We had the good fortune of connecting with Jackson Montgomery Schwartz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jackson Montgomery, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I still had a part time job as a bartender, my photography and makeup were more of a hobby, and now that I’m a full time artist and my finances for living are fully reliant upon art, I find myself saying “yes” to more. I don’t want to miss any opportunities, and that can come at a cost to my personal life at times, yet I see that as a challenge to work and grow further. It seems very common for small business owners to be incredibly busy while scaling and learning to delegate/ask for help. I have clear cut goals for the life I’m building, including greater opportunities on a larger scale while still taking a couple days off each week for myself and my relationships.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art career has been in the works since 2014. I made a choice to pursue both makeup and photography simultaneously, and have always enjoyed both equally. That unique combo has set me apart in an industry where people usually specialize – I’m able to bring a client in and give them the full one stop experience. I basically just do a modern version of glamour shots LOL! As far as my journey being easy or difficult- I first have to acknowledge my privilege as a white, able-bodied, cis male. This has made my journey much easier than it is for many, but of course there are always setbacks, discouragements, and limitations one has to push though or adapt for. Whenever I face a monumental step/risk, like choosing to rent a dedicated studio space or quitting my part time job to go all in as an artist, I’ve always relied heavily on intuition. If something feels too scary or overwhelming, I wait until it feels manageable. Or I ask for help, as it turns out there are so many kind people who often want to help, like when I threw an ambitious first event (a Halloween fashion show with a cast of 60+ people!). I was clearly in over my head, and the universe provided me with helpers who showed up and took care of things before I could even delegate- the party flowed perfectly, and I was so grateful!! Much of my work in growing a small business has been mental- shifting my worldview from believing that I’m alone and have to do it by myself, to realizing that we are truly all in this together, and other people care and want to help each other succeed.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love when friends visit me in Austin! There are so many amazing options for exploration here. My favorites are plant based restaurants, nature, and art! Some of my ultimate places to eat are Bouldin Creek Cafe (Tofu scramble tacos and blueberry cornbread!), Arlo’s (100% plant based hamburgers to die for), and Capitol City Bakery (Totally plant based bakery with the best cupcakes I’ve EVER had!!!). Other favs- Juiceland, Sway Thai, Tso Chinese, and the Wheatsville Deli. For art, I consistently love the Blanton Museum, Martha’s Contemporary, Unit C, Raw Paw, and Fine Southern Gentleman. I stopped drinking years ago, and now don’t do nightlife for the sake of nightlife. Rather, I carefully choose to go out when something speaks to me artistically, or to specifically support friends’ events. The nature opportunities in Austin are endless! I love Hippie Hollow (the only nude beach in TX, and one of the few in the US!). I also love the Green Belt, which is a gigantic nature preserve and hiking area in the middle of Austin with many different entrances/trails/swimming holes. I also just love going for walks or playing tennis (poorly) in one of my neighborhood parks.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d love to shoutout my good friend and frequent collaborator Mandy Wray! Mandy is an extremely talented Hair Witch and Creative Director. She practices hair here in Austin at Raven Row Salon where she specializes in razor cut shags and major transformations. She also regularly conceptualizes and produces many of her own editorial shoots, some of which I’ve had the pleasure of photographing! Aside from being a wonderful artist, Mandy has played a huge role in keeping me sane during quarantine. We do virtual movies nights, where we watch important films, then chat to process what we learned and how specifically we were inspired. Check out her work, and hit her up if you need some hair love in Austin! @heymissmandy
Pink Photo: @dazesmoki @dontbadik @psychic.outlaw Green Photo: @chanelsface @burnsbonedeth Blue Photo: @rydog1475 Orange Photo: @j_a_z_z_mills Angel Photo: @lordfridayland Pole Dance Photo: @zojaexotica Purple Photo: @louisiannapurchase