Jun 8, 2020 7:32:21 PM

A Triumphant Human Story: A Conversation with Jared Dunten

Brian Beckcom

Brian Beckcom

Jun 8, 2020 7:32:21 PM

In this episode, Brian Beckcom speaks with Jared Dunten, who has overcome some serious life obstacles after being paralyzed when he was only 20 years old. Jared was paralyzed in an accident in the Rio Grande during a camping trip when he dove in the water and his head struck a sandbar. Fortunately, he was lucky enough to have a friend with him that was able to pull him from the river and keep him alive. 

In 2005, Jared was awarded a student scholarship by the Mouth and Foot Painters Association (MFPA). Since then, he has studied with painter Phillip Wade and world-renowned master painter, Edward Povey. 

Brian and Jared discuss his incredible journey: becoming a successful painter and overcoming the many obstacles of paralysis.

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They discuss: 

  • Why you “don’t eat an elephant all at once” and how incremental changes can make difficult adaptations easier 
  • Jared’s life-changing injury and his inspirational quest to overcome the obstacles of paralysis and become a great painter
  • Finding a balance between our immediate needs and our long-term obligations
  • The complexities of art and learning to “love the process”
  • The latest breakthroughs in spinal cord injury and paralysis research 
  • Winston Churchill’s “Painting as a Passtime” and the concept of “Wu Wei”
  • The value of compassion during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • And other topics


Jared Dunten is a copywriter and painter living in Austin Texas. Jared’s stoic outlook on life has helped him stand firm through the challenges of paralysis. His ability to relentlessly persevere through adversity is an inspiration to us all. Jared has established himself as a successful painter and his work has been on exhibition in Downtown Houston at the Bass Concert Hall and TIRR Memorial Herman. To connect with Jared or for commission inquiries, visit his website www. jdunten.com.

Read the show notes

[00:00:00] Brian Beckcom: [00:00:00] Hey everybody, this is Brian Beckcom at VB attorneys and I've got a really, really special guest. I've been looking forward to talking to my next guest for a very long time. He's a super busy guy. He has got a lot of stuff going on, and I'm really, really happy that he agreed to come on the podcast. I think everybody's really going to enjoy listening to Jared.

[00:00:22] So Jared, how you doing, man? 

[00:00:24] Jared Dunten: [00:00:24] Doing well, thanks for having me.  

[00:00:25] Brian Beckcom: [00:00:25] appreciate it. And so I got to ask you the first question I got to ask you, and I'm asking you, I'm asking the same question of all my guests, a pandemic, I assume you and your family have been in quarantine, so how you, you've got two, two boys and your wife.

[00:00:41] How are you guys doing? 

[00:00:42] Jared Dunten: [00:00:42] We're doing well. Always doing, they're doing great. It's tape. Uh, the third, it's one of those things that like, everybody. It's an adjustment. We started cheese round, spring break [00:01:00] whenever that was. Everyone's kind of lost track of time, days. But yeah, it's been going okay. It's, you know, as things loosen up and everyone gets a little more, uh, I dunno, casual.

[00:01:12] I think things have gotten better, but yeah, we are all doing well. Thankfully. All healthy, all, uh, you know, the big joke going around with. My friends around and all of us, everyone's had it gets it and stuff, and I get it too. It's tough stuff. I had a good friend of mine who said he lost his dad, and so it's close.

[00:01:38] So home, you know, when I do talk to my friends, you know, everyone's like, Jesus, this is terrible. Let's move on. It's like, man. You know, I've been on a ventilator and not something you want to do so you can avoid. Uh, so you know, those kinds of things. It's like you gotta be careful and [00:02:00] mindful all the time, that stuff and all this stuff that's going on, trying to follow the news and stay positive, which is, you know, that's a a fine line to walk, but things seem to be doing better.

[00:02:17] Brian Beckcom: [00:02:17] We're doing good. You know, I was talking last week to a Methodist pastor and he has two teenage daughters, and I was telling him that I have two teenage boys and a 12 year old girl who might as well be a teenager. And we've been in the house for essentially two months together. And he was like, well man, you know, college age is way better, but you've got kids, you've got boys that are even younger.

[00:02:40] What are your boys? Seven, eight, eight years old. So what, what are you guys. So how has that happened to eight year old boys in the house for basically three straight months? 

[00:02:51] Jared Dunten: [00:02:51] Man, I'll tell you right when all this it, I immediately started looking at psych profiles for submarine. [00:03:00] Uh, submariners like what makes it good submarine person?

[00:03:08] Yeah. Thankfully it's not that bad, but a lot of OCD. So there's some acceptable stuff. Yeah. You want to keep things clean and tidy. I do. I think about it as thinking like shit. You know, it's confined. A lot of people, I get along good to have her safe places to get away to. But 

[00:03:30] Brian Beckcom: [00:03:30] you had to walk the plank yet.

[00:03:32] Jared Dunten: [00:03:32] I have not. I have been swabbing the deck. Uh, you know, in good form. My wife's, the boys I think are more like passed away. So bays, I guess I'm just swapping generic, trying to keep my head down, my mouth shut and, uh, going on. But yeah, it's been okay. You know, that you're actually helped. Uh, my [00:04:00] mother-in-law have a pool and so.

[00:04:03] They can save and Switzerland, so that's been big. 

[00:04:08] Brian Beckcom: [00:04:08] Nice. 

[00:04:10] Jared Dunten: [00:04:10] That's why it's quiet. 

[00:04:13] Brian Beckcom: [00:04:13] Yeah. That's the one thing is like, you know, especially guys our 

[00:04:18] Jared Dunten: [00:04:18] age. 

[00:04:19] Brian Beckcom: [00:04:19] Yeah. Know I heard, I think it was Chris rock who said, guy, middle-aged guys with kids want three things. Food, sex and silence and not necessarily in that order.

[00:04:37] Jared Dunten: [00:04:37] Yeah. 

[00:04:38] Brian Beckcom: [00:04:38] Yeah. Well, Jared, uh, so a lot of people know who you are and I've already introduced you, but for the people who don't know who you are, tell us a little bit about where you're from. Sure. Where are you grew up, uh, who you are and how you kinda got to be where you are 

[00:04:55] Jared Dunten: [00:04:55] today. Well, the, I grew up kind of right outside of [00:05:00] Austin in the Lake Travis area, and went there for a long time.

[00:05:05] St Michael's eventually, and then on a and M and then, uh, Southwest, and then ended back up at the house. And we're. And still work for ESPN. It's a great ad agency in Austin. Yeah. As a writer, I've been working remotely for the last 20 years. When I've talked to people or I hear about the stuff that's going on a little like, well.

[00:05:36] Welcome to my world. I do this for 20 years, and, uh, now granted, you know, a potential death that's sort of way, this has not been a problem, thankfully. No. Other than just like trying to be healthy. Yeah. Yeah. As far as like working remotely, uh, just, it's been going on [00:06:00] for a while for me. So this is a new stuff and I joke like, I've actually seen.

[00:06:05] More people that I work with in the last month and I have from the last 10 to 15 years. Cause usually it's over teleconference, that sort of stuff. So it's been nice, you know, I feel kind of bad. I don't want to be, you know, playing the, uh, fiddle is Rome burns. Well, you know, it's really nice. Uh, everyone's all inside now and a pupil are, we're all working via computer.

[00:06:34] Whatever other formats. I've seen a lot of people. I had some amazing quality time with my boys. Cool. So, 

[00:06:46] Brian Beckcom: [00:06:46] well, so Jared, you, you were, the reason we know each other is because when you went to a, and, M, you were in the Corps cadets, and so you were what out? Remind me, what outfit were you.

