Justin Winkel is a self-taught artist and gallery owner from Baltimore, Maryland. As an Abstract Artist, Justin works in a variety of mediums with the use of bold colors & texture. In 2005, Justin experienced a traumatic loss that truly reshaped his life and caused him to struggle with personal direction and purpose.
After 8 years of uncertainty and choice decisions, in February 2013, at the age of 23, Justin turned to art as a new hobby and stress reliever. The moment Justin put a paintbrush to the canvas, was the first time he felt true peace within his life. He recalls the moment as, 'A euphoric feeling with the room turning white, empty, and spacious; with only me and my art supplies being present.'
His new found outlet helped him overcome his battle with depression and helped him find a new passion and regain his sense of purpose. Justin was just three months away from graduating from The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), with a degree in Business Technology Administration when he started painting.
With graduation approaching Justin was uncertain of the career path that he wanted to embark on. Initially painting was just a therapeutic activity and Justin had no intentions of having a career in arts. But he developed this love and burning desire for art. Witnessing how painting had truly impacted his life in such a positive way, Justin decided to take art more seriously and attempted to make it his career.
Two years into his painting career, in May 2015 Justin opened his own Art Gallery, Winkel Gallery, located in the historic neighborhood of Fells Point, Maryland, which houses his permanent collection.
To date Justin has sold works that are represented in many private collections across the United States as well as London and Australia. Art changed Justin’s life for the better and now his plan is to share his story in hopes to help someone else who is in a similar situation.
We sat down with Justin to ask him a few questions;
The Art Districts: At what age did you start painting, and what got you started?
Justin Winkel: I started painting at the age of 23. I started painting as a form of stress relief. At that time I was extremely stressed out, I was working and going to school full time. I was approaching graduation with no clue what I wanted to do. So painting started as just a therapeutic activity to help me relax at night.
TAD: Was becoming an artist always a dream of yours, and what were some of your other dreams growing up?
JW: No being an artist was never something I ever thought of as a child. When I was growing up I was very involved with sports and I dreamt about becoming a professional athlete.
TAD: Obviously being an artist is one of the coolest professions in the world, but if being an artist wasn't your first choice, what was?
JW: I love everything about being an artist. Art is my new found love of course, but my first love was basketball. So if I was not an artist I would very much enjoy playing in the NBA.
TAD: As an artist who are your biggest inspirations and why?
JW: My biggest inspiration is probably my father. H