We had the good fortune of connecting with Margaret Jacobson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Margaret, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have an inborn need to create, it’s something that I must do to feel complete. I new I had a natural talent in art, but I didn’t follow any artistic pursuits until adulthood. Instead I went to college and received my B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in International Relations to help me secure a stable government job. I also joined the Army Reserve at 18, so I could gain the experience I needed to secure the stable job I wanted. I was also very fascinated by the idea of learning about different cultures and their way of life, which was in the job description of the position I took in the Army. The Army was true to their word, and after I completed my job training, I deployed to Iraq working to stabilize the northern region of the country. Upon my return, I completed my B.A., then deployed immediately to Afghanistan, working to build the capacity of women so they could be working members in society. This was a bitter deployment since it was an uphill battle to accomplish many things.
When I returned I took an oil painting class because I was uncertain of my future, but also discovered this was a passion of mine. Not knowing where art could lead me, I secured a government contracting position and obtained my M.A simultaneously. A landlord of mine saw the paintings I created from that oil painting class and really encouraged me to continue pursuing art; stating that I could make a living off of my art. I didn’t pay much attention to his words, but over the years I continued to paint and saw the value it could bring to society. I’ve experienced war-torn countries and thought that maybe art could bring peace and harmony to our lives.
I’ve exhibited in art shows around the country, but it wasn’t until this year I started to market myself as a “Feng Shui” artist; meaning my art is designed to harmonize you with your environment. I opened an Etsy shop in April 2021, just to market myself as such. There is so much division around the world including the United States; political, cultural, and socio-economic. It is my hope that my art can help us see the unity of things, so we can work together, instead of pointing at each other’s faults. I use Buddhist and Asian symbols, since these themes are most commonly used and seen in this culture. I’m also noticing the Native American culture has these themes as well, especially being in harmony with nature, and I’m starting to incorporate these themes in my art. I am working on an Arizona/Native American inspired painting as we speak.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What I believe sets me apart from other artists, is the meaning and significance I put behind each painting. Each painting has a story, a theme, and a message. The story, themes, and messages, can be rolled up to a common theme of peace and harmony, but there are other sub-messages of diversity, empowerment, forgiveness and compassion.
These stories, themes, and messages are meant to heal.
While my paintings carry deeper messages, it makes it more challenging to convey these online. Usually, I able to explain some themes during in-person shows, to compensate, but I can only speak to one person at a time. This makes expanding my reach more challenging. I will however continue to participate in art shows and galleries to engage with as many people as I can to work through these challenges.
Additionally, people do not necessarily buy art for a deeper meaning, most buy something to match the color scheme of their home, which makes selling my art more challenging– as I have an educational component in addition to the visual.
These are challenges I’m continuing to work through.
Even if I am not able to sell my work, I will continue to have ideas and create art that will carry messages of peace and harmony. This is how much art is a part of me. Just might need a large storage space.
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?
1) Scottsdale Museum of Modern Art 2) The Mission for guacamole and mahi mahi tacos
3) Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden
4) Main St. for all the art
5) Los Olivos for traditional Mexican
6) Trip to Grand Canyon
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
1) The first oil painting class I took and how affordable it was 2) The landlord that encouraged me to continue painting
3) Each curator and gallery owner that has accepted my work for exhibition and believing in me
4) Each art patron that has purchased my work and connected to my vision