[00:07:03] [00:07:00] Jared Dunten: [00:07:03] What's, that was 

[00:07:05] Brian Beckcom: [00:07:05] squad. So yeah, I was squadron. I was actually what we call it, tadpoles. So I played basketball my first year, and then I joined squadron 16 as a freshman my second year. Uh, and so we were at a and M and, and in the core together. And then when you were in, in 2000 when you were, I think you were a senior then.

[00:07:25] You were on a camping trip and tell us what happened on that camping 

[00:07:31] Jared Dunten: [00:07:31] trip. Yeah. I graduated in 90 well, I should have been 96 it's class 96. Yeah.

[00:07:42] Well, in 98, I took an extended talk and uh, and then I was. I got an internship and was working at the agency and that was out of my first vacation and a buddy and I had done hiking and [00:08:00] camping up in the Jesus mountains. And, uh, for a couple of days we come down on a map and, uh, Don over across the border in the book he is, and we run over there.

[00:08:14] And then I do have been to the hot Springs. Well, I guess it was a river next to the hot Springs if they had a sandbar. And I don't remember really thinking about him, but I broke my neck and right and see four or five. And, uh, thankfully my buddy was able to fish me out of the water. He literally was under the water, found me in the Rio, which, if you've ever been on the radio, it's, you know, hard to see anything.

[00:08:42] And, um, so I was real fortunate. He a Fishman the river and then helped me in the water for a couple hours because he wasn't really sure what to do. He was a boy scout, and at least he knew enough, no doctor move me. And [00:09:00] so, so they're yelling for help for hours, which, because of the injury, ideally you want to be in a hospital, uh, as soon as you can because of the swelling.

[00:09:11] We have an accident like that. Your spinal cord swells. And, uh, what happens is you don't get the blood supply to it. So essentially a part of that tissue dies. We don't have blood supply. And so, uh, that's problem. So basically it was, I don't remember any of this, so he's holding me in the water for a couple hours.

[00:09:32] And, uh, 

[00:09:33] Brian Beckcom: [00:09:33] were you conscious or unconscious at the 

[00:09:35] Jared Dunten: [00:09:35] top? Well, I, I, uh, I don't remember it. And he says, I was talking. And he says, we both knew it was bad of them there. Luckily, we had met some people on the, the Mexican side of the border and they had heard them after awhile. And so they came, see what was going on.

[00:10:00] [00:09:59] And then they went and got the park Rangers. The park Rangers took a vote, and I was taken from a boat to, uh, like a, I guess like a ambulance. And then take it from there too. Alpine and yeah, I don't remember any of this. You know, the story goes that basically it out on their like, I don't know what to tell ya.

[00:10:24] You know? And so then from there I was taken to London, which was, I guess the first baby or closest big hospital at that point. Sorry, I'm gonna cut her off. And um, so we went there. I was nice to you for I think like a month and a half or two months. And it was pretty touching cause I got really bad pneumonia.

[00:10:49] I took it a bunch of the Rio Grande. Yeah. And so I got really sick. 

[00:10:55] Brian Beckcom: [00:10:55] What's your first memory after, after jumping in the water? Was it in the [00:11:00] hospital? In ICU? 

[00:11:01] Jared Dunten: [00:11:01] Yeah, I see you. And that was still really a confusing time because I was on a lot of morphine. What they were trying to do was there ever an a such not my lungs.

[00:11:14] So, uh, I had some nasty stuff in there, so they'd run this thing in my trade call. And they would pull stuff out of my lungs and it was really painful and a lot of morphine. So things were really weird at that point. I see you as a very weird experience and it's kind of dreamy and they kind of, you know, a bad trip, I guess.

[00:11:40] I know this is creepy. So it was there for awhile and, uh, and I got really lucky, like there was a point where, you know, it was kinda like back and forth. And as far as gonna make it, not going to make it, I won't talk again. Uh, you know, he didn't know. [00:12:00] And so at the very end, I got really lucky. So what happens?

[00:12:04] Uh, there was a nurse there, I won't tell you your name. She might get in trouble for this. She's probably retired at this point, but, uh, so it was kind of towards the end. And the nurse was like, you got to get out of here. And she told my parents, you gotta get him outta here, your sacral to make it. It's gonna end up catching something else, fighting these other things.

[00:12:27] So between rounds, she slipped me a and ask for it to lower my temperature just enough to be able to catch a fly from Lubbock to Houston. And then once I got to Houston, I was in a rehab hospital. And that's 

[00:12:44] Brian Beckcom: [00:12:44] a BI, our, our tier was what we call it. And I want to talk about tier a little bit because I, I've, yeah, I've had clients that were in tier that were severely injured.

[00:12:56] And I just, I mean, and I, I know tons of people in Houston [00:13:00] note, I call it tear, constantly know what it is. And I mean, it, it is just, I'm not sure there's a better facility in the entire 

[00:13:08] Jared Dunten: [00:13:08] world. 

[00:13:11] Brian Beckcom: [00:13:11] Yeah. So after about two months, but before Jared, let me, so one of the big reasons I wanted to get you on the podcast is because there are people all over the world right now.

[00:13:23] They're going through really, really hard times like time, you know, none of us alive today have ever been through a pandemic like this. None of us alive today have been through a economic situation like this. So a lot of people, I think. Are having trouble processing these kinds of situations like it, it just came out of nowhere and you had the exact same situation.

[00:13:47] So when was it, I want to know, cause you're such an inspiring person. Oh, w when, when when you first found out that you may not be able to walk for a period of time because [00:14:00] eventually you're going to walk. That's, that's our goal, 

[00:14:02] right? 

[00:14:03] Brian Beckcom: [00:14:03] Yeah. But there was going to be a period of time where you were going to be in a wheelchair like.

[00:14:08] When you first found that out, how do you, how do you process process that in your head? 

[00:14:13] Jared Dunten: [00:14:13] Well, if I'm, I'm drawing parallels to us collectively, society, so myself, this news and all this kind of stuff. Mmm. At first you don't believe it, right? It'll never happen. Really. I was, I was ignorant about what a spinal cord injury.

[00:14:35] One paralysis. Plus I knew about paralysis. I didn't know how people were actually paralyzed. I didn't know that. The timeframe. Right. I really thought, Oh man, six months I'm going to be, you know, parallel Mars, like to see in the movies. Yeah. So I was like, all right, so, you know, uh, we laughed because I was like.

[00:14:58] You're gonna have to [00:15:00] put my chair membership on hold and I can get, you know, so I'm trying to like coordinate this stuff when I got to tear and was able to let up really kind of being more cognizant of what was going on. As I learned about all this, I was like, shit man, we're in for a, this is going to be longer than what I thought.

[00:15:18] Yep. And it still is. I mean, every day I'm like, really? Like we're not, I'm figuring this out. And, um, so I'll tell you the one thing, some bad advice with dr Gabriel. We'll start with the bad stuff first. 

[00:15:32] Brian Beckcom: [00:15:32] Yeah. Good, good. I like that. I like that. 

[00:15:36] Jared Dunten: [00:15:36] So he told me, he was like, you don't eat an elephant all at once.

[00:15:40] And, uh, and you know, at the time, I just want him to be like, you know, middle finger. Come on, give me something better to go with. And I didn't like it. I thought about it, and I've continued as I've quoting them today, and it is about breaking a little bit. Yeah. It's [00:16:00] cubits, if you will. Like if you look at the big picture, it's overwhelming for all of us, right?

