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Jefferson Say

Jefferson Say (b.1982) commonly referred to "Say", was born in West Africa. As a child, he emigrated with his family to the United States to escape the turmoil in the country. His father, seeking safety and opportunity for his family, chose to relocate in North Carolina. Say attended a private school and excelled in art, discovering his unknown artistic talents for the first time. At age 12, a teacher noticed his art skills and gave him extra work to do at home. Say would pull pictures out of magazines and repaint them in oil. His influences also came from the popular and iconic television show personality, Bob Ross. He never missed an episode, and learned from Ross how to paint "happy little clouds".

Say continued his art education in high school, during which the art teacher also noticed he excelled in painting. Say quickly became the instructor's assistant during class, and the support he received from his teachers made a profound impact on the artist he is today. During his college years at the Art Institute of Atlanta, Say's painting skills took a different direction as AlA only offered digital painting classes. Say quickly dived into this 'new' world of art expression; he learned to paint digitally. The knowledge he gained from digital painting carried through to his original hand paintings. As he explains, "Creating harmony with colors in my original paintings was something I took from my digital painting years." Say graduated from AlA in 2004, with a degree in Media Arts and Computer Animation.

Say currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, where he continues to enjoy digital animation. However, he has also immersed himself into the world of highly detailed paintings. He clarifies, "It calms my inner being. The work I do reflects my emotions of my place in the world around me as seen through the eyes of others." His perception of the world, or rather their perception of the world toward him, is that of a misplaced object. Say's series "Foreign Lands" is based on the juxtaposition of contrasting elements. Opposing entities create interest, leading the viewer to wonder how these forces are coexisting. Aside from the visually appealing aesthetics, the viewer must ponder the interactions taking place in the scene.

Say is influenced by artists like Michael Parkes, Odd Nerdrun, and Alfonse Mucho.


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