Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Jasper.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Kristen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I began in art as a child. I was always drawing. Watching my favorite movies as a kid, I would pause them and draw my favorite characters or scene. Even my Christmas cards to my family were homemade. Art was also infused through my childhood with school art classes. I focused on drawing; I didn’t even consider painting.
I took one painting class in college – oil painting. I loved it! It was so freeing and fun. You could express yourself with thick paint, and focus on the emotion more than the perfection. I was getting a degree in graphic design/art direction which did not call for much fine art.
After college, I worked in the promotions industry for three years. It was great experience on working with various clients, presenting your work, and taught me how to structure my design files. After my husband and I had our first child, we knew we needed more stability for our family. He was a firefighter, working every third day, and I had a long commute. Childcare was tough to figure out. So, I stayed home and worked part-time for a few years. It didn’t matter what the job was, as long as it helped our family.
During that time I also started a wedding invitation business. I was able to draw out my designs and then illustrate them in the computer. That became my creative outlet. I was able to combine my drawing skills with my graphic design experience. I started by hand cutting and folding and assembling all the invitation suites. My first client was from Australia. I also moved into birthday invitations and events, using our own parties as example designs.
As our family grew, I also started contract designing. Two kids, an invitation business and a few clients later, I was exhausted. Jumping back and forth between businesses, helped me realize I needed to focus on one client. Instead of investing my time between so many projects, I needed to focus my time better; I let my invitation business go.
In October of 2017, I discovered acrylic pour painting. I was helping my church design a 10′ x 10′ photo backdrop, and they wanted it to be “marbled”. After researching our options, I gave it a go – I was hooked. I jumped into acrylic pouring. I even started teaching classes. As friends wanted canvases but weren’t ready to invest in them. I thought it would be a good way for them to see the work that it takes, as well as create something with their own hands. I love acrylic pouring and other forms of abstract art, as they allow you to create something beautiful and unusual, even if you don’t have any “artistic talent”. And everyone does. You just have to find your niche.
I started drawing again and experimented with watercolors. And then I played with alcohol inks. I am a color fanatic, and alcohol ink painting matched my personality. I love bright, beautiful colors. I love being able to decorate peoples homes and life with a pop of sunshine and joy.
Then I remembered that oil painting class I had taken in college. It had been 15+ years, and my only real painting class. But I wanted to try it again. I wanted to see if I could do it. We are not at the place in our lives where we get to travel a lot. We have young kids and have been a single income family. I couldn’t just pull out our worldwide photo album. So, I hopped on Instagram and started saving my favorite photographers photos. Photos that made me feel something, and that maybe I could help someone to feel too. I use those photographers photos to create most of my oil paintings. I give them credit, hopefully drawing more people to their journey as well. Now oil is my love. I appreciate the skill of The Masters. I love that I can create paintings and art that can inspire and invoke emotion. You should feel something when you look at art.
Now, I am teaching acrylic pouring class and alcohol ink workshops. And I am working to grow my art business.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been easy. Being an artist is full of trials and mistakes. But those experiences teach us. Go for it – don’t let any naysayers (including yourself) have your ear. Doubt is my biggest struggle. Me doubting myself, as well as others doubting my journey. This is not a sprint; it is a marathon. You may get lucky and become recognized right away. Or, it may take time and work. It is WORK. Following your dreams and goals is worth it. Stick with it.
There is also the struggle in only creating what everyone else will want. I strive to focus on where my skill and passion meet. Find your market. I am still working on finding mine. 😉
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Kristen Jasper Fine Art – what should we know?
I work mainly with alcohol inks, oil pastels, and oil paints. Combining my graphic design skills with my art, I also work at creating multiple purposes for my paintings. I enjoy seeing my art on clothing, notebooks and the like.
My art brand is passionate. I am passionate about fine art, creating beautiful spaces, and helping you take a different look at the world. I love creating abstract and impressionism art. Life is messy and beautiful, and sometimes painful. It is rarely perfect, and that is okay. It is real. That is how I want my finished pieces to be. A little messy, beautiful and imperfect.
Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
Social platforms are wonderful for connecting with other like-minded people. You can also use it to connect to local groups and events.
The social platforms I use most are Instagram and Facebook.
- Alcohol Ink Art – approx. $30 to $160
- Oil Paintings – approx. $145 to $400
- Handcrafted Earrings – approx. $8 to $22
- Acrylic Pour Paintings – approx. $25 to $500
- Website: https://kristenjasperfineart.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristenjasperfineart/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kristenjasperstudio/