We had the good fortune of connecting with Madelyn Jacobs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Madelyn, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
I feel that one of the most helpful things I’ve come to learn is you are your own worst enemy. I used to compare myself to a lot of other artists’. I would get super down on myself wondering things like “what am I doing wrong? why doesn’t my art look as good as theirs? how do I get to their level?” and it would all just spiral. It honestly took me until recently to understand how much comparison kills. It held me back a lot. I’d never get any work done or started for that matter because I was so scared of not being “perfect.” But I realized I was comparing two completely different people on two entirely separate paths. Which is absolutely bananas. So now i’m constantly reminding myself that I am me and no one else, my art is my art, and as long as i’m trying, that’s all that matters. The path to success is not linear. Everyone grows at their own pace. Everyone is different with unique stories and experiences. Figure out what works for you and do that. I had to finally stop myself from trying to do what I thought I was meant to do based on someone else’s success. What works for someone else might not work for me. And that’s okay.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community? I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was super little, I was always doodling of some sort. Both my parents are artists as well, so I definitely had a solid support system there, which I am eternally grateful for. While art was something I always did, I actually never thought of it as a career path for myself. I was always just having fun with it. It wasn’t until recently when I was already a few years into college studying sociology that my parents finally sat me down and questioned my choice in education. Even I wasn’t sure why I chose it. I guess a part of me did want to be an artist, but I was always told i’d never be able to make a living out of it. At this time, I was posting my creative content on my socials as well as making stickers and prints. My parents recognized this and told me I should just go for it and pursue a career in the arts. So with that, I transferred to an art school and i’ve been studying Illustration ever since. Through this new journey, I’ve realized there’s no point in doing things you don’t actually want to do. If you’re really passionate about something, no matter what it may be, you will be successful. I think I just had to find that confidence and learn to trust myself.
I didn’t have a lot of confidence or trust in myself growing up. Being biracial, I never felt like I belonged anywhere. I felt like I was only being perceived in parts, but never as a whole person. I think art was my way of making myself heard and seen without having the way I look get in the way. Fast forward to present day, I’m much more confident in myself and I know who I am. I know that my experience in life is unique just like everyone else’s. Instead of hiding behind my art, I’m now able to stand beside it. I just love to create. Plain and simple. I feel that this is my life’s purpose. I don’t feel I need to be huge and world renowned. I just know i’m meant to create things.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d definitely have to take them to Hazel & Jade’s for some vegan breakfast croissants. I’m not vegan, but they’re my favorite little cafe & bakery in all of San Diego. Afterwards, we’d have to go enjoy our treats at Balboa Park. Of course. We gotta explore the exhibits and little scenic pockets. Then, I’d take them to walk around North Park. In a perfect scenario, The Vintage Flea Market would be going on, so we’d hit that up. Following that, I’d take them to Verbatim Book Store and Pigment !!! I actually work at Pigment. Shoutout to my Green Team (this is not sponsored). Again, in a perfect scenario, I’d drive us all the way up to Vista to the Moonlight Theater where they’re hopefully putting on a show. To end the night, I’d take them to California Creamery in Encinitas. Best Ice Cream in San Diego. I know I framed this all to happen in a single day and not a week, but you get the gist. These are my favorite spots in San Diego.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
@oolox is a san diego musician and my lovely partner. he is just so talented and deserves so much more than he’s been given. i’m so proud of him and how far he’s come not only as a musician, but as a person. @thisyna is my friend who I met through some other san diego artists. she is also a musician and she’s got some singles out now and definitely deserves a shout out. @unclekimon is a graphic designer and a very dear friend of mine. he is so so so insanely talented. his work needs to be everywhere.
Image Credits: Michelle Bernabe (@senpaimichelle)