We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Raboin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, how do you think about risk?
Without risk…..one never truly knows what they can accomplish. Even though I have 29 years of experience as an artist, there are still commissioned projects that require me to push myself beyond my comfort zone. That’s the best thing about commissioned projects is that someone else is challenging the artist to make adjustments to their own perspective and see what kind of artistic compromise or challenge they can accomplish. I have always been very comfortable designing and painting metal floor and wall sculptures. A few years back, I was asked to design a twenty foot tall outdoor sculpture. I had never done anything on that scale before. As a new business owner of my own studio and gallery, this was a scary project to accept at this time. Then I remembered a quote a mentor of mine had said to me many times over the years. “Take the job and figure it out later. It will all work out.” I decided to take on the risk with the help of some friends and the project turned out better than I could have ever imagined. I didn’t sleep much for three months, but now I really know that I can do almost anything. So as a relatively new business owner, the toughest thing I could have taken on is behind me and everything else seems so much easier going forward. This project gave me the courage to believe in myself and know that my business was going to be a success.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Favorite Valley places to eat- Breakfast – Essence Bakery – chocolate croissants and breakfast sandwich, Lunch- Noble Eatery- great sandwiches, salads and pizza, Dinner – Mbar – Montelucia Resort for cocktails and tapas, Special Occasion -Dinner and Drinks at Orange Sky – Talking Stick Resort at Sunset. Things to do- Hike Camelback or Hole in the Rock, Walk around Tempe Town Lake and rent a paddle boat, Bike ride through the Hayden Wash, Hit golf balls and practice putting at Papago Golf Course. Places to see/shop – Cosanti bell gallery, Walk Old Town and Scottsdale Art Center with dinner at AZ88, Luminarias at the Botanical Garden and Zoolights at the Phoenix Zoo during the holidays.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I spent 27 years working for a company called Phoenix Art Group. John Cline started this company over 45 years ago with the idea of creating a collaborative art studio. His vision gave employment and benefits to hundreds of artists over the years. The artists at Phoenix Art Group had the opportunity to work with tools and equipment most artists on their own could not afford. We had access to etching presses, silk screening, wood shops, metal shops, spray booths and almost any art supply you can imagine. I graduated from college with a degree in architecture, but under John Cline’s mentoring along with Joe Grassia, Harriet Hilburn and Liz Jardine, I had 27 years of the best art and art business education anyone could ask for and I was a paid employee the entire time. What a gift! I now have the ability to paint art, sell art and run my own business. I wouldn’t be as successful on my own if it weren’t for the time I spent at Phoenix Art Group. My mentors gave me the tools to feel confident enough to risk going out on my own.