Hey there and welcome to the first post of Magical Grit: The Heart and Sweat of Baby Jess! I'm really excited to finally be starting this - it's been on my mind for a couple of years now. Yes, I know what the hell was I waiting for?? The answer is nothing really, just my own insecurities, doubts, and fears getting in the dang way. So what is Magical Grit? Here's an intro, a little more about me, and what you can expect! 

I'm Jessica aka Baby Jess, an artist, painter and creator of Baby Jess Art. I also work in the service industry and have for over 21 years (started bussing tables when I was 14 and, for better or for worse, I'm still working in restaurants). My goal is to leave restaurants completely and do art full time. And I will. There's nothing I want more.

After 21 years, the service life has become part of who I am and I have learned so much from it and the various places and cities I have worked in. It's taught me hard work, staying calm under pressure, deeper understanding of people, customer service, food, and so much more. Learning comes with mistakes along the way; irresponsibly using my free time, too much drinking and smoking, didn't take care of myself as well as I should, and frankly...got complacent. Is it the industry's fault I made those mistakes? Absolutely not. I take full responsibility for my mistakes and that's why I am here, to talk about them. And to talk about how as an artist, creative or whatever passion you are pursuing, the service industry offers a great chance to bring in income. It can also be dangerous if you're not careful and easy to lose sight of your goals or put them on the back burner. 

Something I want to say and will continue to reinforce as I write posts for Magical Grit: I'm not in any way demeaning anyone who is in service or saying that the service industry is a bad career choice. Please know that I have the utmost respect for this industry and many of the people in it. And if you find the right spot, it can be amazing money, provide a flexible schedule, offer benefits, and you can really enjoy your life in this industry. Trust me, there are plenty of days I want to just give up pursuing art full time and just enjoy my schedule and the decent money I make. But I know I will regret it for the rest of my life because I want to be a full time artist.  

So when I write this blog and share my experiences, mistakes and better practices now, please know this is for those who need help staying self motivated while working in service or any other job they want to get out of. It's taken me years and I mean years, to find balance with my art and work and it's still a work in progress. I've met so many creatives trying to pursue their dreams on the side, but time and time again the lifestyle gets the best of them, they give up or maybe work on their craft here and there but never move forward. And that was me at one point. 

In recent years, as I've found a better balance in art and work, I realized through conversations that so many others are going through the same thing. I love hearing from others, sharing ideas, and dreaming of something we don't have yet but we mutually believe is waiting for us. I've been wanting to create a space that is inspiring, motivating and help us all move closer to reaching our dreams while balancing our work that can be mentally draining, physically exhausting and just downright uninspiring somedays.

As I had said before, I'm a work in progress and working on becoming an artist full time as I still work in the service industry. And it's not easy. It's a freaking hustle, requires a ton of discipline and self motivation. I've learned a lot and I am still investing in courses, books and best practices to get even better at becoming my own boss. I want to share it all cause I made so many mistakes, I wish I had just even done a few things differently I would perhaps be further in my career. But that doesn't matter now, only that I can share it with you and hope it helps you not make the same mistakes. And don't get me wrong, I still have plenty of shit days/weeks. I want to be transparent about that too. I don't want every post to be about how I am crushing it and working all day everyday handling every moment like a boss. Hahaha I wish!!! I also want to share the crap days, the hard times, and frustrations cause I believe that can be just as important as the good stuff. 

I'm naming this blog Magical Grit because I want it to embody the two versions of myself. The "Magical", is my Baby Jess side, the artist, the one that loves all things whimsical and dreamy, the one that wants to bring joy into your life and who believes in magic. The "Grit" is my harder, more cynical side, who works hard as hell, who thrives in the hustle and drinks too much tequila. That is the heart and sweat of Baby Jess. And when you combine magic with grit, dreams will come true. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy it! 


baby jess