Traversing space and time, our very own Kat Johnston had the opportunity to ask the amazing artist Jacquie Trowell some very pressing questions about her art and how she got started.  Below is that conversation.

Kat: “Okay….here we go. So I already know you are based in Canada & a huge dog & horse lover & a great artist that I adore & admire…. until recently I thought you only worked with watercolor…..what other medium have you worked in?”

Jacquie: “I have worked in a variety of mediums. Pencils, charcoal, ink, pen, chalk and oil pastels, acrylic, watercolor and oils.”

Kat: “So what is you favorite & least favorite? As far as mediums go…”

Jacquie: “My favorite by far is the mixture of oil, watercolor and pen but as a stand alone medium, watercolor would be my fav. I would say that I like acrylic the least simply because of the amount of prep work and mess. I tend to like things simple.”

Kat: “Your watercolor art is amazing!!! How long have you been creating art?”

Jacquie: “I have been doing art since I was a child. It was my escape from a lot of issues I faced when I was young. I was lucky that I had a mother that encouraged my art an came from a highly creative family which I firmly believe helped me grow. Watercolor is fairly new to me as I only started creating with it about 3 years ago. As a self taught artist, I had many learning curves but I just loved what a fluid medium could create.”

Kat: “That was my next question, if you had gone to school for art! Your art is really bold & I noticed that you use women a lot as your subjects…. what inspires your works?”

Jacquie: “I never went to an art school. Pretty much what I know as far as the basics came from my high school art class – which I failed because I was bored. I did, however, get a degree in graphic design which has many of the fundamentals as fine art as far as color theory, proximity, balance, drawing the eye – etc. This I found really helped my fine art propel forward. I originally drew inspiration from animals as I grew up with horses, dogs, goats, rabbits and ducks on our farm in Oregon but I eventually shifted to portraits as I am driven by emotion in my art and I was fascinated how just the tilt of the head, curl of a lip or the focus of an eye could evoke exactly what I felt inside. I found it a way to express what was going on inside me when my words would fail. Because Women are generally known as the “emotional” sex, I just gravitate more to them.”

Kat: “Have you ever tried a piece that you were unable to complete because it was too difficult?”

Jacquie: “Not really. I have always pushed myself through to the end. Even if it didn’t work quite how I wanted or if it was what I deemed as a failure, I still learned something from it as well, I find that we as artists, are harder on our own work than others are because we know what we envisioned in our head. I have learned over that years that even if a piece went sideways for me, it may still be gold to someone else. I have actually sold some of my “failures” within 24 hrs of finishing them.”

Kat: “Oh, I was going to ask you if you sell your beautiful works…at the end of this please add your IG link & all links where we can find your art for sale. It seems like you approach your art with a ” no fear” mentality….do you have any phobias in real life & do you believe in aliens?”

Jacquie: “HA HA HA! Not really. I love life and everything in it. When I lost my mom to cancer, my entire outlook on life changed. I don’t want to waste one minute of what time I have left in fear, boredom or complacency. I thrive on adventure but if I were to pinpoint one thing that I don’t care for, I would have to say spiders. I could do without them. As far as aliens go – aren’t we all aliens?”

Kat: “True, in one way or another we are! LOL! ….That is such a deep loss…did art help you get through any other tramatic time in your life?”

Jacquie: “Yes, my mother was my best friend. She raised me as a single parent and was always there for me. Truth be told, I had barely drawn for 10 years before her passing because I was so busy with my design work and it fulfilled my creative needs. Not to mention, my life was balanced. Because I was an emotionally driven artists, I only drew when I was dealing with an emotional issue so with life in balance, I didn’t feel an urge to draw. When my mom passed away, I retreated back into my art. My first drawing was of my beautiful mother and it just exploded from there. That is when I started trying out all different mediums. I had so much emotion trapped inside me, I was crating 4-6 pieces a week for months on end. At this point, I had never shared any of my art with anyone outside family and friends but one day, I created a black and white painting of a sunflower and I wanted to donate it to the Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope in honor of my mom. That ended up changing everything. Long story short, that one painting started my entire art business, got me on TV and put me on the map – as well as giving back to the community and helping to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer research as 20% of my sales went to them every year.”

Jacquie: “I will add that the name of my studio “Dragonfly Studio” is in memory of my mom. She loved dragonflies and said they were her totem. My art is for her and her memory.”

Kat: “Oh wow! Well, I am so glad that you did that!!! Now you are well known & admired everywhere! It is also no secret around the group that you are my personal art idol, not to mention that you are a strong woman in many ways. I love seeing your art tips in the group & usually jump in & ask you questions…lol! So, having said that what advice do you have for young or new artists just starting out in this biz?”

Jacquie: “Stop it!! LOL! I will just say this – be true to who you are and never ever drink your own cool-aid. Be humble and keep creating what YOU want. Trying to focus on what will sell will kill you inside. I was told once by another artist to make what people want. I thought this was just dumb. 90% of what I create are portraits of just random faces in my head – which is some of the hardest pieces to sell and I have been shunned by gallery’s for them BUT I still sell because I am true to who I am and that emotion shows in the piece. People feel that. Also, you have to put yourself out there and be thick skinned. I know I may be in a stronger position to sell as I do have a degree in design and marketing but at the end of the day, I have found people buy from the artist they connect with so get out there and connect!! Be you, be humble and be honest.”

Jacquie: “Also, if you do commissions – get a 50% non refundable deposit up front! It weeds out tire kickers LOL!”

Kat: “That is some great advice!! Thank you so much for your time today & for the opportunity to interview you! You are a pleasure to talk with. Please feel free to add all of your page links & up to 20 pieces of yours that you would like to have connected to this article! You rock!!! & You’re my idol like it or not haha!”

Jacquie: “Jeezus Kat – STAWP IT LOL!! And for sure. It was fun! Thanks for the opportunity!”

Below are Jacquie’s links to her art studio pages!

Website: www.dragonflystudio.ca
Instagram: @dragonflystudioart
Facebook: Facebook.com/dragonflystudioart
Twitter: @jacquietr
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/jacquietrowell

In Memory of Jacquie’s Mom – Dragonfly Studio

 

Jacquie Trowell – Featured Artist
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