Since I was a very little I have been painting, drawing & creating art. After graduating from SJSU with a Computer Arts degree I went to work in the game industry and then educational software. I spent four years at The Learning Company doing animation and designing Educational Games. In 1999 after the birth of my son I decided to leave the industry and stay home with my son. However, after a few months at home I realized I needed a creative outlet. I spent a year teaching original art lessons at the De Colores Art School in San Mateo.
In 2002 after my daughter was born I wanted to personalize her room with theme based letters but could not any on the market. I decided to paint her name on 4 x 4 ceramic tiles and hung them with ribbon on her wall. Almost immediately friends & family made requests for their children’s room. I started my own business, Jamie’s Painting & Design soon after. My name tiles were soon picked up by a popular bay area children’s boutique, online stores & bedding catalogs. I soon added ceramic birth announcements, plates, ornaments, door hangers and plaques. I created personalized ornaments for Ellen DeGeneres that she featured on one of her shows. By this time my business had been written up in the Wall Street Journal, SFGate, and I was a guest on an episode of the Dr. Phil Show pitting Stay-At-Home Mothers against Working Mothers. As the business grew I continued to teach art to children in my children’s school district.
In 2008 my company started to feel the pain of the Recession. While I enjoyed creating the artwork, I was less enthusiastic about running a manufacturing business. I started to teach art again at my children’s grammar school, and also started to license my artwork to companies like Home Goods.
As the industry continued to evolve, heavyweights like Pottery Barn Kids inserting themselves into the space pushing the smaller players out. By 2011 the manufacturing side of the business was moved back into my garage. Shortly thereafter our family decided to relocate to El Dorado Hills. I continued to run my manufacturing business and was fortunate enough to continue teaching art at my daughter’s new elementary school. Also, I started witnessing first-hand the steady decline of instruction quality, and the lack of creativity in the types of lessons being taught.
With my business at a crossroads I needed to take a hard look at what I truly enjoy and I have come to the realization that I truly enjoy the creativity of art, and teaching the overall experience to kids, much more than running a manufacturing business. This past Summer I taught my original lesson plans at a local art camp. From there I have started teaching small, by design, art classes where my students are learning about the featured artist, different mediums, and different techniques (paint, cartooning, etc.).