We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica (Sawyers) Cohen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jessica, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work life balance is constantly changing for me. When I was single, I spent most of my free time creating, or thinking about creating. Then I met my husband and needed to make room for time with him. I remember one morning waking up at his place and saying “man I’d love to paint right now” and he was kind of offended and suggested (in a supportive way) that I go home to paint (whoops!). Of course since then Ive learned that my passion for art needs to be channeled into the appropriate time frames. Fast forward to today, we have a 1 year old… and as for this past year? I think I found time to create some greeting cards, and that was it. Honestly, at first I resented not being able to have time to create, and I wondered how others found the time. Now that she’s getting a bit older its easy to see that I’ll find the time again soon, and it will be important for me to share my creative side with her. I also know it will be equally important to model what it takes to run a small business, and how to be successful with your passion.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My artwork is a little crazy for most people I think. It often makes people stop and say “wow! look at those colors!” but at the same time they say “but where would I hang that?” I’ve tried using muted colors to fit peoples home pallets, but it causes me to feel to restricted in my work. I Can’t help it, I love creating bold looking pieces. I think they are fun, and exciting. I’m not sure that makes me different from others, but it’s the way it is 🙂 I think that art is never easy. It was hard for me to even show people my artwork when I first started creating as an adult. I knew I loved to paint, but didn’t know if anyone else was going to think my work was any good. I very slowly started showing my work, and gained confidence as people started actually buying it. Marketing is definitely the hardest part. Trying to get your work into the right hands isn’t easy and it takes continuously putting yourself out there. I have learned that you’ll do 10 shows, and have about 5 of them be flops… sometimes more. BUT you have to keep trying because you just never know who you might meet, or when the right buyer is going to see your work. I have spent weeks of my life hanging exhibits that never resulted in anything of measure, but I know I just ave to keep at it. You won’t get anywhere without giving it your all.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh man… I don’t even know! Being a new mom, and living in pandemic times, I feel like I’ve lost touch with the cool places haha! My idea of a good time is honestly hanging in our backyard with a few good bottles of wine.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a shout out to my older brother Adam Sawyers who always encouraged my to do what I love. He is also a creator, photographer, artist, and entrepreneur. His photography lead him to some incredible jobs, then into designing amazing photography sets, and then to television show sets. He has this amazing ability to make things both beautiful and fully functional. We have often brainstormed together on ways to market our designs. We also like spending time half joking about ways to make ordinary things into works of art, that also serve a purpose- like urinal made from a tuba in a bathroom designed for my husband who it a musician. Josh Cohen, my husband, also deserves a huge shout out. I know so many couples who get married and stop pursuing their creating goals (heck, it happened to me before I met Josh) but with Josh, we have always made it clear what while we need to do things like pay the mortgage, we also NEED to dedicate time to our creative outlets. Even very early on in our relationship he was never hesitant to help me hang an exhibit, uninstall, show up to serve my guests wine, whatever I needed he was there to support me. Being a musician, he got it. He is in an amazing band (Shout out to Romancoke!) I truly love their music and I’m so excited that our daughter will get to be inspired by her dads musical talents.

Website: www.awakenartistry.com
Instagram: @awakenartistry
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Facebook: Awaken Artistry by Jessica Sawyers

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