Team Manager and Advocate Jeff Weins
When not grinding in the office or hitting the road, Filtrate Eyewear's Team Manager and Advocate Jeff Weins spends his free time getting creative in the studio. We recently asked Jeff to share a little bit of what he does outside the office with us, why he does it, and how it started. This was his response...
"I love to make stuff, Simple as that. As long as I can remember I always enjoyed throwing some headphones on and blasting my favorite tunes and just sorta letting loose creatively . Growing up my best friends Chase and Albert and I would always surf, skate, snowboard, play guitar, cause mayhem and or make art. It wasn't till high school when I took an art class I really fell in love with creating art. Throughout the semester my teacher would give us specific projects to work on, and I f*cking hated it! So I would just start to paint whatever I wanted not caring about the grade I would receive for completely blowing off the project. However my Art Teacher Mr.Tran was a complete f*cking legend, He pulled me aside one day and told me he's not gonna ding my grade for not participating as long as I continue to put the same amount of effort and time in as everyone else, from there on is when I really started to love creating & learned how to just have fun with it. Throughout the rest of the year I continued to do my own thing in class making these weird colorful abstract backgrounds and then drawing a million little things over it until their was no more space to draw. I made about five of these pieces (which I hate now). After high school and into college and not being in an art class I sorta stopped painting for a bit, But I still had those pieces that I made hanging up throughout my house in Isla Vista, we'd have parties almost every night and I'd regularly be getting compliments and offers to buy the paintings I made even though I thought they were complete sh*t. I ended up selling one for a hundred dollars or something & as lame as it is, the money sorta sparked some motivation in me to start painting again. As a college student with no income a hundred bucks for something I enjoyed doing was a no brainer. So I continued to make little paintings till I ran out of space, money, and paint. One weekend a friend of mine came up from LA and saw all my art and told me I should get in contact with one of his friends from LA who is blowing up and making it as a full time artist. I was in doubt about the whole art thing. I had never thought about making art a career, at the time I thought it was beyond unrealistic. Regardless I reached out to his friend Kelcey Fisher and told him I make art too and I want to continue to pursue making and showing my art. Kelcey was super rad & supportive on the phone and told me he'd be in touch, about a month or two went by before I heard from him, Till one day he called and said "Hey I'm having a show tonight come down to my house and bring your portfolio, there will be some good contacts for you to meet", I was so f*cking pumped, but also so f*cking un prepared, I didn't have a portfolio or clue what I was doing, so I ran around my house like a mad man taking photos of my work with my iPhone and went to Kinkos and had a bunch of regular photos printed. I decided I'd bring a piece or two just cause my makeshift portfolio was so bad. I drove down to LA and pulled up to his house, I was beyond nervous I had no clue what to expect. I walked in and was instantly like what the f*ck am I doing here. This kid had these massive amazing pieces throughout his entire house as he was giving the tour, he then showed me his studio which was in the front of his house where he had a ton of new pieces in the works everything he was working on was so rad, creative and physically big. I seriously didn't want to show him my work. We went back into the living room where one of his colleagues was, we rapped out for a little had a beer or three, then he asked to see my portfolio. At the time I was so bummed to show him, I thought he was gonna straight laugh at me. Regardless I went and got my little portfolio out of the car and the piece I had brought down to show him. He scrolled through everything asking me how large the pieces were, if I had a website, If I had business cards, if I had ever showed my work before, along with which at the time seemed like a million other questions. After finishing flipping through it all, he got blunt with me and told me "I like your art, but these pieces are really small, you don't have a website, you don't have business cards etc." he then told me to get in contact with him when I do have larger pieces, a website and all that. The next day I went back to Santa Barbara and instantly began working on new stuff. Bought heaps of large canvasses and painted for a few days straight, then I built a website myself, and ordered my first batch of business cards. I literally called Kelcey back up less than week after I had met with him and told him I did everything he told me to do. I think he was a little shocked at first that I did everything so quick, but he was once again really supportive and told me he'd be in touch. Another month or two went by before I heard from him, then one day he rang me up and told me that Quicksilver was doing a POP UP Art Show at their new Venice location and that he had passed along my website and that they loved my work and would like me to participate in the show. I couldn't believe it, probably the best day of my life to this day. I had a month or so to prep and you better believe I did just that. I touched up every piece of f*cking art I had ever done. Finally the day of the show had arrived and I packed up my U-Haul and headed to LA, I remember showing up in a U-Haul and having all the other artist looking at me like what the f*ck is this kid doing in a U-haul. Every artist involved brought anywhere between two and four pieces, not me I brought a solid 20/25 pieces aha literally everything I had ever painted in my life, I didn't know or did I really care. The show went on to be a fun and successful night. We had over a thousand people come to the venue before it reached maximum capacity within the first hour, not your typical Art Show. From then on Kelcey pretty much took me under his wing showing me the ropes on what to price my pieces at, inspiring me to paint more, getting me into shows, letting me crash at his place, the whole nine. Without him I probably wouldn't have continued to make art on a consistent basis. After that show I was getting hit up by all sorts of people and companies (Google, Sole Bicycles, Native Union, Mike Posner, Child of Wild etc) I could have never imagined to do commission pieces for, It was a full snowball effect. I continued to make art full time for about a year or so and it was honestly amazing, I'd surf all day paint when I wanted, do whatever the f*ck I wanted. It was a dream come true. After a year or so though I honestly had to much free time on my hands I started to feel "unproductive" about my life. Which is when the opportunity at Filtrate presented itself. My good friend Matt Smith was running the marketing department and the Team and asked if i'd like to spend a day or two at the office a week and help out when needed. It was a perfect opportunity for me, I've always loved action sports and I had purchased a pair of Filtrates before I even realized I knew a friend who worked for them, not to mention it helped me feel a little more productive about myself and also so flexible it allowed me to continue to work on art. It helps that Filtrate office is a few blocks away from my studio. Which brings me to today. It has been about a year since I started working for Filtrate and I couldn't be more stoked to be apart of the team, The crew and working environment here is one anyone would be stoked to be apart of. They've always been super supportive towards my art and anytime I have a show or commission pieces I need to get done they let me skip out and do what I love to do. I'm still doing Art shows and commission pieces regularly while getting the opportunity to work with the Surf and Skate team for Filtrate, I love making art, I love incorporating photography and different mediums in my work, and as the time goes on my art is constantly evolving while remaining somewhat similar to what I first started painting and why I started painting, for the love...I couldn't be more stoked. So yeah I guess that's what I do, how it started, and why I do it. I Love my life."
For More of Jeffs Art and Upcoming Art Shows Check Out www.jeffweins.com