Featured Artist: JMHurd
Freelance artist, JMHurd (Jackie), lives in North Caroline surrounded by her family of humans and fur-babies. Jackie’s artistic career started at 19 when she enlisted with the U.S. Air Force. She served for 10 years as a graphic artist and later also as a photographer. Jackie shared this insight on how that opportunity shaped her journey, “I’m really thankful for that experience because it set the foundation for the artist I am today.”
Read on to discover what advice Jackie has for artists.
"...if I could give my younger self some advice I would say 'just do it, draw something everyday no matter what it is and if you want to learn how to do something, stop wishing and take the initiative to learn it.'"
Where is home?
Home is in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Lots of tall pine trees, it’s very pretty here.
What is your weapon of choice?
I start everything in pen and then bring it into adobe illustrator. I LOVE pens.
Please describe your work in 7 words or less
Story-bookish and fun.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?
What is your dream project?
My dream project is to be commissioned by a popular retailer to design home decor especially for children. I would love to work with Pottery Barn or Anthropology.
"...honestly what inspires me the most are my pets, they are such fluffy little comedians. I have two cats- one is a cranky old lady cat and the other is a young energetic teenager, a super goofy Weimaraner dog, a backyard flock of chickens and a tiny pigmy goat whose name is Hanky Panky."
Please share the story behind your favorite artwork on Redbubble.
I love everything I put on Redbubble equally, but the story that comes to mind first is the one behind my Dandy Ducks collection. My husband decided he wanted ducks so our friend gave him three ducks. I wasn’t thrilled about the mess the ducks made and neither were the chickens. The ducks were complete divas, they took the best spot on the roost and demanded two pools of fresh water everyday that they constantly splashed in, the coop was always soaked and the water was always filthy. My poor chickens who really like fresh clean water were so annoyed. I ended up finding another home for the ducks where they had a nice big pond and room to make their messes, but before they left I was inspired by their hilarious antics and from that experience my Dandy Ducks collection was born.
I adore your patterns. They are so charming. Would you share with us what inspires them?
I have a big family (husband and 4 kids) and we stay very active, getting outdoors whenever we can, I know that certainly helps keep the inspiration coming in. But honestly what inspires me the most are my pets, they are such fluffy little comedians. I have two cats- one is a cranky old lady cat and the other is a young energetic teenager, a super goofy weimaraner dog, a backyard flock of chickens and a tiny pigmy goat whose name is Hanky Panky. I am completely in love with my chickens. I have about 20 of them and all different kinds, colors and ages. I love sitting and watching them and from their interactions I get tons of ideas for my work.
What’s been the hardest lesson you’ve learned while creating a successful illustration career? What advice would you love to have told yourself five or ten years ago?
I held myself back for a long time because I overthought everything and I never shared my work. I never actually drew anything just for fun and I would waste way too much time looking at everyone else’s work and wishing I could be as talented as them. It was paralyzing. I was doing more wishing than drawing. Then one day something clicked, and I realized that wishing was getting me nowhere so I became very determined and devoted as much time as I could to actually become the artist I dreamed of being and now here I am: happy with where I am as an artist and the direction in which my career is heading. So if I could give my younger self some advice I would say “just do it, draw something everyday no matter what it is and if you want to learn how to do something, stop wishing and take the initiative to learn it.”
If you weren’t making art, what do you think you would you be doing now?
I actually left a really good job with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command to become a full time freelancer. So if I wasn’t making art, that’s where I would still be 5 days a week, 8 hours a day sitting behind a locked door in a cold office with no windows. Anyone who’s creative knows that is a rough way to spend a day, let alone every day so while I miss the money and the people, I enjoy the flexibility to create my own work environment (and hours) as a freelancer.
What artwork are you excited to work on next?
Over the summer I got into making prints- the kind you make from carving linoleum and then making an impression with an oil based ink. But then I got busy and haven’t been able to pick it up since so I’ve blocked off a little time this month to get those supplies back out and make patterns using elements I’ll carve from linoleum. So I’m looking forward to that.
Is there anything you’d like to share with us?
My career in the arts started with my enlistment in the U.S. Air Force when I was 19. I actually served as a graphic artist and later doubled as a photographer. I served for 10 years. I’m really thankful for that experience because it set the foundation for the artist I am today.