Jessie Baca is a working artist living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her work is inspired by Otomi textiles and showcases whimsical flora and fauna. As a fourth generation artist, she has always been obsessed with painting on anything BUT canvas. After serving her community as a destination event planner for 14 years, she was at a crossroads when the COVID pandemic hit and live events came to a grinding halt. As an entrepreneur, she knew something had to shift if she wanted to keep food on the table. Read More…
Anne Kelly (00:11):
Welcome to art in the raw conversations with creative people today, I’m excited to introduce you to Jesse Baca. Jesse is an entrepreneur. She owns @MexiModern modern and the wild woman summer camp. She’s going to tell us about her life as a creative person and maybe some other fun stories as well. If this is your first time watching, first of all, thank you. We appreciate it. And if we’re meeting for the first time on your host and Kelly, you might be wondering who I am in a nutshell, I’m someone that’s been in love with art and music, the clay, my entire life. About 20 years ago, I decided to move to Santa Fe New Mexico to further immerse myself in the art scene and to attend art school. I’ve now been working in the professional gallery world for about 15 years now. And about halfway through 2020, I started Art in the Raw as a way to keep people connected and inspired. If you see the value in that, please do me a solid and like comment and subscribe. If you’d like to know a little bit more about the show about me or tonight’s guest, take a look at the description below, and now I’m excited to introduce you to Jesse. Welcome Jesse. So glad to be
Jessie Baca (01:42):
Here. I appreciate it.
Anne Kelly (01:43):
And where are you joining us from?
Jessie Baca (01:45):
Um, in Santa Fe, New Mexico cooking here in the summertime. It’s gorgeous.
Anne Kelly (01:50):
Just the, so what have you been up to recently?
Jessie Baca (01:57):
I have, I was laughing the other day. I was like, holy crap, I’ve got five different websites, five different Instagram accounts. It’s like way too much. And, but there’s a lot going on. Um, I’ve been an event designer for the last 15 years and then COVID came along and kind of took a little turn. And, um, I picked up painting a lot more. I have been doing mural painting and that started much more intensely last year and has turned into a thing that’s been keeping me busy, quite busy, which is great. Um, well, how far back do you want me to go
Anne Kelly (02:31):
From, from what I’ve gathered, as you mentioned, you were an active event planner. Yeah. And then this last year comes around and you reorganized you the painting predominant thing
Jessie Baca (02:45):
Originally it was a total side hustle. It started with doing a, a window at Poloma restaurant, which is here in Santa Fe and the Guadalupe district. And I did this window that you can see from the road and it turned into a ton of work. I was so grateful for that job because I’d get people, Hey, did you do that window there? I’m like, yeah, you want to do the painting like that? And they were all about it. I got in with a few interior designers, which was really helpful. So they would kind of farm me out to their clients and particularly Jane Smith. She’s been amazing. I did a bunch of paintings for her house and it’s right in downtown Santa Fe off a second Madre. And people walk by all the time and bless her heart. She passes out my information. And so it’s been a word of mouth kind of thing, which is really lovely.
Jessie Baca (03:29):
And that’s the beauty of this small town, but it’s funny. I’m like, dang, I shouldn’t even advertise it. Like there’s too much work. Um, I’m very, very lucky that there’s so much like right now I’m like I’m booking in 2022. I’m sorry. I don’t have enough time this year. So, which is weird to say in June I paint murals mostly on windows, on walls, on stucco doors gates, basically anything that’s not canvas has been my jam since I was young. I mean, that’s my favorite thing about folk art is that it is it’s decorative, it’s on something functional usually. And it’s just, it’s applied in your daily life. It’s not just in a museum or has this like grand presence about it. Like, I mean, I’ll say that about my work. It’s like nothing like crazy or profound. It’s just sweet and decorative and fun and happy. And so I love that, that it brings joy to people. That’s one of my most favorite comments. People are like, oh, I was walking by this window. I walked by this wall and I saw your work and I love it. And it’s just so happy and sweet. And so it’s nice just to bring joy to people that way. It’s very simple. And I’d also see,
Anne Kelly (04:31):
I mean, you had started offering vinyl.
