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Meet the 2022 Artist In Residence Jessica Hitchcock

EPISODE 11

You’ve seen the beautiful artwork on Hedy and Hopp’s website, social media and podcast, but did you know who created it? Today you get to meet her. Jessica Hitchcock is the company’s Artist In Residence for 2022 and has graciously joined the show to talk with Jenny.

Jessica didn’t travel down the most traditional path in becoming an artist. She started out going to business school and had a strong interest in accounting, but her love for art was still calling. She started doing bookkeeping for an arts organization, while still creating her own pieces. The art side-hustle grew over the years, and she was able to quit the 9 to 5 and become a full time artist.

Jenny talks about the Artist in Residency program they have at Hedy and Hopp, and why it is an important part of their values as a company. Jessica discusses why it is so refreshing to collaborate with a company that places such importance on the arts and local community. She also gives advice to other artists who haven’t yet taken the step to put their work out into the world. Jessica even has coaching classes for artists looking to take that leap! Listen to end when Jenny gives information about how you can help Hedy and Hopp choose the Artist In Residence for 2023. See the link below the video.

Watch their discussion below or listen to the podcast, We Are Marketing Happy – A Healthcare Marketing Podcast.

Other Links and Resources

Connect with Jessica on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessica_hitchcock/

Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennybristow/

Submit an Artist for consideration for 2023: https://forms.gle/yxdcUBYAcRzvWkJZ6

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Full Transcript:

Jenny: [00:00:00] Hi friends. Welcome to today’s episode of We Are Marketing Happy, a Healthcare Marketing podcast. I’m Jenny Bristow. I’m the CEO and owner of Heddy & Hop, and I am so excited for today’s guest. We have Hedy & Hopp’s Artist in Residence, Jessica Hitchcock. Our Artist in Residence program is something that we started this year along with our rebrand.

And it’s something that’s really near and dear to the hearts of all of the Hedy & Hop team members. And I’m just so excited to have you on today, Jessica, to talk a little bit about your background. 

JESSICA: Well, thanks so much for having me. I’m excited. 

Jenny: So I’d love to get started to have you just tell our listeners a little bit about your career in art.

How did you get started? How did you find that courage to really prioritize your passion and talk about the art show that you just had that [00:01:00] was so amazing.

JESSICA: Yes. So when it comes to like my background and history, really, I mean, I started painting back in high school and I really enjoyed it and really took to it, but I ended up going to college and got a business degree, so Bachelor’s of Business Administration. 

So I really enjoyed business and accounting and bookkeeping, which I know is completely polar opposites. But I went into that field and I loved the arts. So I thought that I could marry my two passions of doing bookkeeping and financials for an arts organization, which was perfect.

So here in St. Louis, I became the Director of Finance and Human Resources for and our organization here. Very wonderful and fulfilling. And I don’t know if it was just the buzz of being around a lot of local artists and all of their creativity, but it got me back into painting. So then just for fun on the side, I started painting again and enjoying it.

And it’s just funny how it naturally involved into a side hustle. So, I had my nine [00:02:00] to five and eventually, in the mornings before work, I would wake up at four and paint. I would do commissions and different collections. And then after work I would be painting as well and fulfilling all of that.

So it just naturally grew. And that was in 2015 when I really started painting again. And it just kind of grew eventually into a second full-time job, which was wonderful. And I mean, I think that also that the side hustle, that grit, there’s a lot of people out there that have those side hustles.

It’s a lot of work and and to have that support from people is really amazing. So it was around 2017, I thought, well maybe, this would be a great fulltime career, but I’m a financial person, so I’m crunching the numbers and I’m thinking to myself it’ll be sustainable. Maybe in about two years we’ll take a look. 

So in February, 2019, I left my full-time nine to five, and I transitioned to a full-time artist. So that’s where I’m at with when it comes to the painting. 

And then over the next year after that, like around 2020, there were a lot of artists that wanted [00:03:00] to learn how to create a sustainable art business.

Not just learn how to paint, because a lot of these artists already knew how to paint and were phenomenal artists. They just wanted to learn maybe the marketing or the financials or really just how to pretty much take their artwork off the easel and put it out into the world. And so that was just another fulfilling piece was coaching artists and mentoring them on how to do that and seeing them flourish and learn things that I enjoy and that comes so easy to me.

And just seeing them pick up on it and just seeing where they go in their art careers has been really fulfilling. So it’s kind of like another double whammy of meshing those two loves of business and art.

Jenny: Yeah, it’s so beautiful. And I’ll tell you that the way that I found you originally was through Instagram.

You are very strong in social media usage. I was immediately a fan of your art, but then also your message around really empowering people to be able to, [00:04:00] bring their art more into the front of their life versus something that had to be done on nights and weekends. So it’s a really beautiful message.

JESSICA: Oh, well thank you very much. Yeah. I mean, and I think that a lot of artists, we don’t hear that enough of just the empowerment, and I hate this saying, the starving artist. I just always wanna get away from that and like, not throw that out there. Cause I feel like that’s an identity that we carry with us when we keep throwing that out there and it’s like, it does, we don’t have to be starving artists.

We can really create a very sustainable and lucrative art business, I mean, it’s a real thing. So being able to share that with artists and really empower them means a lot to me. 

Jenny: I love it. Well, I wanna talk a little bit about our Artist and Residence program. The reason why we created it, and we’re so proud to have you as our inaugural artist, but we created the Artist and Residence Program because, as an organization, one of our core values is really understanding that the [00:05:00] work that we do is really important and we’re very passionate about improving patients access to care.

