We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Jarecz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nicole, how do you think about risk?
I believe that for any small business owner, risk taking is a crucial part of developing your business. When I look back on my life I was confronted with many risks. I moved to Paris in 2010 without knowing a word of French. I had no idea what I was going to do there professionally. It could have been looked at as a risk but I took it as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn a new language, to travel and to experience a different culture. I feel like that part of my life impacted who I am today. I now try to view risks that I take with my small business as opportunities. When I first thought of the idea of sketching live at events I could have viewed this as a risk. Would I make a fool of myself? Would it discredit my traditional illustrations? Would I freeze up at events? I decided to try something new and push forward. I took the risk and turned it into a learning opportunity that eventually became a huge part of my business and who I am today. People in Detroit now know me as a live fashion sketcher.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Ever since I can remember I’ve been drawn to art and fashion so it’s no surprise that these two interests of mine fused together. I never expected that I would make a career out of it. I studied illustration at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI where I perfected a lot of my drawing skills but I didn’t know what I truly wanted to do with my degree. After gradation I moved to Paris where I was thrown into this fashion world. Those years really inspired me to pursue my fashion illustration career. When I moved back to Detroit in 2015 I wanted to try something new and challenging: live fashion sketching. I was terrified of the idea at first but the more events I sketched at the more I realized how great of an opportunity this was for my art to grow. Events are a great way for me to connect with the Detroit community. I’m still able to do my editorial and commission work at home while I plan my events for nights and weekends. Live sketching has made me more comfortable to show my art process through posts on social media. This landed me many jobs with Faber-Castell where I would make how to videos of my process using their art supplies. It’s very surreal at times to think that I’m able to share my fashion illustrations with people all over the world.

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?
Detroit is a great city to explore and it has changed so much since I lived and went to school there from 2006-2010. I love to see that people are always out and about downtown. To start the day I would go to brunch at Dime Store. In my opinion they have the best egg benedicts you can find in town. During the day you can visit historic buildings like the Guardian building. The DIA is a must see. Take a sketchbook and have a coffee at the Kresge Court. If you want to see street art then you have to swing by the Belt, a beautiful alleyway with lots of bars. You can even go up to the top of the Z-Lot parking lot to take in a beautiful view of Detroit. Dinner in Detroit is the best because there are so many options but reservations are highly recommended. My all time favorite restaurants include Grey Ghost, Apparatus Room and SheWolf. My favorite places for drinks either before or after dinner are Leila and Wright and Co. End the night by staying at the most beautiful hotel: the Shinola!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d love to give a big shoutout to Jeri Zink (Senior Manager at Gucci and former area marketing director at Saks Fifth Avenue) and Lindsey Barile (Regional Public Relations Director at Neiman Marcus)

These two amazing women have been there with me since day one when I started my live sketching events. They have supported me so much throughout my career and I couldn’t be more thankful to them.

Website: www.nicole-jarecz.com

Instagram: nicolejareczillustration

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YahCcRTDr0&t=3s

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