How an outlet for Bipolar disorder turned into a life’s passion…
Being given the devastating and life altering diagnosis of Bipolar disorder may not seem like it would inspire the creation of beautiful acrylic paintings or be the origin of an entirely unique artistic movement, but that is exactly what happened with Joshua Blankinship. After a lifetime of balancing ever-changing emotions, it wasn’t until Blankinship received a formal diagnosis and the recommendation of art therapy that his life began the process of stability. The visual release of those emotions through color and texture onto a blank canvas became both healing and comforting. The act of painting and creating felt completely natural and filled a void that he never realized existed.
Joshua Blankinship had expressed an abundance of creativity along with unconventional problem solving his entire life. Although the treatments for his infant and toddler seizures were supposed to incite developmental delays, he flourished in "Gifted" and Honors classes throughout his educational life and excelled in creative writing. But, once he began college at age 17, his plummeting mental stability left him virtually incapacitated. After various stints in several inpatient mental health facilities, his diagnosis became clear---Bipolar disorder was the fuel that fed his engine of self-destruction.
Interestingly, the very mental illness that ravaged his life also seemed to be what ignited his creativity and unique views on what's considered beautiful and why they're considered as such. Upon researching the history of the disorder and the famously afflicted victims, he noticed that many of the most creative people in history were linked to a Bipolar diagnosis. From Ernest Hemingway to Vincent Van Gogh---from Kurt Cobain to Jackson Pollock, Joshua realized that his greatest weakness had the potential ability to change the world.
After years of practicing his craft via a constant obsession with painting and creating pieces that he hoped would present to the world the physical manifestations of his unique visual outlook that were crafted by his emotions, Blankinship felt comfortable sharing his work. The reception from the general public, others who suffered from Bipolar, and the art world was electric. Sales and requests for pieces surged. Joshua was asked to display his work in multiple solo and group exhibitions. Other established artists began attempts to replicate his style. And since, the subsequent momentum and excitement for his work has only escalated. It was this overwhelming popularity and demand that birthed the "Impressivism" movement---a term created by an artist friend who deemed that Joshua's work was a modern mix of "Impressionism" and "Expressionism." This title, along with the past artistic movements that Joshua's work molds in a uniquely modern way, seems to provide the perfect description of the vibrant colors and varying textures that are present in each Joshua Blankinship Original.
Professional life: Joshua is originally from Medina, TN, but was offered and accepted a 1 year artist's residency in Kinston, NC, USA. Most recently he won Leonid Afremov/Afremov.com's "Art for Peace" original art competition. He's been showcased in multiple solo and group exhibitions across the southern United States. He's a member of 2 art galleries and has custom commissions hanging in the State of Tennessee's Governor's Mansion as well as homes of multiple celebrities---including the Memphis Grizzlies' superstar and 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year, Ja Morant, Tennessee Titans All-Pro Defensive Lineman, Jurrell Casey, the estate of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Carl Perkins, the estate of NBA All Star, Brandon Ingram, etc.... He's sold pieces all over the world and many more of his pieces can be seen showcased in various regional businesses and public institutions. His work was obtained by Netflix for use in the Adam Sandler and Lebron James produced film titled "Hustle" as well as Paramount's mini-series "George and Tammy" that documents the relationship between country music legends, George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Most recently, Joshua provided the cover art for James Cherry's re-release of his novel, "Edge of the Wind." Joshua's art has also been the subject and study of a collegiate art class at Union University in Jackson, TN as well as features in multiple print, news, and web publications.
Personal life: Joshua is married to a beautiful wife, Rachel. They have 2 children together and reside in Medina, TN.