John Semerad

Soccer (acrylic, 3x8x10) by John Semerad was a finalist in the 2005 Art Competition in the Experimental category.

HOW HE GOT STARTED IN ART: ?In high school, I was on the football team and captain of the wrestling team. So it was a bit of a surprise when my art teacher told me I could be a professional artist when I took my first art class in tenth grade. She was the only professional artist I had met at that point, and I didn?t really know what that meant, but I?m realizing now that what she did was brave.

ART FOR A LIVING: ?I?m cofounder and Creative Director at Quiet Man, a visual effects and animation company in Manhattan. Whether special effects is art or not is a matter of opinion, but I approach everything with an artistic perspective, which separates me from the technology-first guys.?

ARTISTS HE ADMIRES: ?My two favorite artists are Norman Rockwell and Leroy Neiman, but I love all American illustrators.?

MEDIA AND GENRE: ?I paint in acrylics, and draw in everything from charcoal to pen and ink. The common denominator in my work is people?very few of my pieces lack people. I find commenting on the human condition to be the most interesting thing in the world.?

DIFFICULTIES IN PAINTING SOCCER: ?Every painting is full of surprises. You think you know how it?s going to turn out, but it?s always a journey. The most difficult aspect of this piece was the fact that I completed the three panels over two weeks apart from each other. Once I did all the studies, it took me four or five hours a panel and approximately three days all together. At such sporadic intervals, it?s difficult to keep a consistent palette and looseness.?

INSPIRATION FOR THIS PAINTING: ?Everyday events are the inspiration for this piece and for most of my work. I glorify or commemorate what some might see as commonplace. Thousands of young girls play soccer every weekend, which is not something worthy of notice except to the young girls playing the game. In this piece, my younger daughter, Dara, fell down, and for her it was a huge ordeal.?

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