Stepping into Mail Bag & More, a mailing and shipping service in South Lake, one would not expect to find Tahoe’s tiniest gallery. The owner of both, the mailing service and the art gallery, is Kevin Jamieson. His quirky characters and creative doodles adorn the walls. There are also gifts for purchase, like you would find in an art studio.
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Originally from Los Angeles, Jamieson has been doodling since he was 10 years old. He moved to England at age 18 to pursue a drumming career. While there, Jamieson studied classic piano theory and music at one college and art at another. His primary goal at the time was to join a rock ‘n’ roll band, but he soon became disillusioned.
“I call [art] my ‘artsycodone.’ It keeps me calm, relaxes me. It’s with me night and day. I sit down with my inks and go at it.”
— Kevin Jamieson
“I realized there were 100 other guys like me 10 feet away. There are a lot of talented musicians there,” he said.
Jamieson came back to the United States and became a roadie. “I hauled equipment for Ozzy [Osbourne] among others. It was a good way to stay with creative people,” he says.
He eventually got into hairdressing and truck driving. Then, 30 years ago after someone crashed into his big rig in the congested city of Los Angeles, he decided to sell his trucking company and move to the Tahoe Sierra with his wife Kym.
“I came up here to be around the beautiful landscape and enjoy different seasons,” he said.
In Tahoe, he continued to drive trucks and help out on rock tours while making new Tahoe friends. One of them was the owner of Mail Bag & More. Jamieson ended up taking over the business when his friend passed away.
Jamieson’s interest in art blossomed again three years ago, when he bought some cardstock and ink on a whim and started doodling again.
“Stuff started happening, I came up with my most beautiful creative work,” he said.
The random characters translated to paper are eccentric and colorful and inspire happiness. His friends encouraged him to frame his work.
Mail Bag & More has great lighting and a stark white motif that’s perfect for displaying art. Jamieson has 50 to 100 prints available to view and purchase whenever the shipping store is open.
“You can buy gifts you won’t find anywhere else here,” he said.
He is right. For me, it is impossible not to smile when sipping out of a Kevin Jamieson “Walkies” coffee mug.
He is indeed a busy guy, running a mailing and shipping business, an art gallery and a notary service. With everything going on, though, he admits that his favorite place in which to create art is at work in Mail Bag & More.
“We’re all into healing, artwork, massage, hairdressing — there’s lots of business going on here. My office is my hangout, my studio. I’m most comfortable here,” he said.
Among his fellow businessowners where he has access to music, munchies and all-around good vibes, the characters he conjures up just fall out of him and onto the paper. He suffered a bad injury a while back and was on pain medication. A friend asked him if the medication sparked his imagination. Jamieson was intrigued so he stopped taking the meds; happily, he found that his unique characters still came to him naturally.
“I call [art] my ‘artsycodone.’ It keeps me calm, relaxes me,” he said. “It’s with me night and day. I sit down with my inks and go at it.”
Mail Bag & More is at 2301 Lake Tahoe Blvd, Suite 14, in South Lake Tahoe. It is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m., weather permitting. Jamieson is involved with Tahoe Art League and participates in the self-guided Tahoe Art Walk with Scott Forrest Fine Art Studio on the second Saturday of every month. | @thejamiesongallery