Jessie Baca (04:36):
What happened is, you know, since I’m in Santa Fe and I’m just one body, I can only paint so much. And so I had a couple clients reach out from out of state and they were like, we want your work. And I was like, well, I’m not traveling anytime soon. So sorry. That would get a little expensive too. And so I have been playing a lot with digitizing my work where it always stems from like an original painting that I do by hand. And then I, you know, upload it. Vectorize it create an image that can be reproduced at any scale. And I work with a great company here in Santa Fe, um, called Pronto signs and they create these large scale vinyls, which is amazing, like big enough for a door, a giant window. And so they’ll print the image and any color vinyl, and then that way it can be installed out of state.
Jessie Baca (05:26):
Like I can send the whole roll to someone, installing vinyl is like a little tiny bit complicated. It’s not like crazy, but it definitely requires a little finesse. So I have like a huge long PDF that goes step-by-step for people, but I’ve installed them to myself, but it’s nice because it’s helpful for people that are saying living in like a rental property and don’t want to spend as much money or want something that can be removed a little bit more easier. And so the vinyl is like a really great option and not really segwayed really beautifully. It was kind of this organic segway. Since I had digitized to the image, you know, I started getting this collection of digital work and have been playing a lot with reproducing it on different textiles. The first, first foray into that was on a series of bandanas. And I worked with a really wonderful printer in Nashville.
Jessie Baca (06:19):
I was looking for someone who did discharge printing, which is different than screen printing. So screen printing, they put like ink on the fabric and it’s usually a little thicker. It doesn’t have as much like softness or give. Whereas the discharge printing is they basically like screen bleach and the, the area that the images, and then they wash the fabric. So it lifts out the color. And so then you’re left with just fabric. There’s no ink on it. So it’s super soft. Cause I was like, you know, this is the time of the pandemic. We’re all wearing bandanas. And I was like, ah, this one’s all stiff. It’s up in my face. Like they’re not soft. So I was really picky about that. I was like, I want something that’s soft and like feels really good and is made by hand and made by a female owned business. You know, that was something that was like really a huge priority. So I searched her out and Mary and I are like this now I’m like, yo Mary, I need some more bandanas. And then we did a whole series of tea towels recently. So we’re getting into like printing on stuff, which is really fun,
Anne Kelly (07:20):
Who doesn’t want to wait until you, they can’t their wall. There’s there’s this other product.
Jessie Baca (07:29):
Totally. And I mean, again, I love the idea of functional art in the fact like you can wear our, or you can have something on a water bottle or, you know, like it’s just easier to access. I love that. I mean, it’s, it’s the epitome of folk art for me. So it’s really fun to bring kind of a different little branch was also organic. It wasn’t like, you know what, I’m going to start a painting business. But you know, I named the brand called Mexi modern, which is just a total whim like pick the first font that I liked. I was like, sure, that looks good. Let’s make a logo, blah, blah, blah. And it has progressed. And I’m so stoked how it’s like turned into a brand and a thing. And, you know, with the textiles, it’s really wonderful also with the advent of Etsy and that they make that easy for sellers and makers to really get out a product to the masses and make it makes that easy, which is nice for me because I don’t know a bunch about shipping, you know, like a Etsy, thank you. I’m gonna press the button done. Right.
Anne Kelly (08:28):
And only so many hours in the day and it’s true. Very true. Only have so much energy. And where do you want to focus it? Yeah. But I think all of this just occurring organically. That that is the best way.
Jessie Baca (08:41):
Well, you know, and I’ve always said that, like, I feel like that’s how the universe tells you what you’re going to do. And when I started my event planning business 15 years ago, it was the same way I have not been like, you know, I’m going to be a wedding planner. It was totally like, sure. I’ll do your wedding. Oh, okay. I guess I’ll do this wedding too. I guess I’ll get a website. I guess I’ll get a business card. You know, it’s kind of, I love how the university is. Like just starts putting things that are easy in your path. And then you’re like, if I follow this, if I follow this ease because I know myself included in a lot of us, we think that struggle should be the way we think that, you know, the hard job, the thing that’s difficult, the thing that you have to like strive and work for, it’s like, oh, you know, there has to be so much grit and I’m, I’ve, I’ve shifted in that.
