We’re so pumped about our conversation with Jacki Cohen. Jacki is a Glass Artist and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with Jacki below.
Jacki, it’s been too long since we last connected. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with our community again. Some readers might have missed our prior conversations, so maybe you can kick things off for us with a quick intro?
Originally, I started as an admirer of glass art. I would purchase glass art on vacations, at art fairs, and galleries. I have always been fairly artistic and started taking art classes to explore my talent, classes in watercolors, drawing, etc and nothing felt quite right. I discovered a not for credit stained class through a local community college and registered for the class. I learned how to cut the glass, how to use the tools and fell in love with handling the medium. The stained-glass end product felt too restrictive for my personal taste. The studio offered a fused glass class. I knew right then and there my passion has been discovered and ignited. I started as a fused glass hobbyist and took local classes a few times a month. That progressed to classes one a week, then bi-weekly classes for many years. In 2009, I incorporated to be able to start selling my glass professionally. Without my own studio and kiln, I honestly could not call myself a true glass artist and could not be very productive. Without a kiln, you are a glass cutter and designer. A true glass artist must figure out the firing schedules, and physics to manipulate the glass in the kiln to achieve your desired result, in 2014, I built my own studio complete with power tools, and a large kiln. I now work full time as a fused glass artist. I now have multiple kilns and upgraded power tools. My studio has expanded as has my business. I am just as passionate about my glass art now as when I started, probably more.
Can you talk to us about how you start your day and what a typical day in your life looks like?
I am an early riser starting my day by 5:00am. I exercise first thing to start my day energized and happy. I work out with a personal trainer at the gym 3 times a week doing weight training and HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. I hike the beautiful Arizona mountains 2-3 times a week at sunrise. I am one of those people who gets endorphins from working out so it’s key for me, as a creative, to make sure my body and mind are active every day. On the commute home from the gym and/or mountain, I talk to my son who lives 2 time zones away and the timing is always perfect before he starts his day, as a graduate school student. I have daily chats with my 80-year-old mom. I also receive a call from my daughter on her commute home from work. I know I am fortunate to have frequent conversations with my grown children who do not live with me. After my daily workout, it’s studio time. I am regimented and consistent about my studio time. I work best early morning until afternoon. Late afternoon I tackle my administration work, answer emails, work on social media campaigns, and apply to “calls for art”.
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
Bringing joy and smiles to people’s faces by collecting my art. I want my work to invoke happiness, joy, and pleasure. My hope is that my glass art brings a smile and helps make someone’s day a little brighter, both literally and figuratively. I want my art to be enjoyed and bring inspiration – inspiration to believe in oneself and one’s dreams. I enjoy the creative outlet that being an artist affords. I translate the word into glass each day. My sketchbook is bursting with ideas to be created. A benefit for me is cultivating relationships through collectors is an added bonus for me. I am a people person. I enjoy the continuity of relationships and getting to know people.
What inspires you? How is that translated into your art?
I frequently come back from a vacation inspire creative and create a new collection reflect that trip. The most recent example of this is with my latest collection called, “Crystal” This collection was inspired by a bucket list trip my husband and I took in late January. early February 2020. It seems like ions ago with the soon to follow coronavirus and stay at home orders, social distancing, etc. I have always been a beach girl, warm weather and water sports gal. I am the most relaxed by the ocean. The sounds, colors, and movements of the ocean is serene and inspiring at the same time. I was fortunate enough to go on my fantasy trip with my love a few shorts months ago. We went to the south pacific. Island hopped. Stayed in the luxurious overwater bungalow. What surprised me and later translated into my work was the colors of the water. I have traveled to many exotic beaches, the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, Costa Del Sol, French Riveria, and never have I ever seen waters these hues of blues and green. Never have I ever seen the waters changing colors right before my eyes as I jet skied over ribbons of every shade of green imaginable. The island of Bora Bora, Moorea, & Tahiti are breathtaking. I came back to my studio and created Crystal. A collection that showcases the ribbons of oceans waters hanging to my naked eye. I added dichroic accents to highlight the sparkle and clearness of the water. Bubble elements are also accented on this collection both overly and understated.
Can you talk to us about how the pandemic has affected you?
The pandemic has forced us to color outside the lines. In 2020 we have adapted to zoom interactions for business and school, facemasks as a fashion staple, hand sanitizer as a hygiene routine, searching for staples such as toilet paper, and the unexpected silver linings. I focused on thinking outside the box. Covid 19 world allowed me concentrated studio time for my art, time to take zoom classes and learn new techniques, pushing myself on social media, upping my marketing footprint, and most importantly, spending quality family time. Looking back on 2020 reflectively has taught all of us many lessons, this was my journey: At the pandemic infancy, mid-February 2020, I had just come back from a bucket list vacation. As with most of my travels, I came back inspired by the trip. Bursting with new ideas and frequently, the birth of a new collection. My “Crystal” collection was born. As the mid-March 2020 approached and Arizona was closing down, people were quarantining and new terminology was being coined (zoom, social distance, unprecedented times), my focus was being glued to the news, searching for essentials such as toilet paper, then fear set it. As an artist, fear and complete isolation was a non-creative zone. I still forced myself into my studio to create art but new exciting ideas were escaping me. I continued with many of my more popular collections to keep my art skills alive. My son was getting married late summer and decided to continue with the wedding as a family only event. It was the highlight of the summer and our family focused on this joyful event. Summer also brought my adult daughter home to live which also provided unexpected and wonderful family time. The biggest discovery of covid for me as an artist is that after the in person holiday shows that I participated, I learned that I thrive on people. The conversation about my art, inspirations and simple chit chat truly ignited my world. I left each art show, enthusiastic, positive, and wanting to create more.
Thank you so much again for sharing all of this with us. Before we go, can you share with our readers how they can connect with you, learn more or show support?
Facebook; Jacki Cohen Glass Art Designs
- Website: www.JackiCohenGlassArtDesigns.com
- Facebook: Jacki Cohen Glass Art Designs
- Linkedin: Jacki Cohen
- Twitter: JackiCohen
Photos with me: Lori Krenzen Photography art photos: JMB Photography, Josh Mason Barkin Photography