We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacqui Ridley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacqui, what matters most to you?
Core values point the needle of your compass, enhancing the pathway toward living a meaningful life- one that’s filled with passion and purpose.
What’s most important to me is family, integrity, authenticity , perseverance & gratitude.
I believe being true to yourself will shape your life in a positive way. My values always provide the groundwork for my actions, decisions and behavior.
Without them you will lose your sense of power and direction.
Throughout my life my father always said “ What you don’t know today you will know tomorrow- just do it with integrity.” Those words have guided me through my artistic career and my personal life.
Whether doing large architectural installations or teaching workshops, my goal is to provide the best possible experience.
My personal values reflect who I am as a artist, mother, teacher, wife, friend, sister etc.. They always guide me in my creative process. Personal values are the essence of who we are as people.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I owned and operated a bakery cafe for years but always wanted to pursue my artistic goals. I studied art in college and dabbled in mosaics for a bit before opening my bakery. When I finally sold my business I decided to devote myself to my art. I read many books and took a couple glasses until I found my own voice. I then set out to make a living doing residential and commercial commissions. I was very lucky that someone in the Healthcare art world loved my work and wanted me to do a large wall in a hospital. I almost turned it down because I had no clue on how to possibly create and install such a large piece. That is when my fathers words rang in my head “ What you don’t know today you will know tomorrow “. I accepted the job and proceeded to figure everything out. It was a turning point. After years of creating public and residential art I decided to change courses and started teaching workshops on all my mixed media techniques. Teaching has been the most rewarding part of my career. I love watching my students excitement when they learn a new technique and then incorporate it in their creation, it inspires me to keep evolving in my art. . Due to a severe allergic reaction I was forced to invent a new way to grout. That lead to a product called ‘GlamGrout” which is a non toxic product that is very easy to use. I have also created a new way to make tapestries. After much trial and error I found a very lightweight material that I cover in fabric and then embellish with glass , beads, paper, metal, chain, rhinestones, Swarovski crystals, wire, stones ,gems etc. They hang from a rod like a traditional tapestry . This process took years to perfect. I began teaching this process in workshops. I hope I keep evolving in my art and can’t wait to pass it on to my future students.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since I live in Arizona we would definitely go for a hike in the mountains. There are endless places to hike , each one so different and beautiful in its own way. Since nature is the star here in Arizona walking the trails and lakes are the priority. Since I live in North Phoenix we would go to Lake Pleasant and have a drink and appetizer on the water.. Sedona is a wonderful day trip to take visitors to see the red rocks, visit the galleries and shops and we love eating outside at the Hudson restaurant for great food and great atmosphere. The Phoenix Art Museum and Heard museum are favorites. We alway take visitors to the Coronado to eat for fantastic vegan food. We love going to the botanic gardens where the the food at Gertrudes never disappoints. Bike riding on the path around the Phoenix Sonoran preserve on Dove valley is a wonderful way to spend a few hours. For a casual meal we love Pita Jungle.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family has always encouraged and supported me through my creative journey. Without that it would have been very difficult to leave a stable career to pursue my art.. My students also have been such an important part because seeing the light go off and to watch their creativity flow inspires me in my own work.
Photographer- Tina Greggo, Greggo Photography