If you live in Telluride you have probably seen Jacob Devaney's art for the last 20-plus years but never knew who was behind it. Jacob creates the giant puppets that we see each summer at Telluride Bluegrass, Jazz, and Blues and Brews. He is also one of the stilt walkers who accompanies these creations with a band of costumed-kids at various parades. Jacob plays piano as a past-time, enjoys making public art, sews appliqué’ beadwork, and loves exploring remote places in nature. The inspiration for his work comes from having a deep connection with the oral traditions of native people from Northern Europe, and New Orleans. For the past 2 decades he has worked closely with various tribes, including Hopi where he helped to develop cultural exchange programs that reach as far south as Peru.

He started Culture Collective in 2006 as a place to integrate indigenous wisdom, community art, environmental advocacy, and organic values into educational media for distribution online via social media. He is a Co-Founder of the popular Unify Network that boasts a following of 1.8 million fans, while hosting globally synchronized meditations and promoting various wellness and sustainability campaigns like World Water Day throughout the year. 

Read some of Jacob’s writing on his Facebook Authors' Page, learn about his giant puppets, and if you’d like to collaborate with Jacob visit his Patreon Page.

We asked Jacob a few questions:

Your Inspiration?

I am very inspired by Native Prophecies. The Eagle and Condor Prophecy is about integrating ancient, indigenous wisdom with modern science and technology. Thus, beadwork and social media are two ends of my creative spectrum. I also do my best to always explore all forms of music, and visual art, along with nature as sources of mental well-being and inspiration.

Favorite Book?

Wow, so many! Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock, Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, Cosmos and Psyche by Rick Tarnas, as well as The Alphabet vs. The Goddess by Leonard Shlain, Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung, and everything Joseph Campell wrote! I am currently reading America Before by Graham Hancock

Creative Heroes?

Endless... Top of the list is Big Chief Tootie and Joyce Montana, who taught me how to do beadwork. Brian and Wendy Froud who gave me great inspiration and tips on building giant puppets. Cyril Neville and Doctor John who are my favorite examples of people who are cultural heroes but most people only know of them as musicians. Joe Bonner was a musical mentor and friend who taught me what impressionism sounds like on the piano. Julia Cameron, whose book the Artists Way has been a creative Bible for me over the years. Zipcy, Bret Blevins, Jessica Perlstein, Elizabeth Banker and Amanda Sage are some of my favorite visual artists. 

Free Box Find?

Once I found a pair of Oakley sunglasses that were barely scratched! I have also found some great outfits for the annual Free Box Fashion Show that happens in Town Park each year before the Bluegrass Festival.

Happy place?

Telluride Bear Canyon. I am also in love with Sedona and the Big Island of Hawaii which are two places that I have been fortunate to live in.