Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008 | When Jane LaFazio was laid off from her marketing post at a local architecture firm, she had five weeks to go before her first solo art exhibition.
She knew she and her husband could make their mortgage payments for about six months, so she gave herself that time to try being a fulltime artist. Ten years later, LaFazio hasn’t gone back to the 9-to-5 world, where she previously held various gigs as a marketer, a graphic designer and a flight attendant.
And much like the mixed-media collage-style pieces she creates with fabric, paper and her own illustrations, LaFazio has pieced together a variety of diversions and media to make a living as an artist. With a grant, she teaches an after-school art program for kids from low-income households in Escondido.
She teaches art workshops for adults, in person and online. She has been featured in a couple of art and craft magazines, and recently filmed segments for a PBS program focused on her work. She sells some of her own art online and in shows. And she chronicles it all — including her sketches and watercolors from pieces of her everyday life — in her blog.
She says she’s made financial adjustments to make this life possible, like moving to a small house and cutting many expenses. “But it’s all ended up for the better,” she says.
LaFazio filled us in on her decision to pursue art, the impetus given by her husband’s brain injury in the early 1990s and why she cares to teach others to be creative.