And here’s the rest of Jessica’s amazing journey from corporate lawyer to artist:
And then, I was pregnant, and craving watercolor paints and brushes, which I hadn’t held since I was a child. I bought a set at our local art store. I painted a birth announcement for Mariel. I painted a picture for her wall. I painted a little book for her. I thought I painted the cravings out of my system. But even after I gave birth to her, the cravings didn’t go away.
While home on a generous maternity leave, I kept painting and making things. Mergers and acquisitions, hostile takeovers, and securities paled in comparison to creating art and raising my child. I was in love with this new being, and didn’t want to miss a second. Luckily, while I was home with her, friends asked me to paint a mural on their child’s wall. And someone saw it, and asked me to paint one on their child’s wall. And suddenly, I knew what to do. I would start a new career painting murals on people’s walls, which, although I didn’t know it at the time, led to a career designing greeting cards, and tabletop ceramics.
My marriage had been tenuous at best prior to Mariel’s birth. There were many times during our marriage that one of us wanted to leave. But the fact that we barely saw each other while working our long hours kept the marriage going because we just didn’t have the time to deal with the problems. My utter conviction that that going back to the law was wrong for me, and my insatiable need to make art, were the straws that broke our marriage. And so I embarked on a new life.
The murals led to my creating different characters to paint on children’s walls. This led to the licensing show in New York, and a greeting card contract with Recycled Paper Greetings. Little by little, I increased my licensing contacts, and made a name for myself in the Judaica world. I design whimsical menorahs, and holiday tableware and my designs are sold at The Jewish Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I often say my older daughter changed my life — she made me stop and FEEL my life. Having her reawakened my artistic soul. Luckily, because my original life plan never encompassed doing the same thing for more than a decade, it didn’t seem unusual to look off an artistic cliff and leap. And I’m happy to say I’ve been painting ever since!
Jessica Sporn is a mixed media artist and illustrator, known for her strong use of color, texture and heartfelt style. It’s been said that her artwork always contains a sprinkle of her soul. She is a designer for Stencil Girl Products; her illustration work can be found on stationery products, giftware, and Judaica products for Aviv Judaica. Some of her Judaica designs are sold at the Jewish Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art. She keeps an active blog at http://www.jessicasporn.blogspot.com, and is represented for licensing by Creative Connection Inc, at http://www.cciart.com/
Read more about living the creative life in Creative Time and Space.
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