It is always fun to see Jess and her work at Faerie shows. The two of us are close in age and grew up only about an hour
apart, she in Ohio and me just across the border, in Michigan. We are both midwestern girls at heart. I first met her at The Michigan Renaissance Festival, where my husband would take me every year for my birthday– or more like, I would drag him ! I recently had an email chat with Jess about her work, faeries, and of course marketing, since she is a marketing maven! Here’s what she had to say.What is it about Faeries that grabs your heart?Oh, EVERYTHING! I’ve been drawing faeries since I was just little. I have no idea where the interest came from, but it’s just always been a part of me.
It seems that your earlier work is more portrait-like and your newer work has more of a story to tell behind the portrait. What do you attribute this switch to?Lately I’ve been trying to go deeper with my work, and bring out more emotions with the characters in the paintings. I’ve also switched to a mixed media techinque, which has helped me get a little more realistic than some of my earlier watercolor works.
You’ve also included a lot of Celtic design in your more recent paintings. What is it that draws you to the Celtic knot work and symbols?Of all the world mythology, Celtic is my favorite. Their stories are so intricate with so many details and points of interest. I love incorporating the symbols into my paintings.
Not only do you paint, but you make jewelry as well,(gypsyrosejewels.etsy.com). With a major business, two young children, husband and home, how do you find the time?I’m lucky enough to have lots of help. I have an assistant who helps me fill my orders. Also, my husband Josh does much of the administrative work and production here at the studio. And last, but certainly not least, my lovely Mother-in-law watches my children during the work week days so I can actually get something done.
You have a book that showcases your artwork, Fantasy Art by Jessica Galbreth, but you also published a Jessica Galbreth Artist’s Manual last fall. Why did you decide to share all the information you have gathered in the last ten(?) years with budding artists?I was receiving so many e-mails from artists asking me how I made it out there with my art. I realized that this knowledge and wisdom had value, and that I had the desire to share that knowledge with others.
How did you get into licensing and how did you know it was the way you wanted to go with your art?Even early on, I had always had the desire to see my art turned into some of the beautiful gift products I’d seen on the market. I was pretty aggressive about it early on, and knocked on a lot of doors, so to speak. Once I had a few deals in place, I realized what a wonderful way licensing is to earn income as an artist. Not only does it amount to some good royalties, but it also is such a thrill to see your products in stores and catalogs all over the world.
What do you do to recharge your creativity?I just get back to nature. Whenever I feel my muse going quiet, it only takes a walk in the woods (complete with some tree hugging) to tap back into it
I first met you at the Michigan Renaissance festival when you were just getting started. What made you decide that the faire was a good place to begin your “selling” career?Before the Michigan faire, I had tried a few smaller shows. Doing a show is a lot of work and very tiring, but once I tried the Michigan faire and saw the amount of traffic and sales potential, I was hooked. It’s a great opportunity for me each year to get in front of my customers and talk with them about what they might want to see from me.
What is the top most marketing tip you’d give to other artists?Sticktoitiveness! It takes time, hard work, and constant improvement to stay afloat as an artist, but all that work is so worthwhile when it happens for you!
What’s next for Jessica Galbreth?I have a new project I’m really excited about. I’m making these gorgeous, ornate sun catchers that I’ve named Wishcatchers. I’m donating 10% of all sales on these to the Make-A-Wish foundation. You can see them at: www.Wishcatchers.etsy.com
See more of Jessica’s work on her website, enchanted-art.com! See you at Faeriecon, Jess!