Meet the Artist: Jason Toth

Jason At Cedar Ave Powerhouse With Art Credit Scott Morrison Discovery Photo
One man’s story of finding joy in the journey, even when it seemed like the odds were stacked against him. (Photo Credit: Scott Morrison, Discovery Photo)

By Kelli Comer

Facing a life-altering diagnosis, local artist Jason Toth had a revelatory shift in his mindset and turned to art as a refuge, using his camera to uncover the hidden beauty in his austere surroundings and bring to life what he saw through his lens.

“My first artwork came to me during a very difficult time in my life. In 2019 after collapsing in my driveway, I was diagnosed with a condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) that wreaked havoc on my nervous system for nearly 3₂ years,” Jason explains. “I had to give up my business (a marketing agency called Toth Marketing) and I had to let go of so many of my favorite things because they exacerbated my symptoms.”

This diagnosis totally upended Jason’s life. “My identity was shattered, and I was very lost, depressed and alone. As I slowly began to improve and was able to go for walks, I would bring my camera and challenge myself to find beauty amongst what I saw on a daily basis.”

Jason reached a turning point and had a revelation during one of these walks. His mission became to find the beauty in the grayness of Cleveland and bring out the color.

“I have been driven by the need to create for as long as I can remember, and I have always found ways to express myself through creativity,” Jason says.

Art is currently Jason’s full-time career, calling and passion. His artistic background extends to his childhood, when he first started drawing and got his first camera.

“Mindfulness is a critical part of the process and it’s where I begin,” Jason explains. “Each piece starts with a photograph I take, but I choose what to capture when I’m paying attention to my environment. I attempt to view things for the first time, removing the labels and stories that are so often projected outward. Instead of a building, I see clusters of shapes. Instead of a bridge, I see an intricate pattern of lines. I begin to see my environment as abstract art. I really like the appearance of chaos that has order and structure beneath the surface but requires mindful examination to see it.”

Jason then uses a process to colorize his photos called color calibration. When he begins, he doesn’t choose the colors—they are revealed to him when he manipulates a variety of settings that pull out and dial back color that exists in the photo. From there, Jason balances the color and chooses whether to apply abstract elements to it.

“I prefer to have my art printed on aluminum,” Jason says. “This method is so vibrant and crisp—it really makes my pieces come to life. I also love tying in the industrial/Rust Belt foundation of Cleveland to the material of the work.”

To reach Jason, email You can find Jason Toth in Hangar 4 at City Goods (right next to Amba), located at 1442 W. 28th Street in Cleveland’s Ohio City. For more information, visit Follow Jason on Instagram @jtoth_art.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment