We had the good fortune of connecting with Jill Targer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jill, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
I focus on joy and commonality to change the world one smile at a time. Currently, I am inviting frontline health workers to choose one of my paintings as a gift for their service during the pandemic. I welcome requests, and will do my best to deliver!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I returned to painting at the age of 53, after realizing that I had many years ahead of me to live to the max. When I brought my first painting home from class, my husband said, “I had no idea you were this talented. I want you to sign up for every art class you can, and then support me in our old age!” I took five that semester. I was mentored by the great Robert Burridge, who rekindled my love of painting, giving me “permission” to express myself. My work was accepted into a good local gallery 6 months after my first class! A few years later, I discovered painting on silk, and within a few years, was teaching silk techniques. Long story short, I taught hundreds of students, and some of them formed the largest chapter of Silk Painters Intl. in the world! Along the way, I said “yes” to a manufacturer, resulting in national distribution of home goods bearing my designs. That’s when I began to accept that I was really a professional. Magazine covers and posters for wine festivals followed. I just kept painting and showing my art at galleries and weekend shows. Being successful as an artist doesn’t necessarily make you rich, though. The most important thing is to persevere, even when you are afraid of failure. That means showing up and keeping your word, meeting deadlines and pushing yourself to smile and speak up. If people say that my work makes them happy, I’ve reached my goal. (A few sales wouldn’t hurt, though. )

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being new to the greater Houston area, I might be challenged to fill a week, especially during these times of Covid-19. We’d spend at least one day exploring the Woodlands Waterway by swan boat or kayak, as well as a tour of the art benches which dot the walkways. Lunch along the waterway, and some shopping at Market Square. Another day we’d visit the Museum District. The Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts is fascinating, with artists in residence and wonderful docents. Lunch near the Menil museum and a walk through the sculpture gardens and museum that afternoon. A concert at the Woodlands Pavilion one evening, and another evening (or two) at one of the fine theaters would be delightful. Then an overnight trip to Galveston, a place of my heart, where three generations of my father lived. Walking on the beach, playing on the Pier, and eating great seafood for dinner and Mexican for lunch – spending a night at the historic Hotel Galvez. A walking tour of the beautiful historic homes and a visit to one of the museums would be the second day. Lastly, a day in my studio, painting a silk scarf as a souvenir of her visit, barbecue for dinner, and a walk along the paths near my home.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My art training began at age 5, so I must thank my family for their encouragement. This extends to the present day, with my husband, who gives his all to support my art career. The amazing art teachers at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, CA, brought me back to art in 1997 – without them, I’d never have developed my career as an artist and teacher.

Website: jilltarger.com
Facebook: Jill Targer and Jill Targer Studio

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