[00:16:05] Yeah. I mean like you do feel like you've lost control. You've got, you know, you can control some things, but I'm constantly reminded you don't control a lot beyond your genetics. It's really just. One, you know, one day at a time and sometimes one minute at a time. And, uh, you got to keep those tracks do in your head, this dual track of, all right, so we're going to get through this and, you know, that's good.

[00:16:37] We're going to be better. You know, I think we're going to be stronger and better in some ways. And, uh. So you get the longterm track and you've got the short term. I'm really hungry. I need water. You know, the mass laws like that.

[00:16:55] So, you know, it's about, and it's constant. And I think, [00:17:00] uh, you know, I think we're all real hard on ourselves. I think, you know, especially, uh, in the bubble that we're in, we're . And because the more you are in our lives, and it's like sometimes if you need perspective, I'm like, flip on the television, get up in front of the computer, look at some world.

[00:17:24] It's like, damn, we've got a pretty good, yeah. You know the fridge full of food, climate controlled rooms. No one's breathing down our neck trying to kill us. So it's like pretty good stuff. So a lot of it is, is that, and again, this is on a good day. 

[00:17:41] Brian Beckcom: [00:17:41] Oh, sure. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and you know, it's interesting you put it the way you put it, because you know, Jared, I've found, at least for me personally, and I think some other people that when you think about, like one of the problems with this pandemic right now is it's so big.

[00:17:58] Like the [00:18:00] consequent, it affects literally everybody on EV in every corner of the globe. It affects people's health. It affects the economic system. We don't really know a lot about it. There's a lot of uncertainty, both from a scientific and an economic standpoint. And so if you start trying to, like you're saying, if you try to eat the elephant one bite and all you're thinking about is that is the big picture, it can be overwhelming for people at times.

[00:18:26] And so sometimes it's better, like you're saying. Let's, let's focus on what's in front of us now. Let's focus on what we can control. So I think that's, that's a, that's great advice. W what I want to hear from you now, and I'm really curious to hear the answer to this question. So you were, you know, I was reading your, uh, your bio beforehand, and I think you started painting roughly two years after you had your incident.

[00:18:52] And so tell us. How you got into painting? Like what, where did that, where did that come from? 

[00:18:59] Jared Dunten: [00:18:59] I'll tell you, man. [00:19:00] Uh, I laugh all the time, so I'm like, as I'm painting them, so like, this is, why did I pick, well, one, typically something that, you know, isn't necessarily lucrative, and then too, uh, it's not fast.

[00:19:15] Easy. Yeah. It's like, let's face it the hardest. Most antiquated form.

[00:19:26] Yeah, that's a great idea. But you know, it really was one of those things like, so in the 2000, right, that's my accident. Uh, internet, computers, everything very different. In 2000. You know, you think way back when and now as things are going even faster, things change even more. 

[00:19:47] Brian Beckcom: [00:19:47] Hard to, hard to believe how different it was back then.

[00:19:50] Jared Dunten: [00:19:50] It's crazy. I mean, our freshmen roommate, so if it was last night, it's a weird 92 so we started our Fisher night of two. My freshman [00:20:00] roommate comes to the door. He's like, I got an email address.

[00:20:06] Well, what are you talking about? What's an email? Well, now I can message people on campus. That's the dumbest thing ever. I'll never, 

[00:20:16] Brian Beckcom: [00:20:16] Jared, you know, I was, I was a computer science major day and M and I, I was a freshman in 91. And I had an email address. The problem was nobody else did. You couldn't even tell anybody.

[00:20:27] There's like 10 people email 

[00:20:28] Jared Dunten: [00:20:28] address. Every camp has got about 11 yeah, pretty short sided, but I also go back to that memory. Can I add? I was like, man, I'm never going to do that again. Like I don't ever want to go. Oh, I'll never catch on because wow. But my point is, so I was in a 2000. It was really a weird, like, what do you do?

[00:20:55] I mean, for my job as a writer in the ad [00:21:00] world, at that point, I did a lot of research online, but, uh, you know, that was what I was using it for. I wasn't like, you know, there was nothing social or, uh. Well, just all this stuff there is now. I mean, it's  it's like a, I hadn't thought of. Yeah. You know, so it's the dark ages.

[00:21:25] Yeah. Word 2000. And uh, so I'm still working, you know, but it's still like sending documents via email. And my mom I think is sick of seeing me, so she's like, I got a cabinet. Uh, we painted. That's insane. So take out the drawer. They take out the drawers. I do one drawer at a time and a painted. It's a mess.

[00:21:54] Well, it probably shut me up for a little bit. And it was like [00:22:00] accomplishment. It's like if you got a yard and you mow the yard and you could leave the yard. That was good. 

[00:22:07] Brian Beckcom: [00:22:07] You can see that's actually been finished. 

[00:22:10] Jared Dunten: [00:22:10] Yes, yes. Yeah. And that was something, there was, it's a full element too. There was a lot of, uh, you know, there's no, there's no script, there's no instruction manual, and it's a little bit like what's going on worldwide, that it's scary, but I'm also like, yeah, but like, no one's ever done that.

[00:22:33] So it's a little bit like walking a minute. It's terrifying. You can be, but it's also incredibly liberating. Like, you know, as soon as all this happened and everyone from our agency scrambling to go and work from home and the world, you know, places that are doing that, it was pretty cool in the sense that like no one's ever done it.

[00:22:57] We're all first. We're all like [00:23:00] walking on the moon here. Yeah. We don't know what to do. And so to me that was exciting. You know, it's just like, I mean, an email. We get to our agent where we are on the road, on the site. How many times can anyone Sue when the purse or, you know, we did something that no one's ever done while we're here.

[00:23:19] And, uh, this shit's real. And like. It's going on now, and we've never done it because you're right. It's been since the, after the purse. Uh, well we're one, they had, what was the, uh, Spanish flu right then w worldwide, and for the most part, uh, globally, I think it's been knocked out since then. So like you said, it's been about 102 years.

[00:23:46] And, uh, not a lot. 102 year olds remember all that. Yeah.

[00:23:56] Yeah. But, uh, but yeah, it's, it's one of those things [00:24:00] that, uh, I think that's the most, if they're, I don't want to say exhilarating life, interesting things to all of this is that we're all navigating or all experiencing something that is awful. And there really aren't words for how bad it is, but no one's ever done.

[00:24:20] Yeah. That's, that's pretty crazy to think that. I told my voice, like, look guys, you all are doing great. There's no, uh, there's no like, uh, there's no, you know, there's no plan for them. It's like, you know, no one, and I'm not going to say no one knew it was coming. There were people that said it was coming.

[00:24:41] But at the same time, you still don't know what it's going to look like, right, right. How it's going to affect you set every a corner of the globe, every little, uh, nook and cranny of the market, like everything has changed. And so I think that's a [00:25:00] good way to look at it. It's like maybe it won't go back the way it was moved.

[00:25:05] That's okay too. You know? Well, what's it look like going forward. You know, 

[00:25:10] Brian Beckcom: [00:25:10] I was, I was just talking to earlier today, I was talking to somebody about my office and you know, you just made the comment, maybe things won't go back the way they were and maybe that's okay. And we were just talking about like remote work at my office.

[00:25:24] I run a law office and you know, I have people in my office and this is this pandemic. We've been worked from home since spring break that clearly do not need to physically be in the office. There's no reason for them to do that. And some of these people have to drive. I have one lady, her name is Lauren.

