Meet the Artist: JONATHAN STEMBERGER

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I met Jonathan Stemberger at Lake Eola one night. He was drawing along the lakeside. It was dark, and late, and my roommate and I had just decided to take a stroll. I kept his sticker and his passion for art and storytelling of the world around him stuck with me too. His talent is energizing and raw and surprising. Let’s get to know this Orlando artist in his own words. (Hang onto your hat!)

Your motto: “Did it make it onto the page?” Jason Burrell Drawing I UCF Spring 2016. Someone might have a lot of interesting ideas and aspirations but does anything make it onto the page? Even if the results aren’t ideal, at least something made it onto the page and can be worked from and edited. 

Childhood memento: Toolbox of found objects. My parents believed I possessed a speech impediment and told me create a show and tell company. Foreign currency, animal teeth, human teeth, wild cotton flowers, a dehydrated leopard frog, a severed ceramic duck head, Chinese umbrella scrolls. 

Recent acquisition for your home or workspace: A crockpot. Barbara found a six-quart Corningware. Slow cooking is good cooking, fingers getting longer wrinkling in ponds of potatoes. Pigheads circle the olive branches. 

Current obsession: Mimikyu. Child with Mimikyu doll said, “he isn’t scary, he just wants to be loved.” 

Favorite hobby: Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Children’s Games 1560 bottom center left of girl with drum and stick poop. 

Always on you: Rocko, Tofu, clock, compass, avocado, dagger, rabbit’s foot, roses.  

Favorite neighborhood restaurant(s): 903 Mills Market. Market on South. Tako Cheena. Lazy Moon. Anh Hong. Dandelion Communitea. Sticky Rice. Black Bean Deli. Beefy King. KFC/Long John Silvers. Da Kine Poke. Brazas Chicken. District at Mills. Sus Hi Eat Station. A few I frequent for magic three pointers, hail kales, cod tacos, boxcar boxcar boxcar, 106A, summer of love rolls, chicken soup, vegetarian plate, orange milkshake, fried seafood in chicken oil, eel sauce and avocado ceviche, lettuce wrap, tempura burritos. 

Favorite museum: Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art. Daytona Beach. Florida Impressionism. Watermelon Dreams is my favorite painting there. 

Best gift recently received: Sketchbook #9. Tom Marcone gave it to me. 

At the top of your to-do list: Laundry. $1.50 wash. $1.75 dryer. 

The thing you most love about your city: Selling the boy, keeping the dog beside coffee shop clichés rouge rooms smoking parking garages wondering who lives here between a soup bowl and retro paid cardboard boxes; the clouds are great. 

Best thing about what you do: Drawing. I really enjoy drawing. 

Favorite drink: Mousse matcha boba tea from ROYALTEA. A clever commentary on the Mills 50 district jovial cream cheese foam on who gives a green additional add-on galaxies kind of like knowing you have a good car battery.

Always in your fridge: A bottle of fish sauce unknown expiration. Smells like cat ear lobes and elevates particular recipes such as papaya salads. 

On your nightstand: The Bible. 

A film that holds a special place in your heart: Walt Disney’s Tall Tale 1995. A cereal bowl through dachshund-shag-carpet trigger fingered Pecos Bill, John Henry and Paul Bunyan were heroes in time when heroes were hard to find.  Not through our land. 

Your top three most used emojis: Money With Wings, Flower Bouquet and Kiss Mark.

A film that you think defines American culture: The Fifth Element. 

Drawing pen or pencil you love best: BiC Round Stic.

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