Kerream Jones (born 1978) is a native of Reading, Penn., and his interest in painting took hold during his first year in high school. "At first, I was [painting] as a hobby. I had these grand ideas, but I wasn't automatically talented. I wasn't always the best. I had to work hard toward [developing] my talent. There were occasions where I got my feelings hurt. But you have to get your feelings hurt sometimes. It motivated me and helped me to be focused." Having studied art and graphic design at the Art Institute of Atlanta and the American InterContinental University, Jones has already enjoyed a great measure of success as a fiercely independent artist, appearing in national publications and campaigns and marketing his work around the country at art shows. "There isn't an alternative," he says of the prospect of life without art. "Art is my life â€” it's like a breath of fresh air."