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 Southeastern Virginia area, you can find my work at Jester's Gift Shop in Suffolk, as well as on occasion in shows at the Charles H. Taylor Art Center with the Hampton Arts League.