[00:25:40] She has to drive an hour back and forth every day. She does not, and she has kids at home. She doesn't need to be in the office. So we're really right now, uh, a lot of small businesses are like this, trying to figure out what the future 

[00:25:56] Jared Dunten: [00:25:56] looks 

[00:25:56] Brian Beckcom: [00:25:56] like and nobody knows. And I love the way that you described it [00:26:00] as.

[00:26:00] You know, it's kind of like being walking on the moon. There's no footsteps ahead of any of us right now. We're kind of all walking, uh, fresh snow, so to speak. And so Jared, tell us, tell us, uh, w you know, one of the things that I think is really cool as you. I mean, you're a serious artist. I mean, you, you got a scholarship to 

[00:26:26] Jared Dunten: [00:26:26] that might be an oxymoron.

[00:26:28] Brian Beckcom: [00:26:28] What's that? 

[00:26:30] Jared Dunten: [00:26:30] I'm not, I mean, I know what you're saying. I 

[00:26:34] Brian Beckcom: [00:26:34] a mouth and foot a student scholarship to the mountain foot painters association. And uh, was that Luxenberg? I think our Lichtenstein. 

[00:26:43] Jared Dunten: [00:26:43] Great organization. Yeah, they were started and I think the. Well, let's say it was fifties or sixties and guy named segment and he lost his arms cause it Pollyanna and [00:27:00] became a really accomplished artist using this map, told the paintbrush and then that sort of thing.

[00:27:07] And he started this way back when and uh, it's been going and they represent artists all over the world. Yeah. People use their feet when you start mouth. And they, uh, you know, basically put work on postcards, calendars, all that sort of stuff. But it's a really good way, well, people and, uh, different countries to get the work out to make money, all these things.

[00:27:35] And they really, they're, they're great. They're based. So their American office based in that Atlanta, can I talk to him periodically? And basically what you do is you send work to them every year, and so I usually send anywhere from five to seven to 15 pieces every year they send it. And they [00:28:00] catalog it and then they use it.

[00:28:02] And so it's a pretty cool organization, really great. It was one of those things that I, I think, uh, I don't even know how I, God started with them, but it's a long process. It's a slow moving machine. So like you submit work and then they look at stuff and review it and then, and then they had someone come once they've gone through that process.

[00:28:28] Then they fly someone to meet you and two blocks with painting and talk to you about that sort of stuff. And the whole thing took about two years before you're actually accepted. And, uh, and that's how that works. And then, um, yeah. How did you, 

[00:28:47] Brian Beckcom: [00:28:47] how did you, you both had to. Because you, I, I assume you didn't grow up as a painter, so you had to learn how principles of painting that all painters, and then you had to learn how to [00:29:00] paint.

[00:29:00] Yeah. Which is obviously a different type of techniques. So tell, walk us through how it was you kind of learned the principles of painting and then how you learn how to do it with your mouth. 

[00:29:13] Jared Dunten: [00:29:13] It was so, um, so it really of kinda comes together in that. You know, they talk about advertising is where art and commerce, me, uh, I might get punched in the face for saying that, but like, you know, it's one of those places where you do have a lot of talents with people who aren't rural and you're, uh, trying to, you try to do or make something more than just just Hocking a product, right?

[00:29:42] You're trying to create something sometimes. And so on a, on a good day. Um, so I was in that world already, uh, as a writer and you worked with an art director. So, so I was fortunate that I was in this world. It was a pretty creative world. And, [00:30:00] uh, so I got to see kind of like the early, a digital camera, hi resident judges.

[00:30:08] How do you know how you're putting these things together 

[00:30:13] Brian Beckcom: [00:30:13] to post produce different things? 

[00:30:18] Jared Dunten: [00:30:18] I'm looking at these, I'm looking at prints and posters that we've all grown up, you know, all these, these, these monster, uh, people aren't as flies and I'm looking at the quality of life. Quality sucks, man. Like this could be better.

[00:30:37] I'd seen them in real life. And you're like, well, the poster looks nothing like the original. And, and, uh, so I was like, and this is something that you could do or, or, or make or improve upon. And so I really liked the idea too, of the process itself, creating something. Um. Whenever you know, as a [00:31:00] writer watching all that stuff, you basically right.

[00:31:03] A bunch of stuff and let's say client likes it and they decided to use that. Then it's the, uh, Oh shit, they bought it, now we're going to make it. And how are you doing it? Yeah. There's a lot of logistics and I like, I like the process. I liked learning about. Uh, not only, you know, creating an image to say a high risk camera, which you know, 20 years ago was the foreign, or, well, a lot of people talk about that stuff right now.

[00:31:36] It's pretty commonplace, but I just like the process. And so painting. Was this real weird, I started with watercolors because to me it was like all I needed was the paper watercolor and the water and abrupt, right? Yeah. Not much to it. Like, let's start with [00:32:00] simple. And then as I continued, I, uh, I started asking some artists that were local, like, can I watch, can I.

[00:32:11] You know, can I take classes and that sort of stuff. A real non formal and learning about millennials and uh, and there's in some ways, you know, just to get a canvas and put some paint on there, you can do that. You learn about the different techniques and I'm still learning. It's definitely a work in progress.

[00:32:36] The pain I'm working on is just practice for the next, it's ongoing. 

[00:32:44] Brian Beckcom: [00:32:44] There's no end. 

[00:32:45] Jared Dunten: [00:32:45] Yeah, yeah. There's hope. You're right. 

[00:32:48] Brian Beckcom: [00:32:48] You know, there's a great book, I don't know if you've read this, if you haven't read this, I would recommend it. I can't recommend it highly enough to you. It's called painting as a pastime, and it was written by Winston Churchill.

[00:32:57] Have you heard of it? 

[00:32:58] Jared Dunten: [00:32:58] Yeah, I have heard of it, [00:33:00] and I've, I've. I think I've read quotes and it's an incredible way to look at things differently and train your brain 

[00:33:10] Brian Beckcom: [00:33:10] absolutely. In Churchill talks about that. He says, once you start painting, and it's kind of like photography or, or, or artistic things, once you start.

[00:33:18] Painting. You start seeing the world differently. You start seeing colors. Oh, how would I, how would I represent that? What kind of shading would I use? Things of that nature. But the other thing he talks about, Jared, and I want you to speak to this a little bit because it sounds like what you're telling us is the painting was kind of a natural offshoot of your creative.

[00:33:40] You already, you already part of a creative community. The painting was kind of a natural offshoot of that, but one of the things that. Churchill talks about in the beginning of the book, and he kind of describes it in military terms because that's kind of the way he was, but he's like seeing that white blank canvas can be, 

[00:33:59] Jared Dunten: [00:33:59] I 

[00:34:00] [00:33:59] Brian Beckcom: [00:33:59] mean, it can be so scary, like how do you put the first Mark on?

[00:34:03] It's almost like a writer's block. Like how do you get started? Right. 

[00:34:07] Jared Dunten: [00:34:07] Okay. So I had the same question posed to me. Before my accident as a right Rudy star and I love, uh, Steven E responding to you. Don't get writer's block. You just keep riding pains a little bit similar. Now, one thing I do is a tray is on someone else.

[00:34:32] I've got like anywhere from four to five assistants, uh, just for painting the line therapy house. And, uh, they prepped the canvas first. And a lot of times, and I'll always pick the color and uh, you know, kind of go lighter, darker blue runner or whatever, but at least getting them first food on there is done.

