Freelancer, senior marketing coordinator, artist. Jamie Stempnik has used her illustration degree to make a living doing what she loves most—create. This diversity of experience is what gives her an edge.
“I’ve always welcomed the challenge of taking on new projects as a way of expanding my skills,” said Stempnik. “The job market is SO tough. I think it's a good plan to have a wide range of abilities to fall back on. And I'm learning so much! Eventually, I’d like to apply all of this to my future plans of running my own business.”
Stempnik has spent the past year working as a senior marketing coordinator at Biopelle, an innovative skin care company based in Ferndale. This position has involved both graphic design and travel across the country for various shows and events. Before landing her current job, she spent eight years doing design at HoMedics. She did instruction booklet illustrations for several of their brands, contributed to the HMDX line of electronics geared toward younger people that had a "pattern of illustrative doodles all over them” with funny quotes, and assisted with the re-design of an iced tea line through House of Marley's brand. This experience also taught her about time management as she was hired while still working toward her degree at CCS.
“I worked half days, then went straight to class (or vice versa),” she said. “It was difficult but I got through it. They were awesome enough to hire me full time as soon as I graduated (in 2010). I learned a lot working there, and I took every chance I had to use my degree in illustration. From traditional painting, to digital artwork, basics of how to use programs, to conceptualizing an idea and making it into a visual.
"CCS taught me the fundamentals of design along with how to use software programs that I continue to use every day.”
In addition to her full-time job, Stempnik enjoys working on graphic design (lots of logos!) and illustration projects on a freelance basis. In 2013, her work was featured at a show hosted by the Ferndale Library titled The Power of Myth. Her piece focused on feminine mystique.
“I'd like to get my name and art out there more, but with a full time job and freelancing it's hard to find time,” she explained. “I will make more time once freelancing slows down enough where I can devote more energy toward getting my business going.
“My advice to aspiring artists would be to always network; it's all about who you know. And be nice to everyone. It's a small world! Look outside the box for jobs. Even if it’s not exactly what you were looking for right after graduation, it will help pay off those pesky student loans so you can start doing what you really love.”
To check out more of Jamie’s work, visit jamiestempnik.com.