Words cannot express how excited I am to share this illustrator with you! Jessica Swift loves bright colors, patterns, and putting her work on everything! Prints, rain boots, necklaces, pocket mirrors, camera cases, and more! She shared some great inspiration today to show you how to make AND MEET your big goals.
In case people don’t know you and your amazing business, would you mind sharing what you do?
Sure! I’m a full-time artist and surface designer. I paint and make digital patterns, and then I license those images to companies to use on their products. I also use to them to make my own products that I sell on my website at jessicaswift.com. I also do graphic design work for clients, like logos and website headers and such, and I run an e-course with my friend Michelle Ward called The Declaration of You. We’re currently writing a book together, too, based on the e-course, that will come out in June 2013! I also started a line of rain boots in 2011, so I’m a rain boot renegade, too. Whew! I think that’s it. 🙂
Your collection is so diverse! What inspired you to create so many items that tout your designs?
Honestly, I just love seeing my artwork on different surfaces! I get tired of making the same things over and over, so I’m always wanting to try new things. I eventually want to have stores full of my products, too, so that inspires me to diversify as much as I can! I’ll never get tired of seeing my artwork on different products. Never.
Your rain boots are a true expression of one of your dreams. What has changed in your life and work since achieving their creation?
I think the main thing that’s changed is that I realize now that if I break down a big dream into small, manageable steps, it’s completely possible and achievable. I was so scared to try to raise $18,000 on Kickstarter to fund the production of the boots, but now that I’ve done it, it makes my big crazy dreams seem not quite so big and crazy! I think I have more faith in myself now; I know that I can make big things happen for myself with focused, dedicated work and lots of passion!
What advice would you give to artists and makers considering licensing their work?
Start keeping a running list of all the companies you might like to work with! Pick up products at your favorite stores and see who made them, Google those companies, check their websites to see if they have submission guidelines posted, and start contacting people! The best time to start is always now. Always keep your eyes open for exciting opportunities!
You and your business have evolved so much over the past few years. Was there ever a time when you worried about failing or met a hard obstacle? How did you overcome it and push forward?
Oh my gosh, yes, of course! So many. The rain boot project in particular brought out so much fear of failing, because I was in completely new and foreign territory (and still am in many ways!), but my tried and true method for working through those types of feelings is to feel the fear and do it anyway. It’s my favorite motto. It always helps me transform tough obstacles and move through worry and doubt. Plus, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with failing, because there are lessons to be learned when things don’t go right. Not getting something right, or failing, will help propel you further down your path if you let it! I try not to let my fear stop me, and I try to remember that there’s always a way to reframe a situation that might be tough in order to see the silver lining or the lesson to be learned.
Are you in love with Jessica’s work now? You’ll definitely want to check out her site and blog to keep up with her amazing business and get inspiration!