[00:34:54] And it's like, it's no longer white, but there's other ways to do it in terms of like [00:35:00] doing the drawing and. It's such a weird thing, like what people want, what people expect, and the idea of art itself, uh, what is our winnings and our, what qualifies? And, you know, I kind of get the end of the day, I believe her allowed to, uh, you know, but however you want to and you know, something like this, something like that.

[00:35:26] And thank God, that's the greatest thing. Well, you know, my wife had taught her boys all the time. It would be so boring. Look the same. It's like, you know, it's, it's, it's wonderful because everything's so different.  it's wonderful. It's amazing. 

[00:35:45] Brian Beckcom: [00:35:45] So do you do like, 

[00:35:46] Jared Dunten: [00:35:46] when you, 

[00:35:49] Brian Beckcom: [00:35:49] and I want to talk a little bit more about the practical aspects as far as the inspiration goes, are most of your paintings.

[00:35:56] Commissioned, or most of the paintings you just create? Or is it a [00:36:00] mix? Like how, how does that work in for the paintings that aren't commissioned? Like how, where does your inspiration? 

[00:36:06] Jared Dunten: [00:36:06] It's a mix for sure. So, you know, I'm practical enough. It's like you gotta check some boxes, like the MFDA stuff. I got to get that stuff done.

[00:36:18] I know. And I've talked to them about it. Uh, that our lives for the most part on postcards and encounters. Okay, who's your demo? Who's buying that says, okay, this is what they like. So that's really kind of where I got started with flowers and a lot of that stuff ourselves. It's easy. People can put flowers on a wall.

[00:36:42] It, no one's going to be like, dude, why don't you have a house there? That's easy. You know, landscapes, flowers, in fact, even like horizontal. Yeah. They sell better than that. Square or vertical. Yeah. So there's these elements of practicality that [00:37:00] I had floating around. Um, so you know, you check those boxes.

[00:37:06] And then, uh, thankfully the commission work comes and goes. And so usually I'll have a couple staggered, but I'm working on, and then I get to kind of jump into what I wanted to do. And that's, that's the hard part. Yeah. That's staring at the white canvas. Like, what do you want to do? Um, so then it's a lot of times my first answers I don't that, you know, like what's going on.

[00:37:35] Well, what am I paying for? Uh, you know, sometimes I'll have shows at different places and that if I can get a bunch of stuff together, then you could have like theme, which kind of helps if it's random stuff. It's like one time I painted a heart. It was about. I mean, it's like Irish, six feet tall, four feet wide, giant 

[00:37:59] Brian Beckcom: [00:37:59] heart.

[00:37:59] I saw a [00:38:00] picture of that when I was looking at some of your art this morning. I was going to ask you about that, where 

[00:38:05] Jared Dunten: [00:38:05] I always love the story of John Henry, right? Like John hearing the hammer with tragic, but yet like he still beats the machine and uh, I always loved that and I was like, I'm going to be in a giant heart.

[00:38:18] I don't know if he's going to buy it. I might need, like, I don't know. Yeah. And uh, and I put the initials J H just as kind of like, I don't know. Let's see. To see if anyone's like, dude, is that John is someone, someone said that nice and they bought it and I love it and it looks awesome. It's kind of stuff like that.

[00:38:41] It's really what's interesting to me. You know, I grew up, my parents, all of our vacations were out West. So it's like New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona. So there's a lot of Southwest influence. I'm fascinated. Uh, nature [00:39:00] just continues to be incredible now that I've got eight year old boys. That's one of those things that we can all kind of watch together.

[00:39:08] Yeah. Not gonna. Uh, you know, a lot of red flags that are, you don't have to answer a lot of hard questions. Right. Right. In that moment, it's more than just like. Family things that we go watch. And uh, so that's the stuff that kind of interests me. I wanted to use some, uh, the space. That's really interesting.

[00:39:30] So two, eight year old woods, it's fun because it's like, yeah, you're relearning some of this stuff. I'm thinking about the things that we haven't thought about in what, 30 years, 30 plus years. 

[00:39:41] Brian Beckcom: [00:39:41] Yeah, for sure. So do you, do you have a preference for commission work or a kind of 

[00:39:48] Jared Dunten: [00:39:48] information

[00:39:56] being spread? That it really gave me a car [00:40:00] blocks. It was a really cool way. It all went out, so they. Contacted me through an interior designer. It was redoing their house. And, uh, and so it was right when all the, so the 19 lockdown stuff that's going on, like right in the very beginning. And, uh, so we got on a conference call probably about a month and a half ago, and, uh, you know, they weren't going to come to the studio.

[00:40:32] We're going to talk. And I was like, look, you know, I'm reading all this news. I've been on event, I don't want to do it, Ian. Well, if we do a conference call, yeah, let's do it. So we did it that way and it was great. And then she had this suggestion of, what about if I, we go up and arrest and I'll start throwing up stuff I like and my husband will too.

[00:40:56] And you know, you do the same. It will [00:41:00] react to what each other likes. And we'll also see a playlist. And I was like, alright, cool, how's this? I'm painting. So, so we did it that way. And so we kind of like narrowed in on what they were looking for. And it was, uh, it was abstract. And I was like, Oh, damn, I've never done anything.

[00:41:21] It's like, you know, so it was like, wow, how, how do I get my head around that? And, uh, and so. We'll see. But it was fun cause it was an adventure and it was something 

[00:41:36] Brian Beckcom: [00:41:36] that's really there. So you said a couple things there that are really cool, but first of all, I would, I would imagine, Jared, that, uh, somebody that commissions you and then kind of gives you 

[00:41:46] Jared Dunten: [00:41:46] freedom, 

[00:41:47] Brian Beckcom: [00:41:47] freedom, that probably puts a little more pressure on you.

[00:41:54] Jared Dunten: [00:41:54] In some ways. It's incredibly liberating. And then in other ways, it's daunting. Yeah. Maybe it's a [00:42:00] little bit like role only without the debt. Um, it's flying. Yeah. Do whatever you want to do. Mmm. Let us know. And of course, I want them to love it and be happy with that. And, uh, I think they, uh, you know, it's, it's very trusting and great of them to, to know that.

[00:42:23] You know, I'm not a J hole. Paint a black line. There it is. Give me the money. They don't want to work on something like working. Yeah. Getting to a place where like they haven't seen it. They've seen little bits of thesis and stuff, so we'll see. I'm excited. 

[00:42:41] Brian Beckcom: [00:42:41] You said something also that I wanted to flag that as soon as you send it.

[00:42:45] I was like, Oh man, that is super cool. You said you always listen to music when you paint. Yeah. That's like so cool. So tell us why, why you do that? 

[00:42:54] Jared Dunten: [00:42:54] Oh, man, I have to, uh, yeah. It's really the fuel, I'll tell ya. [00:43:00] Yeah. When I was nice to you before I saw a big music, I grew up with it. Uh, my mom always said, you back around.

[00:43:08] It's kind of that backdrop to your life. Mmm. I always had the music around in when I was nice to you. Uh, my friends. I think my first words or that, well, another story, the first words were, Oh, was it, uh, CCR? What? And everyone, no one knows what the hell. Some like old school country nurses, like he's talking about Creedence Clearwater revival and you know, I'm like, so they put us jam box in my room and just have music going.

[00:43:46] And so that was great. And that's just how I liked that back problems. And, uh, so the music's a big deal, and I always like having, and 

[00:43:57] Brian Beckcom: [00:43:57] that is so 

[00:43:58] Jared Dunten: [00:43:58] cool. 

