Meet Mixed Media Artist and Instructor, Jodi Ohl
Jodi has been known to create mixed media art with an edge. It’s one of the things that drew me to her work and her style of teaching in the first place. Her work has been inspiring to so many of her students and the impact of her teaching, which her students share with her, is a big part of what keeps her traveling the country sharing her techniques and creative ideas.
Since you’ll be meeting Jodi face to face soon, I thought it’d be fun to give you a peek into her creative mind.
You are a mixed media artist and instructor, describe what it’s like to do your job.
When I get up in the morning, I get out of bed with a smile on my face because I know every day’s going to be different and I’m in control of what it is I am doing (for the most part). There’s a sense of gratitude I feel each and every day because I am using the gifts that I have in positive ways that are not only helping me grow, but also helping the creative growth of my students. There’s a lot of exciting energy I feel being able to ‘craft my own’ destiny in so many ways. It’s something I felt I had a lot less control of when I worked for someone else in an industry I wasn’t passionate about.
Share your favorite classroom moment.
There have been so many moments that I have loved. It’s hard to pick one. I’ve met tons of wonderful people from around the world, many of whom have become dear friends in real life and over the Internet. I think one of the more profound moments I’ve experienced, though, was in 2014 when a student came up to me after a class and told me how she had experienced a debilitating illness, which left her bed ridden for many months and she basically had her life stop because she could do so little. She was going through a major depression, but a friend introduced her to some of my online classes, which she watched in bed and then started to paint a bit in her room. She told me that it was my classes and my easy-going teaching style that opened the door to mixed media and gave her hope again. She told me that she was at the point of almost having no hope when art saved her life. There were tears in both of our eyes as she told me that. She thought it was important that I knew how much my classes had touched her life and gave her hope again. That was such a precious moment to me. I can’t explain how much gratitude I felt for being able to share what I know with others and to truly feel the impact that my teaching was having on someone’s life.
What’s your most recent “can’t live without” tool or product discovery?
I just love the David Ford Fine Line Applicators and the Jerry’s Jumbo Jet Pencils.
When you were 12 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A romance novelist.
At what age were you confident calling yourself an “artist”?
I’ve always felt artistic or creative, but I think once I started really changing from doing things for fun and moving towards doing things for fun AND creating to improve my skills, that’s when it moved from hobbyist to artist.
Milk or dark chocolate?
I like them both, but more often than not I reach for milk chocolate.
What’s the best thing you make for dinner?
What do you hope students will get out of their experience during your workshops at Ephemera Paducah?
I hope that my students walk away with the confidence to trust their instincts, to be able to know how to overcome obstacles, to not be afraid to try new techniques, and be okay with imperfections, as it’s when we step out of our comfort zone and let go of expectations that we truly find the gold in what we do. Of course, I hope they have fun and enjoy every minute of our time together!
Name one or two things that have helped you become successful in your art career. Any final words advice for aspiring artists?
Complete commitment to my career and the power of the ask…ask for help, ask for opportunities. Submit your work for publication (or whatever your big hairy audacious dream is) and keep doing it all over and over again, day in and day out. Every “no” leads to a “yes,” and a “no” right now doesn’t mean a “no” forever. Be brave and keep practicing what you do.
To read more about Jodi and admire her artwork, check out her website.