Jennifer C Vigil

Hello!

I’m Jennifer C. Vigil.

I am an artist, art historian, freelance museum curator, writer, and business strategist. I help artists create sustainable, successful, and profitable careers in a way that’s authentic and meaningful. 

I believe that art is a language. It’s a way of speaking, of communicating. We are hardwired to create art and to create meaning from it. Working with our hands, no matter the medium is a way to access a deep wellspring of satisfaction and to connect with others.

Getting from creating work to a successful art career can be challenging.

There are many steps along your artist journey.

The truth is…the best, most compelling art doesn’t always get the exposure it deserves.

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The truth is…the best, most compelling art doesn’t always get the exposure it deserves.

Why? Because artists often struggle to write and speak powerfully about their work.

Often, the art world “conversation” (what we see in museums and galleries, online, in journals, and in scholarship) is one note representing people and spaces of privilege. The reason these artists are successful is that they have support, access, and resources not widely available to other artists.

I want to expand the art world to help add more voices to the conversation because the more voices that participate in this larger art conversation, the more interesting, layered, and intriguing the conversation becomes.

That is why I am passionate about and committed to helping artists learn how to write and speak about their work in ways that elucidate it for the viewer, position it in a larger art historical context, and engage in a larger art world dialogue. 

When mentoring artists, I draw upon my diverse art world expertise. I am great at seeing the big picture, knowing how the dots connect, what is missing, and how and when to add those missing parts to help you reach your next goal.

Your art is unique, and your art business should be, too.

Create and Connect

Today, I find my greatest satisfaction when making things.

For me, creating is joyful, and it feeds my soul.

This is what I want for the artists I work with, too.

I want artists to have an art career that’s custom for them, not what’s good for someone else.

To stop comparing themselves to other people's trajectories and work and celebrate where they are in their own artistic and creative journey.

Community and connection guide my art practice. It is at the core of my studio work and as an art professional.

I want artists to have the same satisfaction, confidence, and long-term security that comes with knowing how to translate their passions into productive businesses.

Find Abundance

I live and believe in the power of Stone Soup–the abundance paradigm. I believe there are more than enough resources, opportunities, and ideas to go around, and when we work together, these all multiply exponentially.

When we lose sight of this, is when we struggle. As artists in a competitive industry, it is easy to fall prey to believing that there is only one path to success.

In this space of scarcity, envy, jealousy, fear, and imposter syndrome grow. Yet when we work together and build a community, we find that the inverse happens, that we thrive.

As artists, we create because we love it — but we don’t have to stop there or hold ourselves back from intentionally creating a career that supports us financially and emotionally. I want to help artists know their worth and value and permit them to define what the next steps of their creative careers can be.

Find Your Voice

What you do, you do like nobody else. Art is an expression; it’s a conversation, it’s a response. It’s confrontational, provocative, and a reflection of your voice, your experiences, and the way you see the world (yes, even “pretty” art does all this). I want artists to find and claim their voice, step into their own power and authority, and stand confidently in their roles as artists and entrepreneurs.

So, what do you want to create next? What feels right to you? .

Only you can decide — and I can help. .

When you’re established in your career but want to take it to the next level… when you want to translate your experience to creating courses and offers… when you’re committed to going bigger as a professional artist and want to step confidently into the next phase of your art career, that’s where I come in.

Okay, so who is Jen?

There are a lot of unhealthy ideas about what it means to be an artist. I know how pernicious and pervasive these myths can be because I fell prey to them myself. 

I didn’t see a career path in it. Despite being drawn to art from a very young age, I didn’t allow myself to major in art in college. I bought into the myth that you can’t make a living as an artist.

I started out, instead, as a Plant Pathology major. 

In high school, I was obsessed with the effects of acid rain on the environment, especially the ecosystems of Wisconsin, where I lived.

Failing Chemistry my very first semester was a wake-up call. I thought the path I chose had to be challenging, and art history, art, and the humanities in general all came “too easily” to me, so must not be my calling.

The truth is…

The things we are good at do come easily at times, but as we push ourselves to go deeper, explore, and grow, the hills will come, and the challenges and obstacles will be there.

So I pivoted. I leaned into what I loved and found a way to combine my seemingly disparate interests.

Who knew…

I was a polymath at heart, like Leonardo Da Vinci, one of my childhood inspirations.

