Interview With: Jessica Grimmer!
Hey guys! Over the past year or so, I have been really lucky to get to know Jessica. We’ve bonded over our love of shopping and our love of music! We’ve become good friends and I couldn’t be happier about it.
You may know Jessica Rhaye as the insanely talented singer/songwriter. This woman wears more than one hat… she’s also a talented graphic design artist!
I caught up with Jessica and asked her a few questions about her life as a musical and graphic design artist! Take a peek!
Hi Jessica! Tell me a bit about yourself and your business!
Hi Barb! I guess you could say I am a creative person :) I am a singer/songwriter and a graphic design artist. When I am not singing, writing songs and performing on stage, I am designing websites, logos, brochures, posters, invitations, CD layouts etc…! I am always wearing my creative hat and thinking up new ideas and putting them to use whether it’s in a song or in my designs.
Where did you go to school? If you think about what you learned in school and what you now do for a living… are they similar?
I studied graphic design in Fredericton at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. The most creative time in my life were the years I spent in college…I was surrounded by so much art and so many creative people it was incredibly inspiring.
When I first decided to go to the Craft College, I had planned on becoming a potter! The first year in college is the Foundation of Visual Arts program where you can take several different medias/crafts and then choose what you like best and continue to study that one craft in your second and third year. I chose Pottery, Surface Design, Photography and Graphic Design. I soon figured out that my pottery skills were not the best…it takes a lot of hard work, patience and hand technique/skill to be a great potter, so I decided I would be an admirer and pottery collector instead :) I love and collect pottery dishes from some wonderful east coast artists – (Shanie Stozek and Nancy Postma are a couple of my faves).
I actually had no idea even how to turn on a computer when I started college! After mastering the POWER button on my computer and found my way around MACs…I soon realized that I had always been a graphic artist and just didn’t know it…when I was younger I was always designing and making posters for high school events, drawing, illustrating, painting etc…The computer and design programs opened up an entirely new world and way of producing designs for me! I fell in love with it. School really helped me own my craft as a designer and gave me the skills I use now to research, develop and communicate with clients and basically work as a designer and make a living doing it.
As a freelance artist, how do you “drum up business”? Do you have repeat clients? How important is word of mouth?
In my last year of college I did a practicum where I went to work with a graphic design company. I was fortunate enough to work in the graphics department for here Magazine in Saint John. It was during that experience that I started making contacts with other people and companies who were interested in my design work and abilities. To be honest I have been very fortunate to have not had to go out and do much soliciting for my design work…a lot of my clientel is through word of mouth and yes I have several repeat clients. I also won Graphic Designer of the Year in 2008 at the East Coast Music Industry Awards as well as the Music NB 2010 Visual Artist of the Year, so having those titles and awards under my belt has also opened up a lot of doors for me to new clients and projects.
What is a “normal” day like for you?
I usually get up around 9-9:30 :) have a bite to eat, then work in my home office on what ever design projects I have on the go until supper time or late in the evening depending on the project and deadline – then make supper for me and my husband – some evenings I will sit in my living room and sing for an hour or 2 and write a song if the inspiration strikes – go to bed, read a book/magazine – sleep – then get up and do it all over again! However, my normal day is about to change in the spring…with a new baby in my life, I am sure I won’t be sleeping in until 9:30 am :)
Tell me about your dream day? :)
hmmm…I guess if I could have a dream day it would be a full day at a spa being pampered :) – pedicure, manicure, massage the works! then sushi and red wine for supper and something chocolate for desert!
Photo by Mark Hemmings
Do you have any business goals you’d like to share?
My 2 main goals for the new year 2011:
- Write and record a new album
- Relax and enjoy motherhood :)
Have you hit any business milestones lately?
I am just grateful that I can be an artist and make a living doing what I love to do :)
How does your design work interfere with your music career? Do they compliment or do they clash?
My graphic design work and music career compliment each other very well. Because I freelance, I can take on as much work as I feel I can…if I have a tour coming up or recording session booked, I know not to take on a heavy design work load during that time. As a music artist I understand the importance of image so I am able to have full creative control over all my promotional materials look/feel ie: CD layouts, posters, website, T-Shirts etc… I don’t have to rely on or have to pay someone to do this for me. Not only do I produce my own promo materials, I have had the pleasure of working with and designing pieces for other music artists including Matt Anderson, Thom Swift, Hot Toddy, Ken Tobias, Stephanie Mainville, and Carmel Mikol to name a few.
Photo by Kâté Braydon
… And just for fun!
Name 4 artists on your iPod that you can’t get enough of…
– The Weepies (Click for a myspace link)
– Ron Sexsmith (Click for a myspace link)
– Meaghan Smith (Click for a myspace link)
– I was in New York over the holidays and caught the musical American Idiot (based on Green Day’s Rock-Opera CD) – Billy Joe Armstrong was one of the lead actors in the show – it was amazing – a super high energy experience…since then I can’t get enough of the song “Wake me up When September Ends“.
Your favourite food is…?
Seafood… especially shrimp :)
Your favourite quote…?
Practice safe design, use a concept.
What’s the best way to get in contact with you, see your work, listen to your music?
You can listen to and purchase my music, get all the updates on upcoming shows and news, and view photos and videos on my music website www.JessicaRhaye.com – and you can check out my online design portfolio at www.JessicaRhayeDesign.com – My email is on both sites so feel free to drop me a note any time!
AND NOW FOR some EXCITING news!
Jessica has kindly offered one lucky reader this amazing prize pack!
** A Copy of “Good Things” and “Short Stories” as well as her live ECMA NOMINATED DVD produced by Hemmings House Pictures. **
Here’s how to enter:
1. Visit www.JessicaRhaye.com and click on the Facebook link near the top!
3. Come back to my blog and leave a comment on this post.
That’s all! I’ll draw for a winner on Wednesday, February 9th at 5pm. I’ll e-mail the winner and post the results back here. This giveaway is open to anyone with a Canadian mailing address. Please, feel free to leave a comment!
Thanks so much to Jessica!
Edit: The winner of the amazing giveaway is Gillian! Congratulations! Thanks very much, Jessica!!