Jess Quinn

Jess Quinn
Mainframe studios – #428


“I wanted to be a teacher since kindergarten. I graduated from UNI and then started teaching in Kansas City, KS. I taught high school. I taught clay, drawing, painting. It was a challenging school. Then I decided to have my family. As soon as I had Mya I knew I had to get back into teaching. If I could do that, I could teach again. We moved back to Iowa so Mya could be by family. I taught in SE Polk district for 8 years. I did elementary for 4 years, then 6th grade for 4 years. It got to point I was teaching 550 kids in two days in 30 minute classes.”


“Im very passionate when I do something. Eventually, I came to the conclusion I wasn’t all that happy. But, I had a hard time stopping the thing I had wanted to do since kindergarten. But, I eventually stopped teaching. Then, I think I cried for the whole year. My husband was my rock, he says he knew I was struggling inside but he was smiling inside because he knew I had this.”


“Eventually, I needed a job. I have a masters degree and nobody would hire me! Finally, I ended up looking on Craigslist!! Somebody was looking for a ceramic assistant. So I worked at RDG in the clay studio. It was dirty, hot and sweaty but everyone was a creative person. Some did painting before work, the manager did print making and sculpture. The IT guy was a drawer. That was the thing that made me say, ‘I can do this,’ I ended up painting.”


“I still photograph and when I was looking at them, I saw I took a lot of flower photos. The beauty, flow and uniqueness of them individually called to me. I found soul in the first flower painting I did. Its been roughly 3 years since then.”


“This studio came open and I didn’t see this till the last day. I said I think I want to do this! So I picked one of the smallest spaces I could. I moved in the end of August while kids were in school. I love the open studios. I love the community. It’s a family here. I love the feel of it. I also realize being here im not all over my husband when he comes home I actually get to talk to people during the day!! At home I painted in my bedroom. My floor is very…..colorful. My husband never cared, he just said, paint! Paint! Every comforter has paint on it. Sometimes he would wake up with paint on him! My bedroom was like an art gallery. My husband will tell you that is the one thing he misses the most.”

“This is my happy place.”


Connect with Jess and see her stunning work at the next Mainframe open house or:



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