Fans pay tribute to their favorite bands in different ways. They get a tattoo, emulate a band member’s style, or take up an instrument. But sometimes the love of a band or can lead to developing your own unique talents.
Roseann Madia, an artist and single mother of five, has done just that. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois in the United States, she is the creator of “Bon Jovi Art” which has become quite popular with Bon Jovi fans around the world.
Her talent as an artist became obvious at the age of five when her kindergarten teacher asked the class to draw a picture of their mom. While the other kids drew stick figures, Roseann drew a very detailed rendition of her mom holding an upright vacuum. She went on pretty unaware of her talent, but her teachers persuaded her into entering contests. She was subsequently featured in local newspapers for her award winning art.
Roseann’s art falls into the “realism” category and has a very distinct style, although she finds it difficult to describe. Her method differs from most conventional artists because she begins painting each piece with her fingers, until they are too large for details. Very small brushes are then used to complete her work.
The Bon Jovi Connection
According to Roseann, Bon Jovi connotations have constantly (and oddly) followed her throughout her life. But it was only during a quiet moment three years ago that she decided to really listen to the songs. Taken in by the depth she felt in the lyrics, Roseann did some research to find out who the man fronting the band (Jon Bon Jovi) really was. After combing through countless articles and interviews she was inspired by what Jon had done with his talents, and by how many people around the world he had touched with his kindness. Jon’s story – where he’d been, how he got there and where he was going – made her feel as though she was “meant to find him”.
Painting Jon Bon Jovi
“I painted a single inspired portrait of Jon and posted it on Facebook. His fans from around the world loved it. They wanted more, so I painted more. I currently have approximately 100 portraits that I’ve done for fans from their concert photos, photo ops, etc. The paintings were created on my weekends off work. The progression of each piece was posted hourly for fans to watch and follow. It would take nine hours to complete a piece from start to finish. I generally use several photos, unless it’s a particular piece a fan has commissioned me to paint, and combine all of them in my head to create one painting. I use water based oils for all my pieces, on canvas panels, since I work at such a quick pace. I begin my piece by painting a swirling background with my fingers, and continue on to do the subject.”
“I’ve collected a few wonderful friends who frequent his concerts and allow me to use their images to create my pieces. Most of the fans have allowed me to use any of their photos I liked to help me create a piece, and were honored and flattered if I chose theirs. I never expected the thrill and excitement they would experience to see their hero come to life in my paintings. They love the process and their enthusiasm is very fulfilling. But my favorite part of the process has been to personally attend the concerts myself, get front row and take photos of Jon (and the boys) and then paint my own captured experience. There’s definitely something special about recreating my own shots from a show I’ve experienced in person.”
Time-lapse Video of One of the Many Jon Bon Jovi Inspired Oil Painted Portraits By Artist, Roseann Madia
Recognition from Jon Bon Jovi
“After doing about 50 paintings I decided I wanted, and needed to look this guy in the eye. It seemed pretty much impossible that I’d just run into him on the street, so I went on a ‘Jon Bon Jovi Runaway Trip’. I didn’t know what would happen when I met him, or how I’d react, but knew it was something I needed to do.
At the photo-op I stood in line for what seemed like an eternity until my turn came. Just to see Jon up close after painting his image so many times was very surreal and overwhelming. I took my spot next to him, arm in arm. I looked up at him, wanting to let him know that I’ve painted his face so many times. But before I could get a word out he interrupted my thoughts and said, ‘Oh, you’re the artist from Chicago who does all those paintings!’ (all the while making gestures with his hand as if he were painting). All I managed to get out was, ‘that would be me’, and my time with him was up.
After walking away, I almost fell to the floor when I realized that in those few, very brief seconds he gave me the personal recognition of telling me he knew who I was, what I do and what city I was from. It was a moment that remains very special to me.”
What Happens to the Finished Jon Bon Jovi Pieces?
“Most of the portraits I did for fun from familiar classic poses, or vintage photos were auctioned off to the fans on my Facebook page. I donate a portion of the sales from auctions and specials that I’ve held directly to the JBJ Soul Kitchen. I thought it only fair to give something back since it is Jon’s image, and he is the inspiration that started it all.”
Support from Bon Jovi Fans
“The fans have been simply and utterly amazing! They are very appreciative of my talent and I am grateful for their support. I currently have 4,500 followers from around the world on my Facebook page. The fans love watching me bring Jon to life. And when they actually purchase or win one and have it in their hands, they make sure I know that they’re completely overwhelmed with joy.”