I've made a lot of new friends online this year, and I thought a proper introduction was WELL overdue! I'd love to hear a little more about you too, so please leave me a comment — let me know where you're from, what you do, and what brought you to BrownPaperBunny!
So hi, my name is Jessica, and I'm Australian-born but I've been living in the USA for a few years now, with the last two and a half in Colorado. I kind of love it here, sunshine, mountains, fresh air — what's not to love! I live with my lovely husband, our naughty kitties (Bonnie and Clyde), and we have a baby girl on the way!
I'm a bit of a serial student and have a few different undergrad and graduate degrees in marketing, communications, commercial photography, information systems and I started (and dropped out of) a Masters of Fine Art majoring in Illustration — more about that below. For the past 16+ years I've been running marketing and social media programs for a wide variety of organizations from huge, global corporations to not-for-profit scientific organizations, to tech startups, and everyone in-between! Including General Motors, Starbucks, eWater, Raytheon, OtterBox, General Dynamics, LifeProof, DLA Piper, Robo 3D and more! And this year I went out on my own, focusing on social media consulting and coaching for creatives. I just saw so many talented artists out there doing themselves a terrible disservice online and thought 'I can help them!'
I'm also an artist and illustrator myself, with a penchant for watercolors, fashion illustration, bright color and whimsical, feminine subjects. I feel like I started my creative journey fairly late in life, and really only gave myself permission to start exploring art a few years ago. But after my first creative drawing and painting class, I was hooked, and now I pretty much sleep with a paintbrush in my hand. So if I can encourage even one person who thinks they 'aren't creative' to start drawing, painting, quilting, taking photos, baking, or any other creative pursuit that makes them happy, then I've achieved my ultimate goal! This is where I show you the self portrait I drew in my first creative drawing class, which I was trying to draw realistically and to scale by the way...and that I worked on for at least two hours — compared to a couple years (and a really good teacher) later. Anyone can learn to draw or paint. It just takes determination, practice, and someone to show you how....
So, back to that Masters of Fine Art. I didn't have access to illustration courses where I was in Australia so when we moved to the USA I jumped at the chance to apply for a Masters course in Fine Art and Illustration. I learned SO much in my first semester, but after several classes on charcoal still life drawing, with each class being a huge time commitment and me working almost 100 hours a week trying to get a tech start-up off the ground, it really began to be too much. I might have stuck it out, but when I was told that my next few prerequisite classes were going to involve more still life studies, but this time in oil paint I simply got too impatient. I wanted to skip straight to bright colors and ink and watercolor, and illustration work. So I put my studies on hold and started doing my own thing. I left the still life charcoals behind....
And started painting, bright, crazy things that made me happy!
That's probably more than you ever needed to know about me, so now it's your turn. Tell me a little about yourself in the comments!
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