We had the good fortune of connecting with Jhoneil Centeno and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jhoneil, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
After graduating from the Pasadena Art Center College of Design, I landed a job at a computer game company about 50 miles from my house. . Back in those days, a 10-13 hour work day is normal. I was young and did not mind the long drive and the long hours. The company was nice and I made a lot of friends. I work for several more game companies after that first one. All with long hours and long commute.. In 2009, I left my last video game company and took a 2 year hiatus from work. I studied different things. I learned how to build ukuleles and guitars, I also concentrated more on my own artwork and painted big canvases of figures.

In 2012, I found work as a 3D and graphic artist for a company less than a mile away from my house.. It does not pay as well as a video game job but I have a regular 8 hour work day and the short distance is a big plus. This gave me more time to work on my own projects.. Three years ago, I got into birding and bird photography. The short commute and regular hours allows me to go to a local park or wetlands and take pictures in the morning or afternoon.

Nowadays, it’s more important for me to have more time spent with my girlfriend and my various projects. Work is necessary but it does not consume my time anymore.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m in my early 50s now and I’m more into making my art just for the enjoyment of it. When I was younger, I was more serious about making statements with my paintings.

A while back, I took a sculpting class with Cindy Jackson and she mentioned that she makes art because she likes it. No deep philosophical intentions or didactic messages. It was refreshing to hear from an art teacher..

So now, I don’t try to force my creativity. I make things, paint, take photos whenever I feel like it or when inspiration hits. I am not obsessed with getting followers on Instagram but instead post stories and pictures that I’m happy with. If people follow me for that, then fantastic! What I learned over the years is that just don’t stop learning and always be creative with every aspect of your life. People will take notice eventually.

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.
I don’t live that far from Downtown LA. There’s so much to see and do. Where do I even start…

For food, my go to place is Republique, Pasta Sisters,, and Papa Christo’s.

For sight seeing, I would skip the tourist attractions and instead visit the various art museums here. The Getty and the Broad is a must see. Bergamot Station in Santa Monica has a lot of little art galleries to explore.

For people watching, Little Tokyo is great and lots of places for good food too.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Rafael Navarro – one of the best comic book artist that I know. I learned so much from him and I’m still inspired when I see one of his drawings.


Website: www.Jhoneil.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jhoneil_birdygram

Other: My art Instagram: https://instagram.com/jhoneil_official

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