Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Jo Braun, Mosaic Artist with Studio Ravenna LLC.

I would like to introduce you to Jo Braun with Studio Ravenna llc. 

Describe your perfect client?

My perfect client tells me what her budget is, first thing.  If it's modest, that's fine.  Any art budget is a good art budget.  I just need the numbers.  Then I can noodle the best art-bang for the art-buck.  My perfect client understands that there's only one me, so I can go to a couple meetings but not too many or I'll never get any art made.  My perfect client understands that it's a bad idea to leave the art planning to the very end, and involves me in the process now so we don't have a wrangle with the drywall guys later.  I reward my perfect client by knocking her socks off, and knocking them off ahead of schedule.

What is your passion?
Process and Pattern are my passions.  From the geological churnings that left upheavals all over Wyoming to the attritioning graffiti on a retaining wall in Seattle's Roosevelt neighborhood, I get this dizzying sense of transcendent intelligence.  Related to this is a passion for symbolic systems, like cuneiform and alphabets and numerical notation.  They're impersonal and rule-based in one sense but they also acquire individual idiosyncrasies over time, in the course of their implementation.

Where are you from?
I was born in Mitchell, South Dakota, home of the World's Only Corn Palace.  Then we moved to Sioux Falls where I lived until age 18.  I always assumed South Dakota was "abnormal," and that all the "normal" people were Jewish and lived in New York, like in Are You There, God?  It's Me, Margaret
What was your favorite job?
I've been blessed with amazing clients and wonderful jobs, but a public art commission for the City of Wenatchee, WA, stands out.  My liaison with the City was an amazing woman named Kris Bassett who knows how to slice away red tape and get art made in the face of government bureaucracies and competing job site politics.  She just retired this year, but many, many public art commissioning government bodies could take tips from Kris. 

Tell us something no one knows about you?
I don't hold much back.  I'll share this though, because lots of people don't believe me when I tell them:  I don't believe I make my art.  I think I'm really a marionette, and Someone Else is calling the shots.  I'll finish something and think, "Wow.  Who made that?"  Some people think the Someone Else is the subconscious mind, and maybe that's true, but really, I think I'm a marionette.  It's humbling, but it also leaves me feeling free to like my own work, because it really isn't "my own."  It's Someone Else's.


rebecca said...


lauren said...

This wall is breathtaking.

The lovely Ms. Braun donated her time with my class a few years ago and patiently helped my kindergarten students make a bird bath mosaic that is a treasure.

Sonia said...

Great article about a talented artist, thank you!

Carol said...

Spectacular wall, spectacular art!

Kath said...

Amen to your last statement, Jo! That is EXACTLY how I feel too when mine are finished! Love you girl!

Robyn Iaea said...

I love this blog and what a cool artist! Thanks for sharing:)