[00:43:59] Brian Beckcom: [00:43:59] I wasn't, I [00:44:00] was a, uh, put in another podcast a couple of weeks ago with the author. Michael Lewis, who's written, you know, eight or nine really awesome bestselling books, including a money ball.

[00:44:11] I don't know if you've seen that. Liar's poker. He's written all these great books, but he was talking about how every book, I had a playlist. And they were different. And so, and then once he was done with the book, he would put the playlist away and he could go back 10 years later and listen to the playlist and it would put him back in that mental that he was in 

[00:44:33] Jared Dunten: [00:44:33] the 

[00:44:33] Brian Beckcom: [00:44:33] book.

[00:44:33] Yeah. So that, that is, that is, that is really cool. You know, I find when I really need to focus or really get in a flow state, that listening to music is one of the best ways. To do that. 

[00:44:46] Jared Dunten: [00:44:46] It is. And for the one that I'm doing now, the abstract. So they sent me a playlist and it was, it was hard rock. And I was like, alright, that's interesting.

[00:44:58] It's not mine. [00:45:00] I like that too. But I was like, okay, you know what? How am I going to approach that? So there were three songs by the Stooges. Uh, you know, Iggy pop, old school punk have put those on repeat for the drawing. And I just listened and I listened to it for. And it must've been six hours. Yeah. You know, I tried, I was like, apologize.

[00:45:25] I had had a time with my wife, sorry, but it was the, you know, it was the cadence. It was the, uh, the beat of it. There was going fast. And you know, you might think this, but you know, when you hear it over and over like a playlist, it kind of goes away. And then you get really into. What you're doing. And that's kind of how it was 

[00:45:51] Brian Beckcom: [00:45:51] that that is, that is so cool that that is so cool.

[00:45:54] You, cause you know, one of the things that Churchill talks about in his book and I, and again, I really hope you read it, is 

[00:46:00] [00:46:00] Jared Dunten: [00:46:00] people 

[00:46:00] Brian Beckcom: [00:46:00] that have other jobs for people that have especially real high pressure jobs, it's really hard to go from a really high pressure situation to just nothing to just completely unplugging.

[00:46:13] So Churchill talks about how painting is it. Is an active experience and it's a way to relax your mind and use a different part of your mind, and music is the exact same way, right? Music is a way to get into a flow state where you're not even, you're not thinking about anything you're just doing, and so you experienced that kind of thing.

[00:46:38] When you're painting, we're like, everything just drops away. 

[00:46:41] Jared Dunten: [00:46:41] Absolutely. Absolutely. And that my wife contests that 

[00:46:47] Brian Beckcom: [00:46:47] honey, it's time for dinner. Third time I've told you 

[00:46:50] Jared Dunten: [00:46:50] exactly right. Yeah. I mean, they talk about it in Buddhism. I think it's called the Wu way in the ideas to do without doing. Yeah. And to [00:47:00] know what the unknowing and you do, you get into kind of a meditator state where it's like everything else falls and you're looking at, uh, shades of a blue.

[00:47:12] For a while and then changing it. And that's, and it does happen. And, uh, one of the guys these guys have been paying for, Oh my God. Their whole lives. He compared it to meditation. Yeah. And I was like, you know, I kind of, I see that there are times in a good times when I get to that point. Sometimes it feels like a fist fight.

[00:47:37] Yeah. It's a total. It's like, shit, man, I'm in the weeds. I don't know what it's going to do. I don't want to waste my time. You know? It's, it's that sort of thing, but you know, you just kind of get hacked away through it and keep going. And that's really what I try to tell my voice. You know, as I'm telling them, when they're watching them, there's always a way to do something guys.

[00:47:59] Like, [00:48:00] yeah, there's always a way you can always figure stuff out. And that was the big mantra in a rehab hospital. It was never give up. And I was like, well, that's easy to say. Yeah, but there's some truth to it. And that is boiled down to its simplest terms. Just never go. Just keep, take it like one minute at a time.

[00:48:24] Sometimes it's one day, an hour a month, whatever, and you just keep those tracks where it's long term, short term. 

[00:48:33] Brian Beckcom: [00:48:33] Yep. I want to talk about, because I read this this morning too, and I thought this was really neat. You got, I don't know whether you were commissioned or I think you were commissioned to paint too large pieces for tier.

[00:48:47] Jared Dunten: [00:48:47] Yeah. 

[00:48:48] Brian Beckcom: [00:48:48] And there are, they still in the entryway 

[00:48:51] Jared Dunten: [00:48:51] as far as I know, either been stolen or

[00:48:59] Brian Beckcom: [00:48:59] so. [00:49:00] So for, for people aren't familiar with tier tier treats with people with catastrophic injuries, including a lot of people with paralysis. And so Jared, to paint two, two pieces to the, for the entryway to tear. So tell us. And the names of those two pieces, by the way, I think are super cool. So tell us about those pieces.

[00:49:22] Jared Dunten: [00:49:22] Yeah, absolutely. So getting back to, uh, you know, there's just some things that people, I even named for the most part, I don't, I don't think easy, and it's not quite fair, but, you know, flowers and landscapes, one of those things that's very different than, uh, something that. You know, because you have to answer for what you're hanging on the wall, right?

[00:49:46] Yeah. So we're going to keep that in mind. So as I'm painting a really, I'm looking at flowers, which I didn't think I would, uh, be something that I was looking at, but it's like, [00:50:00] wow, that's crazy. They're amazing. There's a lot to them. They're complicated. And I kind of landed and. I thought they were incredible.

[00:50:09] It seemed very simple. The more you study them, it's like she's there really, really complicated. And then the more I looked at him, the more they started working like vertebrae in your back and neck. Um, and that's, so I painted two really long. They're like 12 feet long by three or four feet high. And there are two really long white workers.

[00:50:35] And uh. One of them is kind of going into the hospital and it's a little more Haggar just the busted up stuff. And that's a little bit like, it felt like you're going into this hospital. It's not someplace you ever want to have to go, but thank God it's there. We need it. And uh, yeah. And that's how I was.

[00:50:57] I was pretty beat up when I went in. I came [00:51:00] out at least medically stable and knowing how to live. I don't know if I could do it, but you at least have the knowledge, right. And so the one going out is a lot smoother, a lot, and a lot more put together. But, uh, the names on them are C four and C five, which means, uh, in the vertebrae, you've got your cervical.

[00:51:27] And then you've got, right. So that's where you're, uh, you know, C7 and up. C7 is the first one you see on your back. Everyone's got a little bump. If you're CSUN and you've really done some bad shit, if you break those or mess those up. Yeah. And I will see four or five and, uh.

[00:51:56] Brian Beckcom: [00:51:56] I just think it's absolutely beautiful that people [00:52:00] that are going through the same or very similar things that you went through or that go through tier, I get to see two paintings teach frankly huge paintings by an alumnus of tear. And you know, the, the, the, the way that w where did you come up with the idea of painting a more broken orchid, more broken flower.

[00:52:23] On the left and then a more developed, more mature flower, and they're like, where did you get that idea? 

[00:52:29] Jared Dunten: [00:52:29] It was, I think it's back to advertising when, you know, if you will, uh, think about that art and commerce. Like usually there's some idea, it's a great ad with a great campaign. All those things. There's a, there's an idea, there's a concept there for the ones that are really good.

[00:52:50] Um. And that to me was like, what and how people were with tear, the idea you'd go in pretty broken [00:53:00] up, you come out much better. Um, and that's in its simplest form. Um, and so that's kind of where I landed on that idea. And where are you going to go to bed in a minute? As far as the flowers, I was like, well, you know, they look like vertebrae.