But at the end of the day, we’re all so much larger than our jobs. We’re so much larger than our job titles or our salaries even that we make for our positions. We’re whole people. And so we thought the Artist in Residence program would be a really great way to be able to serve a dual purpose, not only to be able to have beautiful art to be able to incorporate into our social media profiles, our podcast art (anybody listening to or watching this podcast right now, it’s Jessica’s Art that is featured for our episode titles). You’re all over our website. We have an Artist in Residence page that highlights you. And so in addition to being able to kind of have that physical reminder of seeing the art, it’s also an opportunity to be able to provide a small financial stipend to an artist to allow them more time to create art and do the things they’re passionate [00:06:00] about and relieve just a little bit of that financial pressure.

So one thing I’d love to hear from you, because right now our applications are open for 2023 Artists, I’d love to hear from you is any advice or guidance to artists that might be thinking about applying or anything that maybe you got out of the participation in relationship this year, I would just love some candid feedback from you.

JESSICA: Yes. It’s wonderful that you all do this and your organization does this. First of all, I just wanted to commend you on that because it really does feel good, especially when you create an art business, to be able to collaborate with people that share the same values and beliefs that you have.

So just being in, collaborating with all of you on how you empower artists and, just the positivity and sharing the joy and really supporting artists an having that message, it’s just what you do is wonderful and it’s just a joy to collaborate with you. Just to be able to share the same values is really great.

The [00:07:00] collaboration has just been wonderful. Your team is great. I was very honored to be able to meet them in person and just, they’re also. I don’t know, like vivacious, I can’t think of the right word right now, but they’re all just wonderful people. So just again, being part of your organization in that way and part of your mission is just incredible. 

So being able to have the colorful, joyful paintings kind of spread this positive message and positive air throughout the website and the podcast images and in all of these things it has been really great to be able to meet all of you and be part of your mission as well and financially, the fact that you all, you, it’s just wonderful to see other organizations that find value in artists. So the fact that you all financially support the artists as well, your artists and residents on a month to month basis, everything throughout a year is just really, it means a lot and it really shows a lot of who you are as an organization and [00:08:00] what you value.

So the collaboration’s just been wonderful and seeing all the all the wonderful colorful images just pop up and just how you’ve incorporated that into your brand is really beautiful. So I’m just really honored and and some advice for artists. I mean, it really comes down to having the courage to really share your artwork, to share your vision and your mission and and what lights you up sometimes.

I know that sharing artwork is very, it can be intimidating because it’s an extension of ourselves and and it seems very personal, of course, when we create our artwork. And so to be able to show up even on social media, it’s a lot. It takes a lot. So really just encouraging artists to continue to share their artwork and not just leave these beautiful paintings on an easel or hanging in a studio to really put them out into the world to push you to have that courage to do that. Because like you mentioned, that’s how you came across me on Instagram and it really took many years of courage to show up and share what I’m creating, even [00:09:00] though it’s, it’s very intimidating, but but good things can really come out of it.

So being able to take that first leap and that first step can really create a lot of momentum and a lot of great things. 

Jenny: It can. So, for anybody who’s listening, who is interested, either if you are an artist or if you know of an artist and have somebody that you’re a big fan of, I’m gonna put a link to the Artist in Residence Nomination form.

It is super simple. We don’t need you to write a novel. We really are just looking for the artist’s name and social media handles. So share it with us. We’re going to be making our decision mid-December. And reaching out to the artist to be able to solidify our 2023 artist. One thing I wanted to note before we wrap Jessica, is I wanted to just comment on what a rockstar you are for being on the podcast today.

Jessica had a baby, her first baby, a daughter, Florence, last week! So you’re a Wonder woman Jessica! [00:10:00] 

JESSICA: Thanks. Today is her one week birthday . So exactly one week ago. Even though I look like this, I did put on makeup today, so I feel pretty, so I feel really good, but I thought it was important to still show up and and to be live and real and that it’s not always…I was up very late last night. But to show that, I mean, it’s very real, like we can show up as we are and still share a wonderful message. And, it doesn’t always have to be Instagrammable or have a beautiful filter in order to have something impactful and meaningful in this world.

Jenny: Oh, I love it. It’s such, such a perfect message. Well, Jessica, I’m gonna link to your social media profiles in this show note so everybody can follow your art and reach out to you. What’s your plans for coaching of artists through the end of this year and early next year? If somebody’s interested in being coached, should they just reach out through your Instagram account?

What would you [00:11:00] prefer? 

JESSICA: Yes. So currently everything’s wrapped up for the year. I do have one coaching client that I’m just wrapping up here for the month of December. I will be accepting clients again. It looks like they will be starting again in February, so anytime between now and December at this point, if they wanna reach out through Instagram, would be perfect.

I will have an area on my website here within the next month that shares more about what’s integrated, what’s incorporated in the coaching. It’s a 90 day coaching and mentoring experience. So, I’ll have more information on that on my website. But yes, if they wanna just show up in my direct messages on Instagram and learn a little more and just chat, that would be absolutely perfect.

Jenny: Well, Jessica, it has been a joy sharing this year with you, and I can’t wait to continue to stay in touch over time. Thank you.

JESSICA: Likewise. Thanks again for this opportunity. It’s been great. Jenny: Of course. Well, thank you everybody for tuning in. We hope to see you on our next episode of We Are, Marketing Happy.

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About the Author

Jenny Bristow is the CEO and Co-Founder of Hedy & Hopp. Prior to starting Hedy & Hopp, Jenny launched, grew and sold a digital agency in Seattle, Washington and worked at Amazon.com. She was named one of St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 under 30, won a Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018 and speaks regularly at industry and local events.

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