I want you to meet Jennifer Jean. Her life is filled with creating, managing, mentoring, and communicating about modern and contemporary art. She worked as a gallery director, operations manager and fine art consultant, and have been an adjunct educator at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
She is also an MFA holder from Boston University, and the third President of the National Association of Women Artists, MA Chapter.
Jennifer Jean was a panellist for “A Changing Landscape & The Female I.” an artist talk and discussion at the Van der Plas Gallery which held on March 8, 2020. For the gallery’s exhibition, a diverse group of women were chosen to present an ensemble of works with distinct regard for the voice of the female experience. Among the artists chosen were; Vian Borchert, Gale Rothstein, Vandana Nitoor, Kelly Ibarra, and Liz Atzburger.
Attaining these heights did not happen overnight for Jennifer. In this article, she shares some of the practices and habits that have helped her to overcome challenges and get to the top.
Strike a balance:
In Jennifer’s words, one of her biggest challenges has been finding a balance between creative time and marketing.
“After spending the time necessary to promote my work, creative time in the studio is shortened.”
She realized that the solution to this problem is to maintain a sanguine outlook on life and take every day as it comes.
“As long as I am able to create art, write, and experience the joys of life, then I have achieved that balance”, she says.” The balance consists of always learning, experiencing, and pushing myself to reach for more—an ongoing narrative where I hope to always be surrounded by honest critics, and people who are inspiring and stimulated in their own lives.”
In the art world, it is incredibly easy for you to lose yourself in the negativity. Jennifer has had her fair share of setbacks, but the only thing that keeps her going is staying positive.
In her own words, here’s what Jennifer says about staying positive:
“No matter what happens ― I think positive. This positive outlook has helped me overcome challenges in the arts and there are a lot. Basically, don’t lose yourself in the negativity around you, don’t lose your creative soul in this odious world that’s surrounding you, in the crazies that try to hurt you. What works for me is slapping my face when self-doubt comes and reminding myself ― you can do this. When we think positive, we are our most positive selves and have the best chance of staying positive. It’s the mental and physical pep talk I gave myself when I played sports and it still works. This outlook combined with perseverance is key”
How do you maintain passion for what you love? This was a question I needed answers to.
I asked Jennifer how she manages to keep the fire burning after more than 15 years of being an artist.
This was her response.
“The one who gives up is a fool. Passion picks up the broken pieces and puts them back together. Passion wants your ‘myself’ to be honest and say what is on your mind. For me, passion for the arts is love, one where what you create matters most and the bumpy journey is just that. I’m lucky to have my Mama’s gift at following through with things. She would say, Listen to yourself as there is always another way. Those words- along with “one, done and move on”- are constant reminders of why I love being an artist.