[00:53:15] And so, uh. That was kind of how they helped me. So that's how it got there. 

[00:53:21] Brian Beckcom: [00:53:21] You talk about in your, in your story, you talk about, and by the way, I wanna I, I want to ask you this before I forget, there's something, two things I wanted to ask you before I forget. Are you, cause I, for people to watch it on YouTube, you're leaning forward occasionally, I think you said earlier to help catch your breath.

[00:53:39] But has your mobility improved over time? 

[00:53:46] Jared Dunten: [00:53:46] I don't, you know, I don't think so. Like I want to say that I just wouldn't, like, it's getting better and you know, um, I think I get stronger. I think what I'd have to get stronger. Um, I [00:54:00] haven't had a moment where it's like, uh, I wasn't able to move my foot. Now I can the toe or pinky.

[00:54:08] The weird thing is so like, I've been to biofeedback. Which I don't know if 

[00:54:14] Brian Beckcom: [00:54:14] I've heard about that 

[00:54:15] Jared Dunten: [00:54:15] feedback. Yeah. You know, basically they can see if you're getting any signal to these muscles. I've been hooked up from my head to my toe, everything, and I have faith or trace signal to everything. Really.

[00:54:31] Yeah. So like a lot of my problems in my, well, I've got lots of problems. The biggest thing around the injury was that there was so much time from the time I had my accident until I was treated. And that was really what did the most damage. Mmm. But yeah. So, so I, uh. I have single everything. It's really just a matter of trying to, so either bypass or go through that damaged [00:55:00] area.

[00:55:01] Brian Beckcom: [00:55:01] Talk about painting yourself out of the wheelchair. Tell us what you mean by that. 

[00:55:07] Jared Dunten: [00:55:07] Well, the way I thought about it early on was, um, any platform, even talk like we're talking today, um, you know, if I want to S. An expert in sitcoms. We might not be talking right, but didn't do anything. I just sat home and that's fine to not knock.

[00:55:29] But I felt like, and I thought that the painting would allow him platform to, uh, to talk about spinal cord injury and talk about, uh, changing things in terms of, you know, whether it's research, which is ongoing. And there's always interesting things going on. Mmm. And that sort of thing, and just give me kind of a, a platform to voice what it is.

[00:55:57] Because quite frankly, like I said, until I was injured, I [00:56:00] had no idea why people, no, I didn't know anything about process really. I knew what it was, but I really thought it through, like what I said, how long does it take? How do they do that stuff? So it was like, you know, Christopher Reeves. I'm not sure when his accent was, but he really gave it a face and kind of put it out there.

[00:56:20] Yeah. 

[00:56:21] Brian Beckcom: [00:56:21] So how's the, what's the latest research on that? Is there anything that you've read pretty promising? 

[00:56:28] Jared Dunten: [00:56:28] You know, I really do. I think, I think there's a lot of great stuff. I think the big leap is going to be from a small primary to humans. Uh, I think that's the part that's really. In my mind, that stuff I've followed, people I've talked to seems to be the big two big leap.

[00:56:49] Um, which is tough to see all the time because it's been 15, 20 years. But I had my accident and there [00:57:00] has been stuff where a lot of the lab rats were walking and stuff like that, moving it into clinical trials, uh, expensive. And it's time consuming. 

[00:57:13] Brian Beckcom: [00:57:13] What about the, what about the idea of, and I'm sure we'll be able to do this, matter of fact, I'm a hundred percent sure we'll be able to do this at some point.

[00:57:21] I don't know how long down the road it is, but what about the idea of having like essentially an exoskeleton or some sort of mechanical way to control your emotions? I know it wouldn't be the same as probably happened, 

[00:57:35] Jared Dunten: [00:57:35] but yeah, I think it's a great question. Yeah, the exoskeleton, they actually found something.

[00:57:42] So they've been messing with and working on tier like that. And there are a lot of things like that. My, my stomach,

[00:57:57] Brian Beckcom: [00:57:57] you'd be even cooler, 

[00:58:00] [00:57:59] Jared Dunten: [00:57:59] something like that. So there is a lot of stuff like that. So to your point, you're right because. It is different still. Uh, but that is the thing that's going on and it's a lot like, I mean, haven't seen, no, the power chair versus the first one was different in some ways. Like it's smoother, it's easier to try things like that.

[00:58:23] Um, there have been changes. So technically, like from a technology standpoint, stuff like that, it's gotten better too. Even the computer interface. The software. Uh, all that stuff, voice recognition on the phone, uh, things like that. Everything's getting better. It's really, um, and when I got out of the hospital here, a lot of the talk was like, you got to stay healthy cause you never know when it's going to change.

[00:58:53] And I do, I do think that like, you know, my life changed in an instant. So why [00:59:00] couldn't that change? 

[00:59:02] Brian Beckcom: [00:59:02] What, what uh, what, uh, absolutely, great quote. That is such a great way to look at things. And, you know, Jerry, the other thing I think we can say with, uh, almost complete certainty is we know technology will get better.

[00:59:17] It's not going to go the opposite direction, right? So we know for sure things are going to get better. And the other thing is, is. We also know, I think that the pace of technology accelerates not on a linear basis, but on almost an exponential basis. So like we were talking about earlier, in 1999 there were some those smartphones, and then five years later, they're ubiquitous.

[00:59:39] Like everybody in the world has a smartphone. It happened like in a blink of an eye, 

[00:59:45] Jared Dunten: [00:59:45] right.

[00:59:52] As AI continues and you know, the technology, like you said, it's not [01:00:00] linear. It's, it's like a rocket straight up. It's incredible. Which is 

[01:00:06] Brian Beckcom: [01:00:06] perfect timing for me to ask him. My next question. You're wearing a NASA shirt today. I want, I got to ask you why you're wearing a NASA shirt 

[01:00:12] Jared Dunten: [01:00:12] today. So, yeah, I didn't think about it.

[01:00:16] Um, we went there, I guess two years or three years ago. On a Christmas, I think it was break or holiday break for, we took the boys there. They loved it there. You know, we all get to eat out over rockets and space, so that was all really cool. 

[01:00:39] Brian Beckcom: [01:00:39] I was going to ask you if you were wearing that because of the rocket launch that is happening, I think either today or tomorrow, maybe.

[01:00:46] Jared Dunten: [01:00:46] Yes. Yes. Uh, some of them earlier, they asked me the same thing. That's like what I heard about it. Yeah. 

[01:00:56] Brian Beckcom: [01:00:56] Well, Jared, I, I, I hesitate to ask you this question [01:01:00] because this is almost like asking you who your favorite kid is, but you have a favorite work or a favorite piece that you've done or a couple of them maybe something you're particularly 

[01:01:10] Jared Dunten: [01:01:10] proud of.

[01:01:11] I think it's a great question. I think it's fair. I'm going to say no.

[01:01:20] Yeah. I mean, they are really, it's crazy. Cause I'll see stuff and I'll forget about it because usually in every beast there's like a little part that I love and a little part that I hate in every work. Uh, so when I see it, see one that I've done, I haven't seen or longer, I'll like, Oh yeah. So it's kind of like the playlist.

[01:01:40] It brings it all really back to my 

[01:01:43] Brian Beckcom: [01:01:43] painting and go, man, I want to go and just change that. 

[01:01:48] Jared Dunten: [01:01:48] Yeah, they're never finished. That's when they're better. You lead them to where you know, if they're finished. Uh, but if you leave one more [01:02:00] there. Kind of a finished term, but it's like it keeps it alive when it's finished.

