In Arts & Entertainment

Sail with style this summer.

Art Hustle: Jeff Redmon sees canvases in everyday objects

Know someone who's an art hustler? We're writing stories about freelance creatives making it work in Milwaukee. Email molly@onmilwaukee.com with nominees.

Working as a full-time artist is a hustle no matter where you live, and Milwaukee isn't an exception. Many artists get creative with how they earn money, especially if they want it to remain within the realm of art and not take on jobs in other fields.

Jeff Redmon is an artist, designer and curator with a passion for organizing events that inspire and strengthen communities. He and his wife Dana will open a new art space called Scout Gallery on Mitchell Street in June. He also knows how to diversify his talents to support himself and his family.

Helping people to imagine design in unexpected places is part of Redmon's life work. He routinely mocks up artwork on buildings and objects to show possible clients what is possible.

"I've painted on all types of things including headphones, skate decks, chairs, a refrigerator and cars to name a few," says Redmon. "Artists repeatedly face rejection so it is important to be resilient, or just to have a short memory."

Redmon has also created large-scale artwork including murals over the years. His current dream is to paint an outdoor basketball court. "I have a few designs ready to go, so maybe this summer I can make that happen," he says.

Recently, Dana suggested that Redmon design boat sails.

"I thought that was a really cool idea. What an amazing canvas to work with. It seems like an untapped market for people to further express their individuality," says Redmon.

Redmon's style of colorful, abstract art seems like a natural fit for a boat sail. And yet, it's something few to none would have thought of when looking at one of his paintings. It is, to coin a cliche, thinking outside the box.

Redmon is currently accepting orders for one-of-a-kind sail designs and plans to work on them, along with many other projects, this spring and summer. "Exciting things happen when people put their trust in an artist, empowering them to create, without restricting their creativity," says Redmon.

Part of his success is his ability to come up with new ideas, but also to let go of something if it doesn't work out.

"For me if an idea doesn't take, I just move on to the next thing. There is no shortage of ideas," says Redmon. "If I were to tell another artist what it takes to make it I would say that it is a combination of patience, passion and a strong foundation of people around you."

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