Jennie Marino


With communication, a reasonable budget and a little drying time, all things are possible.

The best part of serving a handmade industry means spending the bulk of your time doing what you love, creating and collaborating.

Given the luxury of time, the project starts with research, evolves during development, and final adjustments get done during tech. On the flip side, some jobs go down so quickly you barely have time to even sharpen the pencil before it’s flying out the door. The secret to hitting the bull’s-eye in all scenarios is good communication.

When I was very young, I was hired to make a huge car stereo for an electronics shop. I spent weeks building an 8′ long, 3-dimensional car stereo out of wood, plexi and metal that was perfect, or so I thought. When I proudly delivered the finished piece for installation, the owners  face showed his concern and discomfort. When I asked him what was wrong, he replied, “it’s beautiful, but all I really wanted was a paper sign.” He spent more than he wanted but much less than it was worth, even at my teenagers rate. Indeed, my own Spinal Tap moment, but the all important lesson on the importance of communication was learned. Good communication reveals what the function needs to be, which in turn, determines the form it takes.

“Couldn’t you just slap it together, whip something up? It doesn’t have to be perfect.” What’s being said here is “there’s not enough time or money in the budget for this project.” First of all, if we’re having that conversation, we know it’s going to be a far cry from perfect, and second, I don’t slap. I work fast, and on occasion, may even whip, but I never slap. Hearing the word “just” is that big red flag signalling more dialogue is needed. My alternative to “you can have it cheap, fast or good – pick any two” is to investigate more by saying, “talk to me, tell me where you need the focus and energy.”

There are 3 forces at work in any creative endeavor: talent, time, and money.

You can certainly make art with only two, but a life in the arts demands all three.




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