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Pursuing a Creative Life

Updated: May 3

Okay, it's official. I'm an artist and I'm pursuing a creative life. haaaaaa You may have thought I figured that out a long time ago, and maybe I did, but it's time to get it on and get busy! I just finished up a very lovely business plan (which, truthfully) took a few months of work. As a part of that plan, my work is moving in three directions: graphic design, art & craft, and surface pattern design! What does that mean? I hope to be very, very busy!


Back in October 2023, I was fortunate to be interviewed as one of Bedford County's "boomerangs" who have gone out into new places, done new things, gotten lots of experience and knowledge and then brought it all back home. Here's the article if you want to take a look:



That got me started down the path towards officialdom as I went through all the LLC paperwork, finding a accountant, getting more commercial insurance, and building an actual business plan. Apparently half-assed wishes and hopes to make money don't work that well. ha!


Thanks to my advisor and mentor, Jeff Boldizar, at the Saint Francis Small Business Development Center, I finalized the plan and all the numbers just this week. Now, the scary part. I have to do the stuff I said I'd do in the plan!


First, I'm keeping on in my surface pattern design class. What does that mean? Well, I'm learning how to make art and illustrations that can be printed on things like fabric, wallpaper, stationery, napkins, plates, decor, scrapbooking supplies, stickers...the list is endless. I've dipped my toe into that world by using my artwork on Print-on-Demand sites, but this time I'm really trying to learn both the techniques for pattern-making as well as the magic of getting patterns licensed and out there into the world. I'm working with Bonnie Christine (and a whole bunch of classmates from around the world) in her course called Surface Design Immersion. One of the most important things is just getting in here (my studio) to work, so cheers to me for sitting down and working! ha! I look forward to sharing more of my progress as I go through the inspiration, creation, and pattern development process.


Second, I'm finding new and exciting graphic design clients. Just starting work with a new Bedford business this week and I'm so thrilled! (Once we get further down the road I'll be able to share more.) Plus, I'm working with my new friend, Gloria Brooks, at the Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission (SAP&DC) to figure out how to break into some government sub-contracting work. I'm not trying to build a road or new buildings, but I can certainly help with some signs, ads, and all that other fun marketing paper/publication that goes along with doing the big jobs. Gloria helped me put together this "Capability Statement" with all the right codes and such. So, if you are working on a government contract and are looking for a graphic designer (or you just want to help me network) my "cape statement" is right here:


Third, I'm going to keep getting my hands dirty and making stuff! I actually just took a set of three brand new pieces to hang in the brand-new Pigeon Hill Studios, opening back up in downtown Bedford soon!


While I'm here I should tell you that I have a few pieces hanging with my friends at Composition Art & Wine Bar and a few down at Olde Bedford Brewing Co. Yes, wine, beer, and art are a great combination, in case you were wondering. I'm working on some good stuff to share during the Downtown Bedford Art Walk on June 8th. If you're around the area, it's free to visit and you'll see lots of artists around town making things and you'll have a chance to buy something special!



Cheers!

Jen

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