GDG: Could you give us a brief overview of your art background?
JG: Since childhood, I have been obsessed with animation and art. I managed to get a scholarship to the University of Arizona where I studied Digital Media and Animation. Shortly after, I married my high school sweetheart (still married) and followed him around the world while he was in the military. Animation/Design jobs were few while constantly uprooting, so I started working in freelance graphic design and illustration and found my niche.
GDG: What are some of the jobs you have done professionally?
JG: Graphic design allows me to work on all sorts of platforms and mediums. I feel fortunate I’ve had the opportunity to have my work on everything from trains to toys. When I was growing up, all I wanted was to work in animation, but life got complicated and many suggested I try graphic design. My response then was, ‘I don’t want to work on ketchup bottles’. Eventually, I went for it. I learned so much and realized the crazy amount of creative expression that’s possible in this field. Now I would be overjoyed for a gig on a ketchup bottle!
GDG: Has working around so many other GDG artists influenced your art style?
JG: The first time I discovered GDG, I was on Brittney Lee’s blog and I thought, “I want in on that!” GDG allows me to work with such a variety of artists – you can’t help but see the impact the group has on your style. Just the weekly themes alone, I get so much inspiration and encouragement from this group of women.
GDG: Where do you get your inspiration?
JG: As most of us say, ‘everywhere’, but my favorite places to look are thrift shops. I love hunting through old records, movie posters, toys, and especially weird prints and photos.
GDG: What do you do when you are in a ‘creative rut’?
JG: Getting outside and allowing my mind to wander really helps. Denver is the ideal place for this! Within 20 minutes from anywhere, you can be in nature, at an exhibit, or just experiencing a new place to hang out and people watch. It’s something I really love about Colorado.
GDG: Do you prefer digital or traditional art?
JG: I love traditional methods, even though I do primarily digital work. I always start with rough sketches and love to paint color ideas. Regular practice in traditional mediums helps me develop my methods in digital. Going to the fundamentals and simplifying what I’m doing always helps me further a concept.
GDG: What is your favourite artistic discipline?
JG: Gouache painting. I love it. It’s what I do if I feel a creative temper tantrum brewing or just to work through ideas for work.
GDG: What have you always wanted to learn?
JG: Hand lettering. Like so many people, I suffer from writing, ‘Happy Birthday!’ on a card only to run out of room by the time I get to the ‘y’ in Birthday.
GDG: What is your advice to aspiring women artists?
JG: Stay diligent. Life can get complicated, but there’s always a way if you stick to it. Many people are shocked to find out I am an artist, because I’m a military wife, a mom, and caught up in the throws of domesticated life sometimes, but art is my passion and I will always find a way to make it work. It’s who I am.