We had the good fortune of connecting with Janelle Despot and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Janelle, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
It’s something I’ve always just done. I know it in my bones, and I don’t know if there’s ever been anything else! My “career” is just a winding path of choices that felt fun and right at the time. Floundering around the detours led me to new discoveries and people, and now I’m blessed to try to fit all the beautiful pieces together. Living as an artist is the truest thing I can do, for me. This is a good question to reflect on, because pursuing an artistic/creative career is full of constant challenges and doubts. Sometimes I am misguided and lose my “why,” but I think creativity is such an individual, special gift that we get to find, nurture and share with the world. Or not, maybe it’s a quiet, individual practice. In committing to my path, I get to inspire and help others do the same, whatever that looks like for them.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Art is my way to figure things out, and to alchemize a lot of the “stuff of living” – the joys, struggles, pain, triumph – pure emotional energy. I think I got to where I am today by working hard, and I’m proud of the courage it takes to be vulnerable and authentic when putting yourself out there. I do a lot of inner work, I dive deep via mindfulness and practices that put me closer to Spirit. I try to be a channel, with my imperfect humanness dancing an awkward dance with the divine.
My brand and story is about loving yourself and sharing that authentic imprint with the world. The constant opening to something larger and more wonderful than our limited human view on things. Finding the connections with others through our humanness. I’m excited to keep making products dedicated to helping people heal and celebrate themselves — like my coloring book which is a meditative ritual to play and go within. I hope people can experience my art as a little piece of them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
La Jolla Beaches are my favorite, explore OB. Lots of coffee – Hawthorn Coffee and Dark Horse. Harney Sushi. Visit Helix Brewery and sit on the patio. It’s COVID so, hang out in my backyard and have friends over LOL. Take the kiddo to Trolley Barn Park and lay on the grass.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My dear friend Rachael has been by my side and deeply integral to my business over the last 10 months or so. She’s my rock, and we work incredibly well together. I am a completely right-brained creative, but also suffered a traumatic brain injury when I was 27 that has made some latent ADHD tendencies kind of off the charts when trying to run a business and raise a child. She’s my organizational and strategic badass. I’ve been telling a lot of creative friends they need their own “Rachael,” because I think together, people are the puzzle pieces that fit together to complete a fuller picture. In working with her, she brought my business to new heights in a very short time. I’m very, very thankful to her and thank god I’m kind of fun and interesting to work with, even though there’s a lot of ideas on scraps of paper written sideways LOL.