My journey led me to a job as the Program Assistant for the American Indian program at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian. To be a curator so I could tell underrepresented stories through exhibitions, I needed a Ph.D., so I left Washington, D.C., for Iowa City and graduate school.

After I completed my doctorate in art history specializing in 20th-century American Art, focusing on contemporary Native American artists and intersectionality, I joined the faculty at the University of Arizona as an Assistant Art History Professor.

(So much for Plant Pathology!)

Since then, however, I have become passionate about helping other artists not fall prey to the beliefs that hold them back from what they are called to do.

For a long time, I struggled to balance all the disparate parts of me — academic, curator, writer, artist, business strategist — until something just clicked.

I realized that this whole time, I was still holding on to one last myth about what was possible–that I had to be just one thing and have just one job title. When I let that go, I began to create something that truly could bring all those parts of me together into a life and a career that was integrated and authentic and supported my vision of who I was and where I knew I wanted to be.

Now, I’m committed to helping artists do the same. I want to support artists in finding joy and satisfaction as they intentionally create the career they want, as big as they want it to be! You don’t have to buy into any more myths or hold to anyone else’s idea of who you are and what you can do.

My passion is to work one-on-one with established artists, helping them find their voices, stand in their own authority, trust in their own intrinsic worth, and design custom art business strategies that give them the freedom to thrive.

The time to limit your creative expression is long past. So, what do you want to create?

When you are working at a higher level, you don’t do it alone, and neither do I…

Meet My Team

Andrew Vigil-Emerson

Senior Marketing Strategist
Andrew is a master storyteller. He leverages his storytelling superpower in creating engaging marketing strategies for us and our clients. He understands how compelling narratives in your videos (and in your art) increase engagement, capture people’s attention, and help you communicate and connect more with your audience.

Andrew develops custom marketing strategies to tell your unique art story. He works with our Social Media Specialist, Kathrine Guinoo to design and execute the marketing content for your site and social media platforms.

He lives in Madrid, Spain, and his art practice focuses on socially engaged art. He is fascinated by relationships and connections and the way that art is a vehicle to facilitate both. He is currently completing a master's in marketing to expand his skills in helping artists create more targeted and effective marketing plans.

Melanie Herzog, Ph.D.

Podcast Co-host, consulting academic and art historian
Melanie is an art historian and artist. With interests in gender, race, and ethnicity, artists’ encounters across cultural and geographical borders, and socially engaged art and artists, she has taught a variety of art history and interdisciplinary courses at Edgewood College (where she retired as a full professor and served as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences), the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and the Art Institute of Chicago. She publishes and lectures widely on North American art and visual culture. She is the preeminent scholar on artist Elizabeth Catlett.

Melanie works with artists, writing compelling artist biographies and statements for use on their websites and in marketing. Her art historical superpower is connecting with artists to help them speak and write more powerfully about their art. As a consummate interviewer, she is able to engage artists in meaningful conversations about their work, allowing their voices to shine while positioning their work in a larger art historical context. In working with our artist clients, the recorded interviews become a useful marketing tool and source of great quotes about their work that can be used in a myriad of ways.

Kathleen Rapliza

Senior Systems Specialist
Kathleen is our organizational and systems guru. We use Notion project management software. Kathleen creates powerful and effective templates, databases, and systems in Notion to streamline the administrative and project management side of our business. She is developing a series of Notion templates for artists that we look forward to having available in 2024.

Kathleen works directly with our clients to help them organize their business systems and is there to support them. Kathleen lives in the Philippines.

Kathrine Guinoo

Social Media Specialist
Kathrine works in tandem with Andrew to create and execute our marketing strategies. She also supports us and our clients in creating marketing collateral–videos, graphics, posts, and other graphic design work. Aware of current trends on social media, Kathrine leverages that information to create content that garners effective organic reach. She works to create compelling and engaging content.

Kathrine lives in the Philippines.

Who will your team be?

Check out our list of recommended contractors & freelancers 

These are some of the people we know and have helped us along the way. They are available and ready to help you with your art business. Even if you aren’t ready to hire contractors to help with aspects of your art business, we hope this list offers inspiration for developing your own art business dream team. 

Remember, artists aren’t doing it alone. They all have help.

 

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