Jessie Baca (09:26):
I’m like, you know what? I don’t think that that’s true anymore. I think that really following the things that light us up that just kind of come with ease and just happen. You know, if you’re open to that and really in that mindset where you can be aware of those things that are happening easily, like it just flows so much more beautifully. And that’s how this business has been. It’s really fun. Like I was surprised I was able to put food on the table last year. Cause without wedding planning, you know, that’s what I’d been doing for so long. And then they were like, no more events. I’m like, I’ve got a kid to feed. Like we’ve got to figure out something. And I swear the painting jobs just showed up. And then the textiles and rent was paid. Like, yay.
Anne Kelly (10:09):
That’s amazing. So there is, there’s kind of two theories on change and stressful situations. And a lot of people believe that those situations can inspire creativity and some believe that it can cease it to happen at all. And for you, or in your experience this past year, it’s actually inspired that.
Jessie Baca (10:34):
True. And I think, I mean, I’ve experienced both ways, so I won’t say like it’s definitely one way or the other, um, and you know, different situations. But I think for me last year, I was already transitioning out of the wedding business pre COVID. And so it was almost a welcome change. And so my mindset already was much more in that flow of like, you know what, I’m looking for the next thing anyway, and I’m ready to kind of move forward into this. I didn’t think it would be painting, but that’s where that like surrender and that I think mindset of being like, okay, let’s see, let’s go with this change and not fight it because I mean, I thought about that a lot. Like there was a lot of things that were different and we’re such creatures of habit that love to have things that are routine and predictable and things we know.
Jessie Baca (11:20):
And when we get pulled out of that, like I’m not going to lie. I went through a lot of panic attacks this year. There’s plenty of that. You know, it, wasn’t just all like, oh, this is great. I’m going to start painting now. I was like, how am I going to pay my rent? So that, that came up. But it was nice because I think the time I was in my life, like wedding planning and just event planning in general, I mean, I love this list, like references that Forbes quoted at the top five, most stressful jobs, like up there with like neuro brain surgery, like firefighting and you know, I’m going, why do you play? Like, it was stressful. And I like thrived on that. It was like a time of my life. I was good in that like pressure situation. But you know, after a while the cortisol and the adrenals get tapped and I was like, it’s time to switch.
Jessie Baca (12:08):
And I had ended up in the ER with like a bad panic attack, one time, not thinking it was even that bad, but I was like, oh, really ours feels like our heart attack. And that was kind of my wake up call of like, maybe this is more stressful than you’re giving it credit for, you know, like, or just all the things you’re juggling. And so I was like, all right, it’s probably time to kind of transition out of this. And that’s a whole nother long story. And probably another podcast. Like there was a lot of factors that had, you know, just in my life, like where I was transitioning into this, you just wanted something that was a little bit more, just slow and soulful. And you know, I’ve have other branches of my work that I’m doing that are kind of fulfilling that and different, uh, aspects in the wellness industry. Like I said, whole nother podcast, but the painting was really fluid with that. There was this slowness, there was this quiet, it was simple. And I really just felt good about that. Like, I think that’s what my soul needed, you know? And especially in those like pandemic times, we were like, yeah, I was like, this feels really good for my nervous system. So ran with that, you know, definitely kind of like took advantage of it.
Anne Kelly (13:26):
So it was kind of a progression. You, you had already kind of put that.
Jessie Baca (13:30):
Definitely. Definitely. The universe was like, I got an answer, don’t worry. We got you
Anne Kelly (13:35):
For the paintings and textiles you’re making through, through maxi, modern Mo it’s mostly flora and fauna. And one of my favorite divines is your, the century plant that a Gabi with the animal.
Jessie Baca (13:51):
Yeah. That was so much funny. It’s because it all started with like trees of life, which is like a very otomy inspired kind of, you know, folk art design. It’s not, I’m not reinventing the wheel by any means, but putting my own spin on it. And then I was like, but you know, around Santa Fe, especially when you see those century plants that have grown, you know, the Gabe’s is that have the stock. And you’re like, this is such a big deal. This is so special. I was obsessed with those and you know, that’s my own spin on like that tree of life. And I have some clients that are amazing folk art collectors, and instead of a Christmas tree, they use a dried century plant for their Christmas tree. And I’m like, that’s it like, that’s the cool thing. It’s like such the, you know, Santa Fe, I don’t know, just rendition on that tree we have.
