Hunter Jonakin was born in North Alabama, which is where he spent his formative years. However, in his early twenties, he and a group of friends moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they played, recorded, and obsessed over every facet of underground/indie rock music. Ten years after venturing to the frigid north he went back to school and finished his BFA in visual art at the University of Minnesota. In 2011 he completed his MFA in studio art at Florida State University. Currently, he resides and makes art in Minneapolis, MN.
I am currently living in Minneapolis, Minnesota and I am an adjunct instructor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, as well as at the University of Minnesota. I am creating work, collaborating, and being happy.
As an undergrad at the University of Minnesota I learned about the art world as a whole, but as a grad student at Florida State I learned where I fit into the art world. I had time to focus my work, as opposed to directed projects in individual classes (which are still very valuable, but sometimes unrelated to an artist’s specific field of interest).
My advice to students would be to figure what makes you happy. How can you use that information to find your place in the art world? Is it education, exhibition, design, community involvement, public works, curating, or any combination of the endless facets of the creative world? It is not always an easy answer but it is essential. When you have answered that question you can focus all of your energy on achieving specific goals related to your field of interest. Make friends and create connections. Be eternally curious about the world. It can only make you grow. The more influences you can gather translates into increased focus within your own artistic voice.
Be open. Be kind. Work hard. Be happy.