We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacki Geary and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacki, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Staying true to myself as an artist and what I create. Making art is very personal, but in businesses it’s very important to not take things personally. Because you’re putting so much of yourself into what you create, it can be difficult for artists to separate the feelings attached to the art from the business side of things. Not everyone is going to connect with what you make and you’ll get flat out rejected sometimes. Learning to brush those things off and redirect my focus has helped me move forward quicker in a positive direction.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been a professional artist for about 20 years as a photographer, painter, printmaker and most recently, jewelry artist. In 2018 I created the business JAX Atelier so that I could combine all of my disciplines under one umbrella. Jewelry art, primarily earrings, has become my main focus within this new business, but I still get to use my other skills during the process of creating the pieces. From designing to color mixing to sculpting to photographing the final product, I utilize all of my tools and I love it! Because I’ve been creating art my entire life, I can’t imagine not having a career in the arts. The business side of being a creative entrepreneur has not always been easy, but making art has forever been the foundation of anything I’ve done in my life and who I am as a person. Staying focused on why I create and the feeling it brings me and others is what helps to get through the difficult days. If it weren’t for the struggles, I wouldn’t be where I am today and wouldn’t know the things that I’ve learned, obsessively researched, and implemented in my work and business. I create art for me because I feel compelled to, but the joy it brings others is what makes it all the sweeter. In addition to bringing joy to people, it’s important to me to give back in some way. Because homelessness is such a heartbreaking problem, especially here in San Diego, a percentage of each sale at JAX Atelier is donated to local and nationwide homeless charities. I hope that when customers buy from me, they know that their purchase not only goes toward supporting my small business, but also helps others in need. When I was about 7 years old I dressed up as an artist for Halloween. I guess I never changed out of that outfit. I’m so glad I never did!
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?
Well, let’s imagine that they’re visiting when there’s no global pandemic happening and everything is fully open and life is “normal”! Definitely visit Balboa Park and see the sites and maybe have a picnic. Go listen to live jazz on a Wednesday night at Panama 66 – San Diego Museum of Art. Shop at some of the great boutiques in Barrio Logan, North Park, University Heights, Hillcrest and Ocean Beach. Have a lavender latte at Communal Coffee at either location in South Park or North Park. Eat delicious dim sum at Emerald Chinese Cuisine on Convoy St. There are so many amazing Asian restaurants on Convoy St. in Kearny Mesa that you can’t go wrong, and many are open really late. Happy hour at Seven Grand in my neighborhood of North Park for an old fashioned, or two. Get the best pescado burrito at The Taco Stand in North Park. Go to a few art gallery openings on a Saturday night. Take a drive up to North County and go to the Meditation Gardens at the Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas. It’s a peaceful place that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m a very lucky person to have such amazing support from my family and friends. It truly makes a difference when you have people cheering you on. My biggest cheerleader has to be my mom. From day one she has always been there telling me I can do anything and be anything I want. She often tells me “you’re the best artist in the world!”, which I have a good laugh at every time. Even though I laugh, I feel appreciated and supported, and that goes a long way. To have friends and family that believe in my work means the world to me. It definitely has helped me succeed as an artist and in business.