Let me introduce you to Mr. Jonathan Blackmore.
I met Jonathan after he offered to take myself and my co-worker/best friend (Marshall Clay Reeves) to lunch one day. We all went to church together, and I guess he was attempting to actually get to know staff members (weird, I know...).
To be honest, I've not spent a ton of time with Jonathan, which is unfortunate because I've never had a bad time or a boring conversation with him. He didn't attend the church I was on staff with for too long before moving on, but we've been able to stay in touch via the magic of social media. His social media posts are almost always inspiring without any hint of cheese. (you know what I'm talking about). He's like the popular guy in the movie that is also a really genuine person.
Despite our limited time together, he's a guy that you naturally find yourself wanting to be around, and also be more like. When he speaks, you generally hear something wise or something funny...two things I'm very fond of. He chooses to value people, which is increasingly rare in our "all about me" society.
Enough commentary. Enjoy getting to know the latest fascinating person, Mr. Jonathan Blackmore.
Q: Summarize your life and who you are in a couple of sentences:
I’m a husband to an amazing wife, a father to 4 uniquely different children, a creative and someone who tries every day in any little way to help people feel a bit better about themselves.
Q: Where are you from, and how has it shaped you?
I was born in Sheffield, England. When I was 2 we moved to Inverallochy, Scotland. At 17 my family moved to New York. And 11 years ago I moved to Texas. I don’t get attached to places. Home is where the people I love are.
Q: Where do you currently live?
I live in McKinney TX. I’ve lived in Little Elm, Plano, Aubrey and Frisco (that not getting attached thing) and wish I’d lived in McKinney all along. Love it.
Q: What do you do for a living?
I’m the Textile Design director for JCPenney’s men’s division. I oversee the people who design tee shirt graphics, prints, patterns, plaids, stripes, basically any surface interest for our men’s clothing brands.
Q: If money wasn’t an issue, what would you be doing?
Hopefully spending a lot more of my time trying to help people feel better about themselves. That and owning a cool, loungy bar with great live music and awesome art.
Q: What are some things that inspire/motivate you?
I’m inspired by people. Particularly people who go beyond themselves for others. I’m inspired by images, art and music. I’m motivated by discontent. I always want to do better. I don’t settle well.
Q: What frustrations/struggles do you find yourself dealing with regularly?
Not being content! A wise man once told me that very often your biggest strength can also be your biggest weakness. I struggle with being present because I tend to live life a few steps down the road.
Q: Tell me about a defining moment you’ve had at some point in your life.
During my senior year of college I was asked to join a church team heading to Albania to work in a children’s hospital. My assignment was to paint murals in some of the rooms. I wasn’t going to church at the time and had walked away from my faith and didn’t want to go but hey I was a rock star artist and they needed me!
Communism had just fallen in Albania and it was in the process of rebuilding. I’ll never forget, at the gate of the hospital stood a guy in a white coat with a machine gun. He determined if you were sick enough to get in!
At the conclusion of our stay we were sitting in our local contact’s apartment taking turns to talk about what our time had meant to us. When it was my turn, I couldn’t speak, I was absolutely overcome, in a way that I haven’t been since, by God speaking to me.
The reason I was sitting here wasn’t due to any decision I had made but simply because God wanted me to know in that moment that I mattered and despite anything I had done, he saw me as good enough. That moment has stayed with me throughout my life.
Q: What are some of your goals for the next 10 years?
To help set my kids on a good path in life. To be a decent husband and father. To not get completely old and out of touch.
Q: Tell me about some of your favorite things and why?
Movies. I absolutely love movies. I have an extremely active creative mind and have found one of the only ways to switch it off is to watch movies. Art, whether that be painting, photography, illustration, graphic design, I love collecting images. And music. Don’t ask me for specifics. That’s like giving me a big bowl of M&M’s and asking me to pick my favorite. Music in all kinds of genres can be inspiring and soothing and motivating and comforting and insanely powerful.
Q: Life motto?
Keep moving forward. (‘Only a fool trips on what's behind him’)
Is there anything you want to promote or advertise?
Here’s where I collect images that I love. - http://fraserblack.tumblr.com/archive