Award-Winning Artist and Designer


The original writings below represent different streams of consciousness over the course of my career as an art educator and professional artist. The words come from learned experiences. Most of my inspiration for art comes from my interest in what connects us all. Our common bonds usually spark random writings in my sketchbooks, which later evolve into sketches and paintings. Thus, I am often inspired artistically by what I write. Below is a collection of writings over the past couple of years. Most of them help me to better understand my world, and I hope they can also help others understand their world.

 -Jamar Simien


Joy is a forgotten quality. Happiness is something that happens to you. Joy is something that you choose. Like a home, it's a place in which you dwell. Happiness corresponds to a particular event, whereas joy supersedes your current circumstance. Joy is a choice. It's a choice that's counterintuitive. It's a peace that surpasses understanding. To choose to swim upstream is perceived to be foolish, only because it's such a foreign concept.


We cannot truly give, until we truly forgive.


Fear will either hold you hostage or set you free. There is no in-between.


Positive change is real and very possible. It just requires acceptance, discipline and a connection. Bridges yield change. The primary purpose of a bridge is to connect two disconnected elements. Not one substantial bridge on earth has been built by only one person. Instead, bridges are built through a collaborative effort of at least two individuals accepting new ideas, being disciplined enough to implement new ideas consistently...and designing something that will facilitate a meaningful connection forever. A bridge, in this case, isn't a route to another place, it's a path that leads you closer to who you were always meant to be.


The burden of belonging ties us all. Often times, adults exist in one world. A world that they may or may not belong in. A world that was created by their extensive past. With a fleeting past, children exist in many worlds at once, trying to figure out which one they belong in. Although different on many levels, the adult world is tethered to the child world by the burden of belonging.


We heard but we didn't listen. Sometimes we have to find a way to rise above the noise. Once you have risen to a space of silence, then you can truly listen to the person you should trust the most- yourself.


Opposition is easy. Proposition is hard.


If you refuse food long enough, you will die. If you refuse growth long enough, you will never live.


Legacies last forever. The first question we ask ourselves when we're leaving for a trip is what we'll pack. Our last trip will be the only one we don't pack for. Instead, we'll leave everything behind. When your question evolves from "what will I take?" to "what will I leave?"...the answers unfold right in front of you.


Tools are versatile. As much as tools can fix things, they can also destroy things. We are all a collection of our experiences. New experiences have the potential to create new tools...or give you the opportunity to use an old tool in a new way. Shared experiences create opportunities to share tools. A shared tool means that something has been sacrificed. Sacrifice yields change.


Life is one big book. Most of the time, we see things through our own eyes. But what if we looked at someone else's book? That one big book- about their life, not yours. What would it say about us? We are all destined to do the exact same thing one day. To pick up that big book, our book, and look through it. Most of us are concerned about our book, but are we concerned about theirs? Are we striving for others to one day use a highlighter or a Sharpie? Will we be circled or crossed out? Bookmarked or a torn page? If life is one big book, then where do you fall in a book that is not your own? No worries, I ask myself the same question sometimes. Connections are opportunities for meaningful experiences, good or bad. Your name will pop up every now and then in the book of every single person you interact with throughout your life. When they hold the book of their life in their final days...will they use the highlighter when they see your name...or the Sharpie? Will they circle that experience with you or cross it out? Will they place a bookmark to suggest a continuation of something that's good...or would they tear the sheet out completely? They're going from chapter to chapter with a highlighter, a Sharpie and a bookmark. What would they do when they think of you?


Many misconceptions build from one misconception. Are we coming back from vacation...or are we heading home? If we long for what we've left...does that mean that we don't desire what we're going to? The way we conceptualize who we are and what we do determines the lens through which we see things.


The younger people know about those things that change. The older people know about those things that do not change.


Strength is achieved through vulnerability. Similar to muscles growing under intense stress, iron can only be sharpened under intense pressure. Thousands of years ago, bronze was the medal of choice by most people. It was plentiful and fairly easy to work with. After a while, after using and trading most of the bronze they had access to, their supply started running low. That's when, either by human initiative or divine intervention, iron was discovered and it literally changed the world. It was more durable, stronger and most importantly- it could be sharpened without compromising its strength. It was used for tools that eventually built the world as we know it today. I think that every time we go through times of hardship, our iron is sharpened and we are able to build certain structures in our lives that could not exist before. These structures are designed to create a support system for our adversity in life. Even though the iron will be sharpened, I think it is absolutely our choice whether or not to build those structures that will support us until we leave. If the iron is sharpened and the structures are built, we refine our wisdom and widen our perspective with each obstacle, and use it not only for ourselves, but for others as well. 


Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.


They might forget what you said, but they won't forget how you made them feel.


The story is everlasting. They're waiting for you when you leave as much as they're waiting when you arrive. They knew you before you arrived as much as they knew you after you left. The story has no end and no beginning. The story is life.


A wise man once told me that the only thing you can truly lose is time. Once you lose it, you can never get it back. I remembered that. He gave me his time. So I'll give them mine.


We cannot fix each other. The other person can only make an environment fertile for us to fix ourselves.


The lost ones didn't lose their way. At some point in their journey they became invisible.