Jessie Baca (14:33):
And so I love that design. I’ve been getting more into different animals. And lately, like I did a big one, which was this big buck and its antlers had turned into a tree of life. So we still have the tree of life, but the buck, instead of just doing like a solid painting or, you know, solid, uh, mass of the animal, I started creating these, this imagery and different vines and flowers inside their body, creating a very, you know, graphic kind of look, but really interesting. And so I’m working on a whole line of animals that are like that right now, I’m hosting a wild woman summer camp this weekend, which I’m very excited about. And we are, we have a movement instructor who is teaching all about like, um, just embodiment and animal embodiment. So we’ve created these cards for each guest that they can kind of have like different prompts in terms of like different animal embodiment that they can use. And so the imagery will be some that I’ve created that will go with that little coyotes and foxes and steaks, you know, bears and things like that. So it’s fun to like create the line, you know, and start to expand it. You’ll have to tell them
Anne Kelly (15:45):
It’s a little more about the wild woman summer camp in a moment. But I love that your thought process between the tree of life and the century plant. I didn’t actually maybe know this until the past year or so. I assume people listening may not know this about the century plant, but it starts off as this a Gabi plant. But when the tree actually grows, it actually takes all of the nutrients from the plant.
Jessie Baca (16:14):
It’s one and done. It’s like a B I’ve heard like when it stings someone, like then it dies. Which I, I don’t know if that’s actually, is that like a fifth grade fact? I should know, but I think, yeah, it’s the same for the Agava like, that’s their final hoo rah. They’re like, like, and I don’t know. I like it goosebumps kinda thinking about that, like this tree of life, this a Gavi of life, like it’s its last bloom, its last like prolific expression, you know, there it is. And then that’s it. But you know, life, death, life it’s, it’s, there’s always the next iteration. Right?
Anne Kelly (16:50):
Right. No, it’s a fascinating thing. And this tree that it grows is what 10,
Jessie Baca (16:55):
Oh my God. I’ve seen some that are, you know, 20 feet tall, even like they’re ha I’ve seen some huge ones, but I think standardly like, like you see them in our rail yard a lot. I remember that. And they would be like tipping over into the street, but they were at least 15 feet. Like maybe yeah, 10, 15. They were huge, huge. So it’s quite the, quite the last expression of granddaughter I’d say
Anne Kelly (17:19):
Definitely. And I had originally probably like a lot of people seeing your paintings on the windows at Poloma, I used to work down the street. And so I saw them frequently.
Jessie Baca (17:30):
The owner is very sweet. She’s always, she had me do a ton of work there. Like I painted this big shed in the back. They have this like garden where they do some private dining. So not everyone sees that, but we did a big, big shed facade and that was in color, which is kind of not what I normally do. But then my graffiti days came back. And so I did a bunch of wheat pasting for, but then on the outside she has this door to nowhere. It doesn’t go anywhere. It’s just this old door and it’s kind of beat up. So we were kind of like, it’s like a burner and she was like, just put something on it, you know? And I was like, well we need the century plan on there. And it’s so funny because you’re painting on the street and there’s people going by, it was a great experience for me, like being in downtown Santa Fe and like, you know, tourists walking by, I’d be like, oh, what are you doing? Like I love painting live. Like that kind of idea of like painting where people can watch it happen. It’s pretty exciting.
Anne Kelly (18:20):
So like I’m painting a door to nowhere.
Jessie Baca (18:22):
Yeah. I was like, this has no purpose. So we’re just decorative.
Anne Kelly (18:28):
I assume that’s still there.
