The official site for the Detroit Art & Business Institute and Andrea Rosenfeld, professional artist and business consultant to the creative community in metro Detroit and beyond.

Mind Your Art Business Graduate Profile I Cathy Jacobs

Mind Your Art Business Growth Course Graduate Interview

Cathy Jacobs in her studio

Cathy Jacobs in her studio

Specializing in woven textile wall art

DABI/Andrea: We can read up on your wonderful, art path on your website, and your Embrace Creatives’ account so let’s talk about what we CAN’T see… What’s the best part of the next thing you’re doing?

CATHY: The best part of next thing I am doing is that it will be a surprise to me. I love surprises. In my art practice, I have noticed that some years it feels like nothing is happening in my career and other years where my work seems to be exploding out into the world. Right now, my attention is very inwardly focused where a lot is happening in the studio. Ideas are flowing through my head from all sides, I work in many different mediums at once, and the varied work comes out fast and easily. This is a time that it may look like or feel like nothing important is happening. I know from experience that an explosive time is coming soon.

DABI/Andrea: Yes, business building (like art making) ebbs and flows but it’s important to have your business set up so that you’re ready for the explosion of sales.

DABI/Andrea: What made you fall in love with fiber?

CATHY: I think it was the structure of the fabric itself. I had been a painter for a long time, always thinking about layering color in thin translucent layers of paint. On the advice of a friend, I began experimenting with layering semi-transparent pieces of colorful silk fabric (silk organza). I was immediately fascinated with being able to see through all of the silk layers and the moire effect caused by the overlapping grid structures of the silk. Thinking about this grid structure made me want to learn to weave.

My first handwoven artworks were colorful see-through panels of linen that I layered on the wall. With these works, I realized that everything that I was trying to achieve in paint (light, air, color, and vibration) was right there in the woven fabric installations. Four years later, I am still creating artworks that address light, air, color, and vibration using the woven grid.

DABI/Andrea: Love that your first exposure was layering gird-like structures on a wall.  No one says that creation has to follow “guidelines” (besides safety guidelines). Now let’s move onto the business of art… How did you feel about the business of art, in general before enrolling in Mind Your Art Business Growth Course and now, after graduation?

CATHY: Before enrolling I knew I needed help in business. I had spent years developing all aspects of myself as an artist, developing technical skills, drawing, painting, building, documenting, describing, theorizing, critiquing, teaching, learning art history, the list goes can go on and on. Over those years I had learned very little about business practices, and had even less business experience.

DABI/Andrea: What was the main art business challenge that kept you up at night and how did our creative business training course help you overcome it?

CATHY: How do I do handle an art business? Art I can do, but business? Your class presented all facets of what having a business entails: pricing, banking, talking, advertising, etc. Just going through the curriculum was like going through any of these actions in real time. It was practice for what I would be doing again and again and again. I found that how I take steps to build a business is very similar to how I take steps to build a body of artwork. I take the same steps over and over again, and don’t lose heart.

01Cathy Jacobs_AquaSong_37x66x7inches_2views

AquaSong 37 x 66 x 7 inches

DABI/Andrea: Name the most embarrassing thing you’ve done while growing your art business!

CATHY: (I really like to block embarrassing things from my mind.) Very recently, I found a four-year-old check for artwork that I had never cashed! I was so embarrassed that I did not want to ask the client to make out a new check for me. Luckily, my husband did not let me chalk it up as loss. I asked for a new check and the client gladly wrote out another. Lesson for me – always ask.

DABI/Andrea: What successes have you had since Graduation that you can attribute back to the course?

CATHY: The encouragement that I found in the MYAB curriculum went a long way. A lot of times success can be attributed to doing that which you find difficult. In one lesson you wrote, “Follow up with potential buyers.” That encouraged me to do what, for me, is difficult. I followed up with two different leads and made a significant sale – the first of many for that year.

DABI/Andrea: Yeah, it’s not fun to do the “difficult” things, like calling a potential client or following up with payment but I find that gathering your strength and honoring your self and your mission is a great way to move past fears and honestly what you deem difficult is seldom as painful as your imagination says it will be.  Since I know you exhibit often,  what’s your favorite way to connect with new exhibition/sales spaces, like galleries?

CATHY: The easiest way to connect with a new exhibition space has been through meeting people who are affiliated with that space.


Mast linen wire silk 45w x 48h

DABI/Andrea: If you were only able to create using 3 colors, what would they be?

CATHY: Red, blue, and yellow, of course.

DABI/Andrea: Lol! Primary colors, of course!  What advice can you give to other artists looking to end the frustration of business building?

CATHY: I like to equate the journey of building an art business to that of sowing seeds. I keep looking for places to show the work, I advertise to my network when I have new work or new events. I try to make new connections with galleries, or potential collectors. There are actions you take over and over again. Some of those actions will lead to growth and harvest, others will just seem to have gone wasted. It’s not my job to know which effort is going to bring the reward. My job is to keep sowing the seeds.

DABI/Andrea: What’s the one topic from the Mind Your Art Business Growth Course that worked best for you and why?

CATHY: The most important topic for me was learning about creating a mission statement and vision plan. Why do I do what I do, how do I do it? I often have trouble putting into words what I do in the studio. Andrea asked us focused questions that could help me answer these questions. I often go back to my course notes to write descriptions for my work.

DABI/Andrea: What’s the next step for Cathy Jacobs?

CATHY: My next step will be to continue to create elegant, one-of-a-kind, textile wall-pieces, and to expect some surprises.


Cathy Jacobs

Bio/Mission Statement:

Cathy Jacobs creates elegant, one-of-a-kind, textile wall pieces using quality materials: linens, silks, and precious metals. These delicate, luminous, and ethereal artworks elevate the mood and spirit of the lived environment.

Ms. Jacobs has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, as well as a Master of Fine Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University. She has exhibited her textile artworks in the United States and Canada, most notably at SOFA Expo in Chicago, the Architectural Digest Design Show in New York City, and the State of the Arts Gallery in Sarasota, Florida. She is currently preparing for a January 2019 solo exhibition in Quito, Ecuador. She lives with her husband, Leonardo in Ann Arbor and has a studio in Ypsilanti, Michigan.


Social Media links:



Embrace Creatives

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