Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.
What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Jolie Bouchard, the artist behind our new Personalized Family Growth Chart, Personalized Constellation Growth Chart, and Personalized Solar System Wall Art.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I wear many hats, including that of an artist, but looking back, art has always weaved through all of them. I consider it more part of my world view that touches everything. I have had a full 15- year traditional corporate career, but chose a niche focused on artistic issues; I have rehabbed homes as a hobby, which I enjoy because it’s another way to express artistic vision; I’ve volunteered to promote the arts community; I’m a foodie.
When I had my daughter, I had very specific ideas for the art in her room that I just had to create myself, which is how this business was born. I also have many more specific ideas for art I want to create than time to create them – perhaps that’s when I knew this would be my next career. I continue to create art that I would want for my own kids and walls.
What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?
Having time to actually make my artistic ideas a reality and finding a printing partner who makes them look so gorgeous has been exciting! Thinking about my art being in other people’s homes is humbling. I also love showing my 2 and 6 year old daughters my new pieces of art and seeing how excited they get about it. However, one of the most exciting things is that my daughters get to see their mom running a business I’m passionate about. I want them to find that for themselves.
What does your typical day in the studio look like?
There really is no typical day – especially with little kids at home. I divide my time pretty equally between designing new art, working with my printing and shipping team to fulfill orders, working with UncommonGoods and my other partners and just working on building the business. It all takes a lot of time and I’m always moving quickly on something. I am very rarely sitting in a studio, and like to work from different places for inspiration. I try to work hard and quickly while my kids are at school so that I can focus on them and be present with my family when I’m with them.
Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
My daughters are truly my inspiration. I don’t need to look far. Their laughter, creativity, kindness, passions, silliness – I have an abundance of inspiration in my life right now and am so grateful for it. I have a never-ending idea list of art I want to create. I’m inspired to show my daughters how to live a life you love and feel good about. I try to expose them to how I run my business as much as I can.
I was inspired to create our Growth Charts because we needed one, and I just wasn’t finding the designs or quality that I wanted. My daughters are constantly so excited to use them and continually want to measure themselves and see how they’re growing. That inspires me.
I created the Personalized Solar System Art Print because I was teaching my daughter about the solar system and she loved learning about it! I wanted to create something beautiful that she could learn from and feel a personal connection to. She definitely knows her planets now! I love combining art with STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) issues for kids when I can.
Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?
That’s my daily life with a first grader at home. I love showing her my work and really appreciate her suggestions – she has an amazing design style! I’m starting to teach her how to design herself, because she asked me if I would hire her. (Of course I did! ☺) When I showed her the growth chart I made for her with her name on it, she loved it so much that she told me it made her heart shine and then ran to make me three Mothers Day cards (in January). It really doesn’t get much better than that.
Do you have any memorable customer feedback you’d like to share?
I get such a thrill when I hear from my customers! There have been so many touching stories. The first customer who bought from me sent me a photo of her grandson next to my growth chart with a huge beaming smile. It meant so much to me and inspired me to keep going. I also will never forget the grandmother who asked me to make her three 6’2” growth charts for her grandkids in their 20s because she had measured their heights on her wall since they were born and wanted to transfer those measurements to permanent portable charts for them. I also donated a chart to the Make A Wish foundation upon request for two sisters, and seeing the passion they put into transforming that child’s room and knowing my chart was a part of the new design just made me want to do so much more. The daily photos and happy comments from customers are all meaningful to me though.
What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
Do Your Best And Forget The Rest. We are all trying to juggle so much today, and especially us moms. All you can do is decide on your priorities and then do your best.