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Art & Life with Jules Gissler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jules Gissler.

Jules, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I have always had an interest in art and creating. I studied art throughout school and majored in Graphic Design at Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana. After graduation, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia and became a Manager of the Graphics Department of a Fortune 500 company. I soon knew the corporate world was not for me, and on the side, I began doing anything creative from hardware and pearl jewelry, costume design for a blues singer, illustrations, to painting pillows and adding charms, pom-poms, or hardware. I even made ‘rock pillows’. I carved the rock shape out of foam, covered them with velvet or velour, and then took oatmeal and glued in on and painted it to resemble moss. When I showed them to the design center in Atlanta, a woman asked me if I was on acid when I came up with the idea! However, I did find a showroom at the Atlanta Mart for my painted pillows, minus the rock pillows, and sold them across the states, this included Barney’s, Ballard Designs, and later ABC Carpet & Home, NY. I then moved to New York City and wrote and illustrated a couple of children’s books, and tried to get them published. We moved to Phoenix, where I worked with an editor for a year tweaking a story that I written and illustrated. Unfortunately, she was laid off, and it sat there a few more months. They, then, decided to pass on it, because she was no longer there to work on it. A few years later I went through a divorce and decided that I would live my passions full time. I began painting, and creating my hardware jewelry, the ‘Leash’ and the ‘ziG’. I also wrote a 32 page, two lines per page, hand-written book about pushing through a transition. I painted abstract paintings for the illustrations because I felt they exuded my emotion. I then went on kickstarter and got my book printed. Kickstart was an amazing experience. All these people believing in me and supporting the printing of my book. I continue to sell my book and have had people not only going through a divorce purchase it, but people who have an illness, an addiction, or a loss of some kind.

In the beginning, I painted mostly flowers and dogs. I have developed my whimsical style so that people would recognize a ‘jules” painting. My dogs and people have pink and yellow eyes with lots of curlicues, and curlicue background. They are acrylic, ink, with a splash of sequins, and a humorous title runs up the side and over the top of the canvas. I also make cards, prints, and calendars from my paintings and love doing commissioned work, especially of peoples’ furry friends. I do a lot for rescue organizations, and was AZ Animal Welfare League’s featured artist, along with Shemer Art center’s featured artist for their event, “Furry Friends”, the past three years. I also had a painting, “Lenny”, a dog with a cat sleeping on his head, hanging at Phoenix Sky Harbor last year. This was a juried selection through AZ Artist’s League. I even have dog & cat rescue mugs that I sell.

I also enjoy drawing realistic illustrations of food and desserts with colored pencils. Currently, I’m looking for an agent, and would like to do more illustrations for editorial work, design patterns for home goods, or fabric, continue to paint commissions of animals, people, and flowers, and also find a home for all these quirky short stories I have been writing, which I draw an image to go with it. Life is very creative for me, and my approach to anything that comes my way is “why not!”

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Currently, I do commissioned art, mainly of dogs and cats. I also draw realistic food and desserts. I make cards, prints, and calendars from my art. I write short, whimsical stories and draw an image to go with each story, I don’t know where I’m going with this, but when I post them on Instagram, people want more. I am definitely passionate about these, so I will continue, and hopefully time will reveal what I should do with these! 🙂 I also continue to sell my book, which was written for people going through a divorce, but I have had people reach out to me that have an addiction, or an illness, or loss, tell me how much it has meant to them. What a great surprise that it has reached so many people in different areas!

My hope is that my art makes people smile, even if it’s just a tiny corner smile.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what quality do you feel is most helpful?
To me, defining success is being able to make a living while living your passion.–My mantra has always been, “why not” so anything that comes my way, I try to go for it and see what comes from it! Fear, as in so many areas, tries to get in the way–especially with an artist. An artist is so vulnerable putting their art out there, which is their heart and soul fully exposed. You just have to push through and do it, and are usually very pleasantly surprised at the positive feedback. So many artists feel that there isn’t enough work for all of us and can be competitive, but that is so not true. Each artist’s work is as individual and different as one person is from another. We all should be cheering each other on.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My art is in various shops in Phoenix and Scottsdale, and I have two shows currently where my art is hanging until the end of May. I have a small shop on my website, http://www.julesgissler.com, and I hope to put an Etsy shop up soon. I also post my art and stories on Instagram: julesAgissler, and Facebook page: julesgissler-artist. Most of my postings are for sell. My book, “Getting Your Magic Back”, is available on my website. I also love doing commissions, they can email me at jules@julesgissler.com, and we can chat about that special piece for them. I am also looking for an agent and a venue for my stories/images, if anyone has any ideas, or knows of someone that would be interested, please email me @ jules@julesgissler.com.

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Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Jan Doughty

    May 8, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    What a fantastic and varied artist. Her “hardware” jewelry gets positive comments every time I wear it!!

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