Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
As soon as I could hold a crayon, I began making art. I remember sitting on the floor in Kindergarten and coloring in blissful contentment. I wanted the coloring to go on forever. I have always thought that the real basis for my making art is that I never seemed to be able to get enough drawing, coloring, cutting and pasting in Kindergarten! Several more years of cutting and pasting, and I earned five teaching credentials, a degree in art from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Southern California.
I later spent a number of years studying calligraphy. My love for letters eventually led to many years of teaching calligraphy to adult students from beginning through advanced levels. In an effort to put more color and art into my own lettering, I used watercolor painting, trompe l’oeil painting, paper sculpture, computer graphics, and many offshoots of these disciplines. Rubberstamping was very new at the time, and it caught my interest. Then I did some more drawing, coloring, cutting and pasting and this time it led me to designing a line of about 300 card size rubber stamps that were produced and marketed in chain stores and stamp stores for many years. None of these or my other art adventures would have been possible without the unwavering encouragement and support of my husband, Dave. He truly is, and always has been, the wind beneath my wings.
Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I actually work in every medium that traffic will allow. I bring it all together and try to make everything live happily in Photoshop. I draw on any technique that I think will help move my work forward. No holds barred. If it works it stays, if not I often save it for use somewhere else. A nice thing about art is that it has an indefinite shelf life, and can always be used in so many different ways.
What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
Going to a museum is always a way to drink in inspiration. But actually, almost anything can inspire me. I can take a walk and notice something in nature, and get an idea for a piece of art. I can look in store windows and see colors that I would like to try in combination. I can be talking to someone about something unrelated, and for some reason an art idea will pop into my head. I usually dream my very best ideas! When I am not thinking about art at all, I very often have a dream, which sends me down a new creative path. I dream in vivid color. Do you?
What are you working on now?
I have just finished a request to make 45 seamless, repeating patterns from designs I had previously made that did not repeat seamlessly. It was a huge task, but an exhilarating learning experience for me. I was never really intensely interested in doing seamless patterns before this challenge, but I found it fascinating, and fun, and I am eager to do more now.
I have lately also licensed and formatted 31 greeting cards, and sent them off for manufacture and sale, and I have recently finished a coloring book, with a little twist. I realize that I am at the end of a long line of coloring book artists. However, sometimes, it’s fun to jump into the trend and see what happens. So far, all three of these projects are getting enthusiastic support.
Anything else you would like to share with us? What you are grateful for?
I am grateful for all of the diverse experiences that I have had doing art professionally, and there have been many.
My varied involvement with art, I think, was my best teacher. One adventure would lead to the next, and what I had learned from the first enabled me to build for what followed. All experience is a dear teacher, and nothing, even a negative experience, is wasted. We learn and grow from everything we do, and we are a summation of it all. I am grateful for all of the opportunities, which I have had, and I eagerly anticipate what is waiting for me right around the corner. I am just going to let the art lead me where it will. It always seems to find a new, exciting, challenging and interesting direction. I’m sure I am in for more learning and growing. I can hardly wait!
Are you working with an agent, doing it on your own?
I have two agents, and this is the norm for me rather than the exception. When I started out in the Gift/Stationery market, I was with an agent who licensed only wall art. I wanted to license more broadly, in as many categories as possible, so with this agent’s blessing, I acquired another agent for all categories but wall art. I have since changed agents, but somehow I always have two. It seems that one agent always wanted to concentrate on wall art, and I needed to have someone else rep me for product. Recently, my wall art agent started to take on more interest in licensing product, so she became my solo agent…momentarily! An agent in Israel wished to rep me, and since there is no conflict in territory, my U.S. agent blessed that business deal. So, once again, I have two agents. Seems somehow to be in my stars! I have been privileged in the last several years to work with some of the nicest, hardest working, most ethical, and trustworthy people, as my agents. Together we are growing our business every year. I am grateful for my warm, congenial relationships with them, and I know exactly how fortunate and favored I am to partner with them.
Are you an early riser? or night owl?
I am both! If I have a tight deadline, I can be up much of the night so that I can be sure everything is perfect before I send it to the manufacturer. If I have not been up at night working, then I am usually up bright and early to see if there are any requests that require my attention. Since I do business in different times zones from my own, I need to have as much lead time as possible in the morning to fulfill requests if necessary!
What is your favorite food?
Only one? In the interest of good nutrition, I usually (often, mostly, sometimes) try to stick to healthy foods, however,…..
A girl has got to live a little! So, when I (infrequently?) really want to go off the wagon, I will have a nice big yummy burrito and/or crispy taco with salsa, guacamole, and chips from Tito’s, my favorite place in Southern California for such treats. The other splurge, although much less frequent, would be a huge ice cream/gelato waffle cone. I’ll do as many as three scoops if I think no one is watching! :-)
You can find Jill:
web site: www.jillmeyer.com
Blog Post ALSC: http://artlicensingshow.com/jill-meyer/
ALSC Profile: http://artlicensingshow.com/members/jillmeyer/profile/
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