Jessie Baca (18:30):
I think so. I think it’s like kind of like the whole facade of the door was a little crusty anyway and we knew it wouldn’t last like totally. And so I think it’s, it’s a little peeley but cause you can’t, we lost the key. There’s no key to get on the inside. So usually when I paint like a facade, like a glass facade, I paint on the inside so that it’s not worn or can be scratched off. Like, you know, who knows? Someone’s probably like scratched an F-bomb in there. Maybe. I don’t know. But the paint is on the outside, which is not normally like that. So
Anne Kelly (18:59):
That makes sense. We’ll have to go look for that. So when did you originally start painting? You said this went kind of far
Jessie Baca (19:06):
So far back. This goes far back, like eighth grade. I was so lucky I would always get roped into, I dunno. Or my teacher was just like, you you’re going to do this, um, roped into like painting all the posters and doing all the like things for the Christmas pageants and stuff like that. And I would get out of class, which I really loved. She’d be like, Harry, did you draw eight posters of like during math yell, let’s go. And so I was like really into that, cause I didn’t have to be in class. And that continued through high school. I was on like the associated student body is like the commissioner of graphics and communication, which is basically man, I did all the posters for like pep rallies and things like that. But it was always like bigger scale, like huge paintings. And my, uh, actually I should go back further.
Jessie Baca (19:57):
So my family they’re all artists we’ve converted our garage where I grew up into an art studio. And so there’s like a big, big, big, giant table. We teach art every summer to kids or my mom taught and then my brother and I assisted her as we grew up. But so we always had a space to create and create big. So like for me creating a giant poster that was, you know, 12 feet long by four feet tall. Wasn’t an issue. Maybe that’s why the teachers were into that. They were like, you’ve got paint at home and a big old table. Okay. You know, they’re into it. Exactly. And then it continued into college and you know, I was going to school for painting was always just rolling around and paint pants and overalls is the uniform and would, you know, have kids be like, Hey, will you paint like a mural on my wall?
Jessie Baca (20:40):
And I’d be like, sure. And it was always like, you know, some pot leaf and like reggae colors or, you know, whatever. It was just like the sunset scene. But my summer job before I went to college was, um, I painted, uh, furniture. So I would go to like thrift stores and find wooden furniture, unfinished wood, or even if it was already painted, I would like sand it down and get it all down to the bare wood. And then I would paint them decoratively it was so much fun. And I lived in California and I was a total like surfer girl. So it was always like beach scenes and sunsets and like, you know, beautiful plumerias and high biscuits, like mermaid, you know, it was always like very beachy. Um, but it was great because you know, each time each project was different. Like I’d find like this cool coffee table or this cool chair.
Jessie Baca (21:32):
And you look at the piece and the design based on like what the aspect of the actual element is like, how are you using this piece of furniture? How are you looking at it? Like where will it be seen from what angle, what side? So that’s really kind of where that foray into like functional work and, and kind of looking at artwork in that way of not just like, oh, it’s just a canvas. Like I never inspired me. So I really loved that. So that continued on and you know, I’d always done that. And then I moved to Santa Fe in 2005 and was like, I want to be a painter. And then wedding planning came and was like, no, actually you’re going to be a wedding planner. We’re going to do this for a while. And so the painting kind of took a hiatus.
Jessie Baca (22:15):
I still did it and have few shows and little things like that, which was always really fun, but never painted like for a job. It was always like side hustle, little hobby job kind of thing. And then in 2017, when Poloma opened that’s when, and Marja, and I had been working together for like a decade doing wedding and event planning. She was in the catering business before she opened Poloma. And so we had known each other, she’s like a big sister to me. So we’ve had like a relationship. She was so great. She was like, kind of just do whatever you want, like knock yourself out. And I was like, thanks for trusting me. You know, like let’s do whatever. And so, um, that kind of created that what I call like the Mexi modern look, which is like that white painting. Otomy inspired, very simple, very flat, you know, it has its own feel and own look and I’m running with that.
Jessie Baca (23:07):
You know, it’s not like my other art, but I definitely have creative add where it’s, it’s always different. Depends what you’re making. Right. So I think that’s normal. And I also come at it from like a marketing kind of perspective and like creating a brand and something that is visually representative of, you know, this line that it’s recognizable, you know? And I understand the value of that and understanding where, you know, people start to see that and they’re like, oh, and it’s funny. Like I get texts all the time where like, oh, I saw this thing. It reminded me of you. And I’m like, you’re the fifth person, you know, like it’s starting to click for people. They’re like, oh yeah, this is your style. Like yeah. For that, for sure. Right. And I think you made a
Anne Kelly (23:45):
Comment earlier of, of that, the kind of iconography you were painting, you had not invented if it existed before you, which is the case with, with most art 20, 21, however you have brought something distinctive to it. Like I said, when I saw, however, the image popped up on Instagram, the magic of Instagram, I immediately recognized it as, oh, that’s the person who painted the windows that Poloma. So totally, really you’ve taken, there’s a style that made it your own. So that’s, that’s, that’s the complicated thing about art in 2021.
