Born in Nashville and raised on a farm, artist Blake Blanco doesn’t come armed with a fancy-pants art school degree. When you meet him in person, he certainly doesn’t fit the cliché picture of an oil painter. Take a look at his artwork, and the aforementioned are galvanizing footnotes to this inspiring story of a rising star in Seattle’s art scene. As Blanco openly jokes, “Yeah, people really don’t expect this from me.”
The plot of Blanco’s life path is undoubtedly curious. Following a move to Los Angeles at age 21, he found himself working at a clothing store, ultimately finding the attention-grabbing and fast-paced nature of the SoCal landscape more isolating than invigorating. Realizing that he couldn’t concentrate within the constant hustle and bustle of L.A., he returned to Nashville to focus on his artistic pursuits. There, he spent thousands of dollars on art supplies that he’d never used before and got to work pushing pigment and himself.
These days, the intricacies of Blanco’s oil paintings—especially his portraits—are testament to a soulful diligence in the approach to his craft. These pieces possess a compelling capacity to draw viewers in, both in awe and appreciation of the thoughtful detail. Those who know Blanco know him to be sketching, drawing, painting and, oftentimes, up all night. While working a day job may still be necessary, he spends equal, if not more, time painting and perfecting his artwork. As Blanco is quick to point out, “When things click, it’s oftentimes only after hours of devastating frustration.”
All art aside, Blanco speaks with humble sincerity and overall care for humankind. “We live in a world where so many people are content to just sit around and talk about work. I have to do what I love. I believe we are all capable of discovering what we truly want to do.”