Jean Drayovitch is a native Floridian who was born near Vero Beach and raised in Alachua and St. Johns Counties. Growing up among orange blossoms and shell paved roads, Jean developed a love for Florida’s natural beauty at an early age. Young Jean was a headstrong, intense girl and also a bit of a tomboy. Gifted with creative ability and keen observation, she enjoyed solitary moments with art supplies and won ribbons for her artwork in elementary school. As a girl scout attending horse camp, Jean garnered attention when she drew a perfect anatomical horse diagram complete with grooming supplies. Horses would remain a key subject in Jean’s artwork for years.
Her first formal art instruction came at age 12 drawing a boat house and cypress stumps along the banks of St. Johns River. While in high school, Jean’s parents divorced and art became an indispensable creative outlet. At lunch Jean would avoid the school cafeteria in favor of the art room. Art teacher Kathy Skaggs recognized Jean’s talent, encouraged her to submit art into juried shows, and helped her build a portfolio to apply to art colleges. Disappointed to have missed a full scholarship to Savannah College of Art and Design by a single award, Jean accepted a full scholarship to an honors science/RN program. This medical training combined with Jean’s kindhearted nature and strong desire to help those in need would ultimately direct Jean to become an exceptional nurse.
Employed as a full-time RN following graduation, Jean took up residence in downtown St. Augustine. She joined the town’s cultural scene, hosting open mic nights, writing poetry, teaching drawing classes and painting commissioned pieces. With murals in the Manatee Café, kids’ placemats in Carmelo’s Pizza, and paintings regularly on display in local establishments, Jean continues to make her mark on the Old City. In 2011, she and another artist founded the Anonymous Society of Artists to network with other local artists. This group meets weekly to draw and paint together and encourage its participants to reach their full potential as artists.