Monday, July 21, 2008

Driven by the Beat of Passion

An excerpt of an interview of Joey Wester of
by Mel. Edwards of the Votre Vray Creative Women project.

What would you do to get a shot at following your truth? Would you risk being arrested? Joey Wester of JDW Designs began her career with such a risk. “I snuck onto a major movie and television studio lot in Culver City and asked some of the master artists working there if they’d like to see my portfolio. I was so lucky the owner wasn’t around that day. After most of them rolled their eyes, one agreed, and he liked it. They weren’t hiring, but a few weeks later I got a call. I was the first woman they’d hired in seven years!”

Chutzpah is Joey all around. Other than covert self-promoter, she was in a rock band as a drummer for thirteen years. “I say, let people know who you are. See who bites.” It obviously worked in Culver City.

Now Joey works for herself. Her former employer was great in giving her exposure to the world of possibilities, and her pieces are in prop houses ready to be picked up by film and TV studios looking for art, but she seeks more. It is no surprise that Joey works on all kinds of subject matter and mediums including charcoal and pencil (many images of rock and roll figures in her online portfolio), florals, portraits, abstracts. Regardless of the piece,“I aim for balance and to keep it interesting. If I accomplish what I set out to do, I can step back and say, ‘Oh my G-d, that’s really cool.’ But if I’m frustrated, I can end up with a mess. You can just look at it and tell. It shows.”

Being a gutsy artistic woman can have its downside. When I asked who has encouraged her to move forward in her creative path, she admits, “Nobody specifically. They’ll just say, ‘That’s nice. That’s cool,’ but most of my friends don’t even ask about my work. No significant other ever has shown an interest.” So how does she keep going? “I don’t really think I have a choice. I have no time when I didn’t have a pencil in my hand as a child. Once you’ve found your passion, know you’re given it for a reason. You should do it. You have a responsibility to do so. It would be a shame not to use it.”

And it would be a shame to not know Joey Wester. Check out Jo and her work at:

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