Art & Design Magazine

Startup Training School

By Jardley @jardster

(This was written to recieve a scholarship from the founders of zero2illo’s new project: Startup Training School)

My name is Jardley Jean-Louis, and I’m an artist who had to leave two different universities because of financial distress, and I don’t allow that to deter me to figuring out my life. Within the months that I’ve been out of school I’ve tried to focus on the parts of art that interest me and know I want my business to include all areas of my expertise. What I know so far is that within my business I want to incorporate creating live-action film, stop-motion animation the kind like , creating work for galleries, creating music, and right now focusing on selling prints in my own store online. I’m in the process of setting up the store but am working on the behind the scenes aspect of it right now such as business license, seller’s tax license, how promotions works. I have plenty of ideas but I don’t think I have a clear vision. Sometimes I get very ill-feelings thinking about what a brand is or needs to be or having one direct message to it’s viewers because I allow it to get in the way of my creativity. It’s how I felt about style until I just decided I’d draw the things I felt like drawing and use the materials I wanted and be happy. And my portfolio seems to be working great for me so far. But, do think I need to have a bigger vision as a business. I know it would make for a stronger business and more knowledge in how a business works, how I can mold it to fit what I want from my business, having a clearer idea and understanding more tools to get there is a huge benefit I’m not willing to compromise just because I’d rather just do my own thing and hope something sticks. That’s one of the reasons I’ve took to learning CSS recently instead of looking for the easy way out and finding an HTML alternative while tweaking my website.
So again I’m not sure where I want my business to go much farther than what I’ve listed above, but I know I don’t want to stay in this mindset and don’t believe I will.

Recently, I’ve thought about creating an online business that would sell my illustration prints but I never thought beyond that. It was sort of the next logical step I could think of to do something I enjoyed and hopefully acquire money from it. Ever since the first “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was asked of me I’ve always just said an artist. And while my ideas of what an artist is or what I wanted within that realm which changed from having a show on Nickelodeon, being an animator at Buena Vista (which is what I always whispered to myself because it was what I saw once the credits rolled on a Disney. Keep in mind that I had no idea if this was actually where animators well drew), creating my own comic, deciding I never wanted to work for anyone else ever, to wanting to show in galleries, to well, maybe I’ll be a freelance illustrator, being creative was always a constant. It was something that was always right for me. I’m actually glad that so many ideas ran through my head as to what I wanted to do to hopefully build a creative empire someday, but I understand that I need to focus on what exactly that entails and what exactly is my vision at the end of it all or at leas in the middle.

The most immediate difference I think my business will have is a difference on myself. I think it’ll help me to feel more confident in my decisions and also to take responsibility for what decisions I can create in my life not to mention financially I could use a boast. But, I think wholeheartedly I’d feel as I accomplished something that I didn’t need to compromise my happiness over. To know that I can create works that I’m happy with and others are happy with, to know that I can support my mother in a way where I’m enjoying what I do and creating the life I want to live would be a blessing. But, at some point I’d like to know that my business and as an extension, myself, is giving back to the world or a distinct community in some way. I don’t just want to be another cog in the wheel. I have many matters/issues I’d like my business to take a stand for in some way that like to single mothers, or those who come are financially strapped for college, low income families or other matters. I don’t have concrete ideas as to how I’d help those who live the issues that really speak to me but the need to help them is there.

For sure I see if not the biggest, than the most glaring obstacle to creating a strong business is me. Sometimes the fear of success comes to rear it’s head and I end up agreeing to not make alternative decisions that may strengthen and further my business. At times I’ll stay within the studio creating pieces instead of using the social networking sites that I joined to have others aware of my business. Sometimes the fear of rejection this belief that other people won’t believe my portfolio and where I’m trying to take it is good enough to invest in, the fear that I’d even become successful and my life will change, the level of attention I’m bringing to myself by having people aware of what I do what creative endeavors I’d like to take on sometimes has me reeling back.
But, day in and day out I still try for a presence online, build my portfolio, and show others what I’m doing because it’s what I want to do. And the fear dissipates some with every decision to use twitter to get people talking about my work, to submit my work to sites and galleries and now create an online store and gamble on whether people want it in there homes, to find out the technical side of animations and emailing with fellow illustrators on how they create their films, to understanding coding and so much more. It’s what I want to do, and creating a business is another faucet of my life I want to have in my life.

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