inFocus interview with colorful creatress Jessica Swift

Written on July 18, 2011 by in Artistry & inspiration

Jessica Swift

Recently, I spoke with Jessica Swift, a full-time artist living in Atlanta, GA. Jessica paints and issues prints; licenses and sells surface patterns to other companies (think scrapbooking supplies, notebooks and fabric lines); teaches an online courseworks with clients on private painting, illustration and design commissions; and she is now embarking on her first foray into manufacturing, with a line of patterned rain boots. As you can see, she is one busy gal, which is exactly why I wanted to talk to her.

How does Jessica do all of the above and remain true to her personal aesthetic? Here’s what she said:

“I work a lot. I work pretty much from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed most days. That’s the only way I can keep track of everything at this point…

I just create a lot of work and I create what I want to create without trying to fit it into something I feel like I’m supposed to be fitting myself into, and I’ve learned to trust that. I think my color sense is what ties my work together for the most part, and I know that’s never going to change. If I branch out from what I’m doing now and go in different directions, hopefully that will be the common thread between everything.”

I think it will. I know of no one with Jessica’s amazing color sense, a fact she capitalizes on with her business tagline: Live Color to the Max. Check out some of her illustrations below:

And here are some of Jessica’s surface patterns (coming soon to a rain boot near you?):

Jessica and I riffed for 45 minutes on art, business, style and income diversification. In the clip below, she talks about staying inspired:

 

Here Jessica talks about the message she wants to share with the world:

 

Next Jessica talks about how to create a successful arts business through diversification:

There are a lot of great takeaways here for artists and creative entrepreneurs, including:

 “I’ve discovered I can’t look at other people’s work very much because that will influence the way that I work and also just make me doubt my own work…and that stifles everything.”

“I feel like the message I put out there through my work is often a message I need to hear for myself, so it’s almost like I’m talking to myself first through my work and thankfully other people are latching onto that message, too, and getting something out of it.”

“Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

And here we talk about Jessica’s exciting rain boot project, and the worries and doubts all entrepreneurs feel on occasion:

The project is already fully funded — and has been for a week! — but more money means more patterns, so if you love what she’s doing, head on over and donate today! You can contribute as little as $1, and Jessica has just announced that all supporters will be entered in a drawing for one free pair of boots. Too cool!

If you’re an artist interested in bringing your own products to life, check out Blosma. Jessica is working with president and founder Mark Pound on her project.

Cheers,
Kate-signature

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8 Comments

  1. Barbra Ignatiev
    July 18, 2011

    Love Jessica! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Jessica, you do so much to inspire other artists. Can’t wait to see how your rain boot project goes!
    Barbra Ignatiev recently posted..Vending Virgin No More

  2. Kristin Glenn
    July 18, 2011

    Love Jessica AND Barbra! Both awesome artists. We recently featured Jessica in a mini-interview on our blog as well – the girl’s got some sound advice and it’s always great to hear other people talk about struggles and overcoming them in the arts industry. Thanks so much for sharing this, Kate!

  3. jessica swift
    July 18, 2011

    Kate, thank you again SO much for interviewing me! I had a lot of fun talking to you, and I appreciate the time you took to put this together and to help me spread the word about my project. And Barbra & Kristin: thank you! Every little thing I can do to help inspire other artists and creative people be a little more positive is part of my mission! I’m glad to hear it’s working. :)

  4. Kate Watson
    July 20, 2011

    Barbra & Kristin: Welcome to the blog! Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hi.
    Jessica: It was such a pleasure talking with you! Thank you for all that you do to help other creatives, and I’m so excited for your rain boots!

  5. […] done it, too. But there are major downsides. The biggest, which Jessica Swift mentioned in our recent interview, […]

  6. […] more products than ever. I’m so impressed with all that she’s accomplished, even since our interview in July. I just love seeing how passion and productivity can make BIG things […]

  7. […] done it, too. But there are major downsides. The biggest, which Jessica Swift mentioned in our recent interview, […]

  8. […] more products than ever. I’m so impressed with all that she’s accomplished, even since our interview in July. I just love seeing how passion and productivity can make BIG things […]


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