Hi, everyone! My name is Jama and I'm the artist behind all of the work here at The Artificer's Archive. I've been creating all of my life, with art being the class I always looked forward to, even in elementary school. I get to create? Get my hands dirty? Cool!
Some time in middle school, I thought I wanted to be an architect. From then until just before my senior year of high school, I just knew that's what I wanted to do. Then, I met with the Dean of Architecture at the University of Kentucky and he said, "yeah there's math, but make sure you take another art class before you graduate." Oh, yeah, I can do that! And then I remembered... and I got my BA in Art!
I don't know if you know, but it's not easy making a career of art. After getting that degree, I worked as a ticket taker at a zoo, an administrative assistant in a large corporation, and an office manager/web designer/PC repair person. While working as that office manager, I got pregnant and my OB kicked me out of my studio. What??? Nine months of no painting? No sculpting? Noooooo! So, I taught myself to make jewelry.
Thus began my obsession with jewelry. I opened a small art gallery in Central Kentucky in 2004 and made a go of it for almost 5 years. I ended up closing the doors of the gallery in 2009 and becoming a librarian. I even got my Masters in Library and Information Science! But art and creating has always called to me, so I kept my Etsy store going, looked for representation in galleries, and was juried into the Kentucky Crafted program.
Last year, after my daughter graduated high school, I packed my bags and moved to the Virginia coast where my fiancé is stationed with the Air Force. I applied for jobs, and even had gone through all of the background check stuff for a library job. But it didn't feel right. After several long discussions and acknowledging that my heart belongs with the arts, I turned down the job and focused on my creations full time.
If you're in the Hampton, VA area, you can find my work at Blue Skies Gallery. Once a month, you might even find me working there. Stop in, say hi, or say hi here virtually. Welcome!