Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Fine Art Of Justin Herber

Justin Herber is one of my very favorite artists - and friends. I first wrote about his art when he had a show up at The Other Room back in 2010 - when it was the highlight of that year's Art Walk for me (though not officially a part of it, as is often the case). His wood stain pieces depicting celebrated musicians lined the walls, one cooler than the next. The one I loved the most was Bob Dylan (Minnesota), and I've dreamed of it ever since.

Well, guess what?! Justin hand delivered that Dylan piece to my house the very day of my Glögg Fest in December! I own an original Herber! I'll never get over it. As every person who has visited my pad since has stood in front of it with their mouths agape, I wanted to put out a public - and ecstatic! - thank you note to Justin, so others can know about (and acquire) their own piece of awesomeness.

Herber is from West Texas, and spent a big chunk of his childhood very sick - like in a bubble sick. That led him to drawing, not only as self-entertainment, but as a means of survival. He overcame his illness 100%, but never lost his passion for drawing and painting - which led to his attending Pepperdine University's art program out here in Malibu.

Since then, Herber's life has been all about art, story and travel. Currently the Creative Consultant for Tom's Shoes, Herber handles all of those aspects within one job - living the dream. He also worked with National Geographic, traveling the world to tell our stories through art and a vision of working together for a more positive world.

His wood stain pieces came out of his love of street art and stencils, but his family's Texas farm background led him to try working with more natural, organic materials ... and his style was born. I think that's also why I love them - I wouldn't be into some big hero-worship style photo (and I pretty much revile our celebrity culture, especially here in L.A.), but the woodsy elements appeal to my own background in Minnesota, and I absolutely love these works. Every one of them.

Painting icons can be tricky, but the warm elements of the wood make it all the more approachable, and somehow you feel more of a connection with the work - and the person - because of it. Like a giant photograph of Dylan somehow wouldn't be as cool, you know?

With all of Herber's travels and other projects taking up a lot of his time lately, he hasn't had as many shows for these fantastic images to be seen, but he's in talks to reproduce some of them as a line of prints, and maybe a cool line of cards.

He will also do works on commission (I feel like there needs to be a Herber Bob Marley and probably a Joe Strummer in the world ... etc.), but not of your baby. Yet. Icons.
I'm so happy there's such good, quality people in this world, that are also such world-class talents. It's always the best (and increasingly rare) when they're both, and Justin Herber surely is.

To discuss your own never-ending conversation piece, you may contact the artist at

Eternal thanks, Justin! - from this Girl From The North Country.

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