Whether working in paints or pixels, Jeff Hazelton creates new worlds through challenging wonder and ambition. The founder of BioLucid provides the Gulf Coast with one of its great success stories in the med-tech arena, a locally grown firm hiring countless Ringling College of Art and Design graduates while reshaping the way doctors and patients explore the workings of the human body. SRQ spoke with the digital Renaissance man about what wrote his personal code.

Barbara Hazelton Thompson

When I was 15, my father passed from cancer, so my mother had to raise my brother and I on our own, and she put us through college and did everything she could in a totally selfless way. One of her greatest attributes is that she’s been desensitized to my insanity. When I graduated from college, I started with the idea that I wanted to be a doctor and go to medical school, and instead, I became an artist and decided to sail around the world in a small boat. She took it in stride and always supported me no matter what.

Wave Rider

About a year and a half ago, I got back into sailing. I have a catamaran named Virtual Reality. I enjoy just going to the docks and hanging out on the boat. This is such a beautiful place to go sailing. It’s never the same experience twice and you get to explore the area.


I got my first dirt bike when I was nine and started racing in a semi-pro circuit when I was 13. I was in the New England circuit, which went from Massachusetts to New Hampshire. You’ve got 30 bikes all trying to win, and you had to have such a high level of concentration and focus on what you were doing. You couldn’t think of anything else. I love machines and I love to go fast. I’ve always been more on the individualistic side as far as sports are concerned. It’s solely on me to win or lose at that point. I love that excitement and risk—I definitely am a thrill seeker.

Virtual Reality

For the last three years, I have put a lot of focus on virtual reality. To have a technology first glimpsed in the ’90s essentially, when this was sort of prophesized and we all thought it was happening soon but it took 20 years to become a realistic thing. I’m very focused on that as the next medium. Some call it the final medium.

Easter Island

The first boat I had, I sailed 26 days at sea, from the Galapagos Islands to Easter Island, which is out in the middle of nowhere. It’s like a living museum, covered in large stone statues, the Moai. These statues are everywhere, all over the ground; some of them have been stood up. We sailed around the island in a boat, but one day I also rented a motorcycle and I rode all over the island. I remember it as one of the best days of my life.

Paul Cézanne

Paul Cézanne really was the father of modern art. He broke apart nature into primitives essentially and simplified it and tried to express it in his vision. His paintings are among the most beautiful that have been created. And even though we don’t think of them using technology, those painters really were using the latest technology available when they went into nature instead of going into the studio. What I’m trying to do is the same thing, using tools nobody has ever used before to make art.

Hog Rider

I’ve had the Harley now for five years. It’s a Softail Deluxe Harley-Davidson. It’s a big machine with a lot of horsepower. Again, you have to pay attention. It’s a different focus you have on the street. You have to survive, not just drive.

HTC Vive 5

Of all the little gadgets I have, this is the leader. It has really high fidelity graphics and vision, but is also has tracking of the space, plus it has the ability for hands to exist in the virtual world with you. That’s my favorite but I also have the Oculus Touch on my desk that doesn’t come out until later this year—it’s amazing.

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

I got a signed copy of this book in a swag bag at an Oculus convention. It takes place in a dystopian future, but it has within it this technology, a VR technology indistinguishable from real reality, where people would spend most of their lives. One of main hooks inside the book was trivia and nostalgia from the ’80s—it made a lot of references back to video games from the ‘80s, and that was my outlet growing up. For me to see that come back and be recycled through future generations was cool.

Palmer Luckey

The founder of Oculus is a young kid, about 22 or 23 now, but at 19, he was responsible for the resurgence of an entire technology, which is virtual reality. He was a tinkerer. His first prototype was a cell phone attached to the face with gyroscopes, but the technology was accessible to where he could mount it and sell it. I had the fortune of meeting and knowing him before VR took off and before his company was acquired for $2 billion by Facebook. He really is indicative of the Millennial culture. He decided he wanted to do this and he did it. Even though he’s younger than me, I consider him a bit of a mentor.