Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenny Ziomek.
Jenny, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I studied fine art in college and then moved to NYC, but was too scared to fully pursue art as a career. I wound up getting my Masters in Education and becoming a teacher and drawing and painting on the side. Then one day, I realized that, as much as I loved teaching, I needed to push my fears aside and take my art career more seriously. For me, it took starting over in a new city (LA) to go all in.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nope! There are all kinds of struggles that come along with being an artist. The main one is that there’s no roadmap for artists, the way there are clear paths for many other careers. There was a lot of stumbling and mistakes and confusion about where to set my focus when I first moved out here. I think the biggest challenge for me personally was lack of community. With most other careers, you have your colleagues or office mates to commiserate with/share/support one another. I felt pretty lost when I moved out here and tried to do this really challenging, an undefined thing without teammates. I decided to get my MFA and that really changed everything. Now I have a whole bunch of “colleagues.” Even though we don’t work in an office or building together, we are a supportive community and help each other out as much as we can.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about being an artist – what should we know?
I make paintings, drawings, and books. Most of my work has to do with ideas around intimacy, relationships, time and memory. I have an ongoing series of tiny paintings of women’s private moments. I ask different women in my life to take videos of themselves doing a solitary, intimate act at home. The more mundane the better – I’m interested in seeing them brush their teeth, shave their legs, bleach their mustache hair, whatever. Then I take stills from the video and make them into miniature paintings (the longest dimension would be 3.5″ on one side, and they are usually smaller than that). I use a magnifying lamp to create the drawings. The paintings wind up being these tiny moments, little windows into the intimate parts of people’s lives. These paintings are currently available at Richard Heller Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
It sounds counterintuitive, but for me, it’s a combination of being quite open-minded and creative, then putting those very qualities aside in order to put my head down and work.
- Website: www.jennyziomek.org
- Instagram: @jennyziomek