Meet Rob Jackson, whose paintings are most often described as "amazing". The DFW-based artist combines his passion for sports and art to create a unique style of art that is one of a kind. Jackson's flair is for photo-realism. He prides himself on capturing memories that his clients will treasure forever. Jackson's client list includes former NFL greats, Olympic Gold Medalists, Super Bowl champs, top draft picks, etc.
Jackson's artistic gifts developed in his early years and it wasn't long after his works were hanging along side that of well-known artists like Stephen Holland, Opie Otterstad and Vernon Wells. Jackson has never received any formal training. He is a self-taught artist. At every turn, Jackson gives back to the community. He has donated numerous works to charity and often raises funds for foundations. We wanted to know more about Rob Jackson and his unique style of artistry and he was kind enough to answer a few questions:
Dawn Tongish: You call yourself, "The Athlete's Artist". For those who don't know your work, can you please describe it?
Rob Jackson: If you were to classify my work, you’d call it photo-realism. You’d also call it “Sports Art” and that’s fair. I personally look at my work as being more about people and their memories than sports specifically. Sports, mainly the NFL, are where I happen to have found my niche. When you’re young and you paint just for the fun of it, you paint what your passionate about. You paint what inspires you. For me, that was football. Then somewhere along the line people notice and before you know it, you’ve found your calling. While it’s still fun, I wouldn’t do it otherwise. It has become my business to preserve memories. I take a photo that my client is proud of, one that they want to cherish, and I capture it on canvas. The goal, and struggle, in each painting is to give just enough detail to look like the photo, but maintain the significance of fine art.
DT: You combined a couple of passions to create your unique style of art. Can you talk about your background?
RJ: Like most boys growing up, I wanted to be a professional athlete. I played football throughout high school. At one point it looked like I was going to go on to play in college. As cliché as it might be though, I do believe things happen for a reason and my dream of being a pro athlete ended early. However, being on the field with my friends and the comradery with my teammates, were such great memories that the game continued to inspire me. The impact of those memories and that dream were very powerful. It only made sense to me that I combine my artistic gift with my athletic passion.
DT: You have a lot of famous clients. Can you give us a brief list and what you have done for celebrity and sports figures?
RJ: In 2006, former Cowboys great, DeMarcus Ware was my first ever client. Soon after, his teammates began purchasing my work. Through word of mouth and social media, my brand began to take off and since then I’ve been honored to work for great people and athletes. Vince Wilfork, Greg Jennings, Marcus Spears, Marc Colombo, Jon Kitna, Tyson Alualu, Jennie Finch and Beckett Media are a few of my more recognizable client names. Each year I like to give back to charity in the form of donating a painting or even completing a painting live at an event in front of the guests. My brand has afforded me to be a part of some pretty awesome events both local and national. Last year I was in Tampa to create a painting of ABC’s Shark Tank, Daymond John at an event for young entrepreneurs. Before that, I painted live at Ron Jaworski’s Super Bowl party in Indianapolis. Locally, I’ve been a part of Taste of the NFL Dallas for the past few years.
DT: What do you enjoy most about creating your art?
RJ: It’s a lot like going to the movies or watching your favorite TV show. To give a sports reference, you hear people use the term, being “In the Zone”. When I’m alone, in studio, and I’m standing at my easel, all of my thoughts and stresses disappear. I get into that “zone” and concentrate solely on my art. In short, it’s relaxing.
DT: Your tagline says, "You don't do custom". You believe your art is one of a kind. What does it feel like to stand out in that way?
RJ: Generally, artists use the term “custom” when referring to their work. I think “one of a kind” is more exclusive than custom. I wanted to be different so I created my own definition of the word custom as how I see it pertaining to the way artist’s use it: An alternate version of something one already owns. I don’t mass-produce prints of the work I’m commissioned for so I want my clients to know that what they are getting from me is a “one of a kind” piece of art.
DT: What is the nicest compliment you have received from someone who has purchased your art?
RJ: I’m a nostalgic and sentimental guy. I love old stories and good memories. I paint because I want to give my clients something they can see and touch when they think of their fondest memories. I think this quote say’s it all.
“I've received many gifts throughout my life. This painting by Rob Jackson is in a category of its own. It has become the centerpiece of my home. The craftsmanship is evident from corner to corner. When most people dream about the past, they see their memories in black and white. Looking at this painting brings my most fond memories back to life in living color. Thanks Rob!”
-Pro Bowl DE Adewale Ogunleye
DT: As an artist, what inspires you to create and be creative?
RJ: At first I would be inspired to paint by watching a game or seeing a photo that I wanted to recreate. Now, I think my inspiration to create stems from competitiveness. Everyone likes to be thought of as the best at what they do. I’m no different; I strive to be recognized as one of the greatest artists. There’s also an internal competition. I take a lot of pride in being a self-taught artist so I always set out to make the next painting my best one yet.
If you'd like to nominate a local resident for a BubbleLife community profile, contact Dawn Tongish at email@example.com or find her on Twitter at @DawnTongish.