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Meet Jessica Loving-Campos

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Loving-Campos.

Jessica, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m an artist, designer and entrepreneur — I’m from the once sleepy town of Conifer, nestled in the foothills outside of Denver. My family lived in a fairly rural area and my brother and I spent a significant amount of time exploring the magical pine forest that surrounded our home. Travel played a huge role in my upbringing. By the time I was twenty, I had already visited over 60 countries and seven continents. Early on, this sense of expansive exploration and adventure really served as a wonderful point of inspiration for me; one that I find is central to what I seek today.

I was also incredibly lucky to be raised in a family where entrepreneurship is celebrated. My father started a company when I was three or so years old (ScanCAD International); my grandfather was one of the founders of Janus Funds. Being around these entrepreneurs did something — embedded something resonant yet simple, something I never noticed until I realized that I wanted to be an entrepreneur.

I studied visual arts at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I met my amazing husband, Chris (literally, a few hours after he arrived on campus). After graduation in 2005, I moved back to Colorado and Chris was soon to follow. I knew I wanted to explore two hemispheres within my career — graphic design and fine art. I applied to join the cooperative gallery, NEXT and got in. I left after a few years and co-founded Sync Gallery, another co-op in Denver. I left after a few more years and joined Edge and Core New Art Space.

The co-op experience was invaluable, truly. It gave me a wonderful understanding of what goes into running a gallery, how to involve the community, how to market and attract new artists. How to find MY tribe. It was such a wellspring of foundational experiences. During this time, I started working as a designer for a print shop, followed by a time period where I was a freelance designer for a slew of small communication studios around Colorado. I learned how to design for print and web.

In 2007, my then-boyfriend (who was the early stages of his graduate program in architecture) and I were about to be married and we decided that we might as well start a business. I was already freelancing for countless companies; juggling projects and gaining a ton of experience. He was excited about the design process. It just made sense. And in true startup fashion, we took all of our money, skipped on a honeymoon and put it all into our brand new business, (in)spiregraphics.

We built in the evenings, on the weekends, when it felt like the rest of the world was sleeping, we were basking in the blue glow of our computer monitors. I amassed more experience — first, working for a French interactive game company for five years (graphic designer and copywriter) and then, just to keep things interesting, took a job with the Federal government as a graphic designer, copywriter and creative project manager for close to five years. All while moonlighting.

Chris took a role as an Art Director for an outdoor magazine for a year. Every position we held served as a way for us to amass more experience in the industry. It was a way to gain more tools, more knowledge and to ultimately bring all of it back to our business.

After pushing for so long, things started to shift. In 2014, I landed gallery representation in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2015, I left Core New Art Space. Currently, I have representation at Sandra Phillips here in Denver and Art Dallas in Texas. In 2015, right after our daughter was born, I went full time with (in)spiregraphics and Chris was able to do the same shortly thereafter. Our studio is busy, our projects are interesting and truthfully, it’s hard to not have a smile on my face every day. I feel so at peace, so excited, so in love with what I get to do.

In 2017, I met a wonderful friend and artist named Julia Rymer. She and I talked for hours upon hours about how so many artists struggle with the business aspect of being a professional artist. Fast forward: we started a business called artboss and we’re amid our second year. It’s been a really cool, challenging and downright exhilarating journey thus far. We have worked with numerous universities around Colorado, have done several workshops with professionals and things are really starting to pick up to a glorious place. The impetus has been to help show other creatives that we can all do this for a living. We can make the work that brings intense meaning to life… there’s absolutely no good reason why we can’t.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Not even close. There have been big bumps, massive detours, delays… all sorts of obstacles along the way. While we were building (in)spiregraphics in the early stages, I remember feeling this magnetic pull in my rib cage; knowing precisely what I wanted to do but also knowing that the time wasn’t right. That I had to be patient. And that I could not get sucked into a job that I knew was not my dream, hope or vision.

As an artist, one encounters a hearty serving of rejection. Creating work that is so incredibly personal and at times, feels like an extension of one’s body can be really exhausting and painful at times. When work doesn’t sell, when a gallery turns one away… these are all moments that I’ve had to learn how to take with a smile. In the beginning, the wounds burned with a white-hot intensity, but with time, scar tissue forms and you adapt to the rhythm of it all.

Finally, with artboss, I’ve had to learn how to shove aside my inner introvert and get comfortable with public speaking — something I have always tried my best to avoid.

Struggles — they’ve been plentiful, however, each struggle, as trite as it may sound, has unfurled some sort of unexpected strength, some unexpected beauty. It’s kind of cool like that.

We’d love to hear more about your art.
(in)spiregraphics is a full-service marketing company on the quest to infuse artful communication into the cacophony of our world. Outside of our elevator pitch, we essentially help small to large companies in communication, branding, web development, design, printing, social media and marketing strategy. We’re more of a boutique agency with clients all over the country.

artboss is a communication and branding agency for artists and creatives. We lead workshops and offer one-on-one coaching at the collegiate and professional levels. We help creatives build creative businesses.

And finally, I am a mixed media painter inspired by light, shifting hue and the pirouetting mark. I create fairly large color field paintings that serve as meditations on color. They pull inspiration from being in the expansive outdoors.

What were you like growing up?
I was an artist, I think, from a pretty early age. I was introverted; painfully so — and yet, somehow, super-expressive all at once. I danced for close to 15 years, loved creative writing and discovered painting in high school. Art was the thing that spoke to me more than anything else. I adored being outdoors — and really didn’t care for rules, structure or anything that resembled “normalcy.”

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Image Credit:
Thomas “Woody” Myers, Julia Rymer

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