This expanded beyond painting canvas and eventually spilled over into the public space and on to walls, buildings, homes, etc. Although I had a passion for my work, it was the reception of my work that gave me my confidence to continue and grow as an artist, specifically a public artist. Nothing worth doing is easy, in fact, it should be a struggle, because that’s what life is, a struggle. And through that struggle, we discover who we are. My journey is not over and I am far from finished from learning who I am, but I am grateful for each and every day that I have to continue that investigation to connect with others, as well as myself. I have been through a great deal of hardship, as most of us have. My greatest challenge has been overcoming my own fears, insecurities, inhibitions, and self-deprecating behaviors. I want the world to know that if you are willing to follow your dream, the path will reveal itself. It may take you directions that you didn’t imagine, so be willing to bend and go with the flow so that the Universe can guide you to realizing your greatest potential.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
On the first morning, we would start with an early hike on Camelback Mountain, followed by a hearty breakfast at The Farm at South Mountain and a tour of the Phoenix Art Museum. That evening we would take it easy with a few drinks on the patio of Thunderbird Lounge during their trivia night. The next day we would wake up and take a day trip to Sedona to visit Tlaquepaque and all the little artsy shops up there, eat some tasty food and have an amazing coffee at Creekside Coffee. Once we were back in Phoenix, I would take them to visit the Desert Botanical Gardens to view the most unique cacti collection in the United States. That night, we would hit a comedy club like Stand Up Live and finish the night at Bitter and Twisted, one of the greatest cocktail bars in the world, to experience some ‘next level’ cocktails and cuisine. The rest of the week we would visit a few of my favorite spots like SIP Coffee, LUX Cafe and JoBot in the morning; Postino, Gallo Blanco, Pane Bianco and Little Miss BBQ for lunch, before finishing the night at a great spot like The Bar, Clever Koi, Woody’s or Undertow for some amazing atmosphere and drinks. The final day, I would show them around Downtown Phoenix proper to showoff all of the amazing murals and street art that Phoenix has to offer before treating them to a final meal at Bario Cafe, so they could experience the cooking of Chef Silvana, one of the most important and progressive Hispanic influences in the culinary culture of Arizona, as well as a farewell beer from Wren House to leave a little taste of Phoenix on their lips.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to thank all of my teachers who believed in me and nurtured my success from a young age, as well as all of the artists throughout history who shared and sacrificed without knowing that they would play a role in the lives of future creatives. But most of all, I would like to thank all of the artists of downtown Phoenix who made our city a walking gallery before attention was being paid to their efforts to improve the city around them and create a destination location for local businesses, restaurants, and entrepreneurs to collectively create a voice.