We are so excited for Jaime to be apart of our 2019 Holiday Utah Handmade Market, and we are even more stoked to introduce you to her! Read on to find out more about this incredible artist and her work.
Jaime, please introduce yourself!
My name is Jaime Arlene Reed! I grew up in Bakersfield, California, and I currently live in Millcreek, Utah, with my husband Kris, who is originally from Canada!
Kris and I met in Salt Lake City! We are both LDS, and we met in our singles ward when we were living in the Avenues.
He claims the ‘law of proximity’ led us together. I claim it was his Canadian charm.
We’ve been married almost 3 years now, and almost two years ago is when I decided to quit my full-time job to pursue art full time.
What did you overcome to get to where you are now?
I have been an artist, basically my whole life.
I knew it was the one thing I loved and the thing I was the best at, so when I was young, I understood that’s what I would be doing.
But once I got to college, I just assumed I wouldn’t do it full time.
I figured there would be no way to support myself as an artist fully and that it would always be a hobby.
I still loved art and excelled in every technical aspect.
Still, even my professors at school would treat my artwork as too feminine, too frivolous, or never take me seriously when it came to final assignments.
I had many critiques that ended in frustrated tears because I was told to paint what I want to paint, but then told I wasn’t good enough.
Throughout college and after, I worked MANY jobs. I recently counted up how many part-time jobs I have had, and it was over 20.
I thought two things to myself:
- I need to make money, and
- I need to find out what I want to do with my life.
I worked for a time as a florist assistant, which led to a job as a floral designer. At first, I thought this job was perfect since I could use my creative side that could apply to a 9-5 job!
But at the end of the day, I felt creatively burnt out, and the desire to paint was still strong, but my creativity was dried up by the end of each day.
Then I finally landed what I thought would be the dream career. I got a full-time job as a professional bookbinder where I would work on special handmade books and even some archival repairs for older books!
But yet again, I would come home completely tired from the day and still want to paint in my studio.
So, my husband and I decided I should take the leap and quit my source of income to pursue my art.
It felt insane, but once I did it (which was almost two years ago), I have never stopped having an unlimited amount of ideas, projects, goals, successes (some small failures as well), but mostly the time of my life.
I wake up every day excited to work, paint, design, website build, read business material, schedule photoshoots, network with others, create custom work, launch new items and use my creativity exactly the way I want to every day.
What inspires your creativity?
The main thing that inspires my creativity is nature.
But not only nature created by mother nature, but human nature as well! I am often inspired by architecture, new places, new culture, new music, and just new experiences.
I am a lifelong learner and extravert, so I love a good podcast and meeting new people.
I am often inspired to paint landscapes of places I have been or places I want to go, and sometimes places I have made up in my head.
I also recently have been inspired by the human figure and movement, which is currently starting to show up in my work.
How did you come up with your great idea?
Well, I truly believe you can’t just “come up with” great ideas. Great ideas always come after lots of work, practice, experience, and usually, you don’t know they are great until you test them out.
And be a problem solver!
Great ideas usually solve some problems, and if you think that art can’t solve problems then you aren’t my kind of people!
And, I think my best “idea” will have to be deciding actually to paint what I want to paint and then listening to my audience and if they love something that I love as well, we have a winner.
It is so important to love what you do. That is the entire reason I quit my full-time job because even though the paycheck was great, at the end of the day, I did not love my job.
So I encourage everyone to be brave, don’t be afraid to fail because if you do fail, you will most likely figure out how to succeed based on that failure.
When you need musical inspiration, who do you turn the volume up for?
Wow, where do I begin?
Music is a HUGE inspiration to my artwork, and I must have something beautiful playing in the background when I create.
I have several goto Spotify playlists, but currently, I have been loving listening to oldies like Judy Garland and Fred Astaire.
Most of the time in my studio, I love the artist Sleeping at Last, Far from the Madding Crowd Soundtrack, piano masters like Emile Pandolfi, and then, of course, every single Abba song ever.
Do you have any hobbies or crafts you practice aside from your business?
Yes! Although this hobby is soon to leak into my shop as well, I recently took up film photography as a hobby, and it has changed the way I travel and the way I experience life.
It sounds extremely dramatic, but my friend Sara Weir has opened my life to the magic that film photography brings.
I am much more present and absorb much more emotion and memory when I have my film camera instead of my iPhone.
I take one shot of the moment, and I move on.
I can’t check to make sure the lighting was perfect or crop it for Instagram or check if my husband took a good pic of me or not.
And, because I only take the one-shot, I am much more thoughtful in my composition, and almost all my photos come out incredible.
I also LOVE to bake.
My creative side loves learning new recipes as well as learning and perfecting old favorites.
My ‘Jaime recipe book’ consists of Belgian Liege Waffles, Apple Pie, and a Caramel Pumpkin Bread Pudding that I just remembered I need to make this year!