[01:02:06] It's said it's 

[01:02:08] Brian Beckcom: [01:02:08] almost like having a child and then you know, at some point you got to let them go. I mean, they may not be perfect. They may not do everything you want them to do, but at some point you got to just let them 

[01:02:19] Jared Dunten: [01:02:19] go. Right? It's the faith. You're launching a rocket. It's going on into the world. As an ambassador diplomat and mine.

[01:02:29] You know, yo, go with God. You really never know. And I've had people that have seen more. It didn't know it was mine. They contacted me later. People that knew me but had no idea my work was there. Uh, so you just stopped that part of school and then they, they got a life of their own. 

[01:02:49] Brian Beckcom: [01:02:49] So Jared, before we, before we stop and I want to make sure that I think it, it's appropriate to say that.

[01:02:56] Yes, you're the artist, but you've got a team helping you. Right. So it's not [01:03:00] just you, you, you've got it. You've got a group of people that help you talk a little bit about the team that helps 

[01:03:05] Jared Dunten: [01:03:05] you. Yeah. It's no small task as far as just sustainable. No. My, my wife. Interesting. Amazing. I couldn't do anything without her.

[01:03:17] It all revolves around, uh, that you have to able to, I dunno, respect crops. You're aware of it, that it's difficult. It's tar, you know, she does so much for all of us, and we have people that that help us because one person couldn't do it all, just no way. And so, you know, I've got it. I'm back in the schedules where I'm not a morning person that comes in and helps me.

[01:03:46] One thing, a person model Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. So it's really like I'm a fortunate number. I'm blessed because she's amazing. My wife's crazy, and all the people that come in. [01:04:00] Thankfully we've had good experiences and they've worked with with me for, or like 67. 

[01:04:06] Brian Beckcom: [01:04:06] Ears, and they mix the paint and they help set.

[01:04:11] Jared Dunten: [01:04:11] Yeah. I mean, they're for sure. Like, you know, a little bit more blue or red. Let's fix that. And so, you know, and then some of it palette. Yeah. I mean, it's, it's, uh, it's something to live for 20 years,

[01:04:31] so, yeah. 

[01:04:33] Brian Beckcom: [01:04:33] You used, you call yourself. A romantic and you say, make something beautiful, don't fold up and quit. Uh, I love those. I love those two thoughts. So tell us, uh, elaborate on that a little bit, if you don't mind. 

[01:04:48] Jared Dunten: [01:04:48] Well,

[01:04:52] you know, well, there was a painting that I did. It was the first big commission, and it was, uh, I think it's either [01:05:00] cheesy or tools, and it's this old. I think it was peeve Seattle. And the story goes, and I'm not butchering this plug, but basically there are tools inside of all of us. Here's a good one and a bad one.

[01:05:15] Whichever one you feed is one lives. So you start, and I don't, with that being said, you know, try, try to focus on those good things. I try to focus on those positive things for helpful, and it's really my wife and mine. I was, you know, my family and the people around me that I try to focus on and, you know, see those things, whether it's, you know, what's the best quote of 20, 20, uh, we have, uh, yeah.

[01:05:55] Or the little things, you know, it's tough. You know, [01:06:00] you're micro macro. You. You are constantly vacillating between the two. And so, um, that's what I try to do. But now it's like, you know, I fail all the time every day. And, uh, it's just like, you just gotta keep going, you know? And sometimes I can do it and then sometimes.

[01:06:24] You're like my wife, our joke that it's like, I give them all the time, end of the day, that I can do this. Like I handed off, like, you know, I don't know what to do. It's gotta be a reason I'm here. Keep questioning, keep pushing, keep, uh, keep trying. You know what's, what's the alternative? Yeah. It's like, it's still gonna.

[01:06:47] Yeah. Uh, I thought about it before though. Talk to us like, what am I to say? I don't know.

[01:06:57] Brian Beckcom: [01:06:57] It's so funny how many people think that 

[01:07:02] [01:07:00] Jared Dunten: [01:07:02] that was like, okay, so what? What am I going to say? And then I hop on and you got blink on them like. Jesus. He's elected to take two tours as a Marine Corps officer in Felicia. It's like, how do you follow that? I, uh,

[01:07:24] I got a buddy that was like, dude, just for yourself. It's, everyone's got their, their stuff that they're struggling with. Mmm. You know, if we're taking it back to the Corona, and again, it's like, at least we don't have a name for it. They should not point to it. And, uh, collectively it's like, man, if we can just get together, we can just be a little nicer to each other, a little more accepting, give everyone a hand.

[01:07:53] And I know we all have different ideas about how that works and how best to do that, but it's like, yeah, we've got to just be [01:08:00] good to each other and, uh, focus on those things. And there's just, you know, when you see so much bad stuff from see something negative things, you know, that's what you'd see attention.

[01:08:12] And so a lot of times we forget, there's a million wonderful, incredible things for everyone. Bad thing. And so it's like focus on those things, or at least take your mind off the bad things with that for a bit. So it's a practice. It's not preachy. I'm not a preacher. I'm telling myself this much. So, yeah.

[01:08:36] Brian Beckcom: [01:08:36] Well, and Jared, that is a perfect way, I think, to wrap up the podcast. I've, I've taken you over the time that I said I would take you, but one of the positive things I think people can focus on now during times like this is people like you. And the reason I wanted to get you. On the podcast was to give people [01:09:00] inspiration, show people that you can be faced with very difficult struggles, very difficult obstacles, and still be a joyful, romantic, optimistic person.

[01:09:13] Not all the time. I'm sure your wife would say you're not like that all the time. 

[01:09:17] Jared Dunten: [01:09:17] I'm telling you, it's a work in progress. 

[01:09:20] Brian Beckcom: [01:09:20] We're all working. 

[01:09:23] Jared Dunten: [01:09:23] We're all learning things every day and getting her face punched. You know, it's, it's hard for everybody and you gotta respect that. You gotta try. I fail all the time.

[01:09:34] So, you know, go easy on yourselves. 

[01:09:37] Brian Beckcom: [01:09:37] Well, you inspire me. You inspire a lot of people out there and just keep doing what you're doing, brother, man, I, I again, I, I love you. I'm so happy that you came on the podcast. I want to talk to you about maybe commissioning a painting at some point before we get off the phone.

[01:09:55] Jared, and you know, Blake was saying the same thing, by the way, when I talked to him, he goes, man, I need to get one in Jerrod's [01:10:00] paintings. You might be good

[01:10:04] Jared Dunten: [01:10:04] for let you go 

[01:10:05] Brian Beckcom: [01:10:05] tell people where they can find you online. 

[01:10:08] Jared Dunten: [01:10:08] It said that jacob.com and my name. And that's jaden.com and you can look through my work. I mean, there's a ton that, yeah, that's kind of the newer stuff and you can just email me what sites there questions. I'm happy. I love doing it and I love.

[01:10:31] Making some of her people and working with people to make something for their place. So I appreciate it. Thank you for having me on. Awesome. 

[01:10:40] Brian Beckcom: [01:10:40] I hope we have ag and football season this year. 

[01:10:44] Jared Dunten: [01:10:44] Have a good one. 

[01:10:45] Brian Beckcom: [01:10:45] Good one. 

[01:10:47] Jared Dunten: [01:10:47] All right, man. Let's get see you, Brian. 

[01:10:49] Brian Beckcom: [01:10:49] Good. See you, man. 

[01:10:50] Jared Dunten: [01:10:50] Thank you, Karen. 

[01:10:51] Brian Beckcom: [01:10:51] You too.