InFeature Friday

Feature Friday- Mackenzie Jones

bymackenzie.com

Mixed media sustainable custom artist 

Hi!! I am a sustainable mixed media artist who specializes in creating custom one of a kind art pieces for individuals and/or businesses. I focus on using recycled materials with an emphasis on textural and organic elements. I have grown my business through gifting to specific influencers and continue to work with many clients I have connected with through social media. 

How/where do you find inspiration for your work?

I find inspiration mostly through interior design for the physical production of my designs. Kelly Wearstler and Athena Calderone are my top design centered influences. Although it sounds cliche, being in nature and traveling also influence me quite a bit as well. Nature is a place where I can be in a state of reflection and stillness. There is just something about going on a hike and sitting at the top of a mountain soaking in the sun and feeling like your the only person on the planet surrounded by only the birds and the trees rustling in the wind. On the other hand, traveling is an opportunity for me to absorb energy from people, architecture, and culture. I think its also important to note I do a lot of meditation and self work to allow creative ideas to flow through me by just being still and staying away from technology. I find that I can come up with authentic ideas without seeking inspiration by simply being still and focusing inward.

What is your favorite thing about being an artist?

Before this became my career just working with my hands creating original concepts was my favorite thing and, while that definitely still brings me so much joy, as this became my career the feeling of being a part of something bigger grew – the art of empowering others in two ways. The first is empowering my clients. I get to help my clients express themselves and feel joy when they look at their piece of art and know that they helped create that. Not only that, but that their mind and experiences are beautiful and being celebrated. The second is through my followers when they reach out and tell me how inspired they are with my content and that they have started taking time to be creative in whatever way is speaking to them. Knowing I am helping others exercise their creativity in a commonly judgmental and intimidating area and making it a space of positivity with no judgement is my favorite thing about being an artist. I have found a passion in helping others feel confident, excited, and safe in their creative endeavors. 

What is a failure or set back you have gone through that you are now thankful for?

I don’t think anything is a failure. I try to view every experience through the lens of love and think of it as a learning experience. That’s not to say that I haven’t broken down in tears and been crushed but how I chose to move forward defined where my business is right now. One of those experiences was/is dealing with shipping and having pieces break or show up damaged. I’ve only been selling my art for about a year and have had two pieces break/damaged. After spending 2 months on average working with the client, conceptualizing, bringing it to life, having them LOVE it, only to arrive broken. It was so disappointing for the client and for myself. I would and still do spend hundreds of dollars wrapping the piece and trying to ensure nothing happens, but things will always, at some point, happen and always happen at the least convenient time. The first time a piece broke it forced me to completely rethink how I attached my canvas and was mentally very challenging. As far as I know, no one is creating what I create so I can’t just google an answer or ask someone. I really wondered if what I was doing was good enough, but after some time I got more creative and smarter about how I protect my paintings and am so thankful I figured it out because I haven’t had a piece arrive damaged or broken since AND the packing now looks even better than before.

Who/what is your biggest influence? 

My biggest influence is my spirituality and relationship with my inner child, my soul, and my mind. Sounds pretty hippie ish I know, BUT hear me out… What that means to me is I have tuned into my body, mind, and soul and learned to love it unconditionally. I have dedicated and fostered a beautiful relationship within myself so that my biggest influence is my intuition coupled with infinite faith knowing I am divinely guided. 

What advice would you give someone who wants to start a business, but is afraid of all the financial logistics? 

Be calculated, be smart, and listen to your intuition/gut. When your body gives you that good feeling, go for it and have all the faith that it will work out. Some of the toughest times financially or mentally can bring about some of your most creative solutions. The risk is worth taking because the greater risk is missing out on becoming your highest self and achieving all your wildest dreams. 

Favorite Book or Podcast rec?

Favorite book is The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. Recommended by the one and only, Rachel.  This book truly changed my life and the way I chose to see the world. I found a spiritual path I finally resonated with, the confidence in myself, and my mental/spiritual health is where it is today because of this book. 

Tell us about a dream that you have for yourself/business? 

I have so many wow. To sum them all up I want to educate and facilitate a safe and inspiring work place for people no matter what stage of life they’re in so they can let their creativity flourish. I have been so fortunate to have had the resources and support I needed to not only start my business, but for it to prosper and I want to be able to provide those same resources to other creatives. 

At what point did you realize that you wanted to make this a full time gig? 

I really can’t pinpoint the exact moment. However, the moment I knew this was the path I was meant to be on is when I spent MONTHS creating my first collection and when not one piece sold, I STILL wanted to be an artist more than anything else in the world. The fire was so strong in me I just kept growing as an artist, exploring new ideas, and that’s when I knew I had fallen completely in love with being an artist and there was no plan B.   

From start to finish- how long does each commission take you to complete?

If I would only be working on your piece and had no work to get done before, it would take 3-4 weeks. That includes having a meeting, going through the design phase of mockups and tweaking, then production, and finally shipping. However, I usually have multiple pieces I am working on at one time so the average turn around time is 1.5-2 months. 

What is the process of someone inquiring a piece from you? How do they typically reach out?

Most of my clients have reached out to me via DM and others prefer email. As I grow more email is becoming increasingly popular but my DM’s are always open.  I like to chat a little with someone and get the basic idea of what they’re envisioning to make sure I am the best fit for them and then we move into virtual meetings. 

Hope you enjoyed this Feature Friday with Mackenzie! She is extremely talented and I have loved watching her business grow. Fun fact- she made these beautiful pieces for my home! They are each 3×4 ft. and I will cherish them forever.