Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason Sawtelle.
Jason, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have been a fine art painter for almost 30 years, but I spent my first 22 “professional” post-college years in the corporate world. While I thoroughly enjoyed working with clients in my customer service and sales roles, I found myself believing in what I was doing less and less. The pull of going back to my roots as an artist finally outweighed the risk of leaving the stability of my corporate job in August of 2014.
As a father, husband and homeowner, I knew I needed to build a sustainable business to keep the lights on – but I also knew I needed to do something I believed in. BlackBeak Studios was born when I decided to marry my love of working with clients with my passion for art.
I am an active fine artist, which maintains my avenue for personal creativity and self-expression. This is important because as the Owner and Artist at BlackBeak Studios, I am free to let my clients’ vision drive the process and result. In my corporate experience, I learned the importance of listening and collaboration, which helps me to create murals and specialty paint finishes that thrill the designers and homeowners I work with.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest obstacle I faced was jumping into a brand-new field with no existing clients or connections to help get me started. This is where my business and sales experience were quickly valuable! My experience is that people do business with people they know and trust – so I made a point of doing a lot of networking to meet people in the field to build relationships so I could then build my portfolio and ultimately build a reputation.
Please tell us about BlackBeak Studios.
I am a muralist and decorative painter, creating custom-painted design experiences that transform everything from a piece of furniture to an entire room. My mural work ranges from bold, contemporary statement walls in homes, to kids’ room murals, to topical murals for public spaces. My decorative painting work ranges from faux finishes on walls to custom paint finishes on furniture and cabinets to specialty paint repairs.
I specialize in customization! While I do projects using existing/known finishes or concepts – my specialty is creating an image or a finish from scratch. Without being confined by what has been previously done, I am free to create something that puts my client’s needs, tastes and ideas first.
One thing that sets me apart is that I am an artist first and foremost. Often, my ability to see things that are not there helps my clients bridge the gap between a collections of ideas to a fully realized concept. My knowledge of color and design then helps make sure that a dynamic concept is also visually appealing and harmonious with the space. Even when I do paint repairs, my ability to match colors and patterns has won the praise of many of my industry partners
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
This is a hard one! The first memory that comes to mind is a long hike I took with my older brother and sister while on a camping trip with my mother. My love of nature (which shows up frequently in my work!) started early, and being in the woods on a camping trip was (and still is) about as good as it gets. What makes this trip stand out is the additional adventure of striking out into the woods with just my siblings. There was the excitement of getting a little lost, the camaraderie of figuring out how to get back and the thrill of discovering a desolate beach that we enjoyed as our own private paradise for the better part of the day.
- Website: www.blackbeakstudios.com and www.sawtelleart.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/BlackBeakStudios/ and www.facebook.com/sawtelleart/