Just as much as we love a good home tour, we equally obsess over a great workspace and this one so fits the bill. Peek behind the scenes of a master at work. Her creativity knows no bounds and her studio speaks to all that talent. Awash with floral art, pretty, pretty details and a flood of light, we're touring the HQ of artist Jess Blazejewski and gabbing about her wildly gorgeous work, staying inspired and important tid bits like her latest podcast obsessions. Take the full tour shot by Ruth Eileen right here!
Tell us a little about your business and how you got here.
I’m an artist painting in oils and I sell original paintings and prints of my work on my website. I work out of my home studio, where I live with my husband and our toddler son just outside Boston, in Natick. I actually got my degree in Fine Arts (a decade ago! eep!) but I hadn’t really considered making art into my full-time career until after the birth of my son in 2014. So in one way, I have a lot of experience and training in this, and in another, it all feels very new to me. Previous to this I was styling photoshoots and creating DIY projects for SMP & SMP Living which was such an amazing experience! I love seeing that influence my process and artwork today. I continue to take on freelance styling projects when I can, because I still love it, and because working in different methods and materials keeps my creative juices flowing. I’m still finding my way towards my truest art- I can feel that I’m circling around the edge of it but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. I adore flowers, which is what my current series “Flourish” is filled with, but I can already feel a desire to expand in the next series and add in the figure.
What is your favorite item in your studio?
The huge canvas storage rack I just built with my hubby! I was desperately in need of a more workable way to store all the different sizes of canvas I have, and it is sooo satisfying to be able to design something to fit my situation exactly.
How do you stay inspired creatively?
I always find the best inspiration comes from creative arenas that aren’t the one you’re currently working in. So, if you’re a painter, don’t look to other painters for inspiration, because then your head will be all “OMG I love their work, how do I get more of that in mine without looking too much like theirs?!” and it brings a weird tension and insecurity along with the inspiration. Instead look at anything else that inspires you- interior design, jewelry, gardening, film, etc.
What's your best tip for balancing work and personal life?
Let it be cyclical. Instead of trying to make each day or week perfectly balanced between work and personal, let yourself have a season that’s more focused on work when you have a big project to pull off. Then when your kid is (inevitably) sick and you need to clear things off your plate, accept the time of rest and family focus. And when the weather’s awesome and you only want to lounge around and host barbecues, do that! Have faith that the drive to work will come around again instead of trying to push yourself through it. We’re not supposed to be performing at top level in every direction with no breaks all year round- rest is actually part of the cycle.
Advice you’d give to your younger self?
Stop trying to problem solve your career path by thinking your way through it. Just get out there and start trying things!
Do you have any secret talents?
I am a speed reader and have been known to down a fast-paced novel in a day or so (hello, beach vacation!)
What was the first job you ever landed?
The first creative job I got was as a Display Artist for Anthropologie, creating displays around the store and in the windows. It was like creative bootcamp- everything moved so quickly, and the materials I was working with were different every time, that I was forced to get good at creating at a quick pace, under a tight budget, and brainstorm my way out of almost any unforeseen roadblock. It was intense but I made lasting friendships with coworkers who went on to be some of the most talented creatives I know.
One thing you can’t live without?
Podcasts! I love to keep my mind busy while my hands are working. Especially now that I work from my home studio by myself most days, it adds a bit more of a human touch to my workday. Some of my current favorites are Pod Save America (politics), Crimetown (long form story about corruption in Providence) and Femtrepreneur (women in business).