Jessie Baca (24:29):
Exactly. And being inspired from that. And you know, it’s interesting. And I found this, even in my event, planning work too, like I wouldn’t really look at like Pinterest or like there wasn’t a lot of content consumption because I didn’t want my work to start mirroring that or start to like look too much. Like other things I’d seen, like for me, it’s so important that it is always coming from like the inside out and stuff that has already been assimilated and kind of like integrated into my own system. And I, and I, this is to say like when I was younger, like even I remember this like being at like 10, we would copy out of books. Like we would copy paintings, we’d copy drawings. And I was discussing this with my son who’s seven. And he was like, you know, you can’t copy. I was like, actually, that’s like the best way to learn. Like that’s how I learned how to draw, how I learned different styles, how I learned, you know, so many little nuances, but I agree, you know, it’s important to like make something your own, but it’s hard nowadays, you know, with so much content out there, it’s very easy to get inspired. And maybe sometimes it comes into, you know, fully representative in your work. I don’t know. I like kind of like being a little bit of a hermit, kind of doing my own thing and just like letting things bubble up from inside, you know?
Anne Kelly (25:51):
Yeah. I think it’s kind of that combination of being inspired by what has happened before us from the outside world, but taking it back to yourself and it’s true. A lot of the, the masters historically that’s, that’s how they learned to make art was by copying those who came before them. But it’s when you, yeah,
Jessie Baca (26:12):
Totally. Especially like when I was asked to do a, a Virgin of Guadalupe, you know, that’s like last been, been done a bajillion Gillian times, you know, like that. You’re not like to do something different for that is hard. I was a great project and I really loved how that turned out because it did have my own like Mexi modern spin, but it was funny because the client and I went back and forth, you know, she’s like, well, it has to have some of the elements that, you know, like there has to be the 22 stars. It has to have, she has to be standing on the moon. And I was like, can she be standing on a, like, yeah, there was a lot of like back and forth where I was like, I don’t want it to be that traditional. She’s like, I do want it to be traditional. So I was like, fine. And it turned out beautifully in the end. And we both got what we wanted out of that. I think in the end, you know, where it had the elements that were still traditional, but also had a really unique twist on it. You know, instead of little cherubs holding her up, it was like little quail.
Anne Kelly (27:09):
Okay. And that’s when it becomes a fun collaboration between the clients, how they have their, the traditional aspects of [inaudible], but yeah, it’s your style to it.
Jessie Baca (27:24):
And I’m really lucky. I have a lot of clients that are very trusting in that are like, just make whatever the, you know, they it’s, because of that consistent style. They’re like, we know your style, like just do it.
Anne Kelly (27:36):
Right. And, and that’s, I think, I don’t know if I’m going to hire an artist to do something it’s because I love that artist style. And you have a certain name trust.
Jessie Baca (27:47):
I think I’ve learned that over the years. I think when I was younger, there was much more of that chameleon, like trying to appease like, well, what do you want it to look like? I can make it look like anything. And that was in that time in my life where versatility was valued. And I was like, I can, I can copy anything, you know this. And so it’s funny to be stepping into that role where it’s like, here’s what I do. And if you don’t want something that looks like that, you know, I’ve had some people that are like, oh, can you do this? I’m like, nah, that’s not really my style. I’m not going to do that. Like, so I love it that they’re like, we know what we’re coming to you for.
Anne Kelly (28:17):
Right. And there’s probably somebody else who does work in that style.
Jessie Baca (28:20):
Totally. And they’re going to be a better match, you know? And I think that’s just comes with maturity is understanding there’s better matches, not just the one and only person that can do everything, like find your right fit.
Anne Kelly (28:32):
But I must say that I love that your son had it in his head. We do not copy.
Jessie Baca (28:39):
I’ll be me, you know? And I’m like, wait,
Anne Kelly (28:43):
I love that. I do. Yeah. So the wild woman summer camp tell us, oh my gosh,
Jessie Baca (28:53):
I could go on. Well, so this is kind of frayed from my event planning, you know, it was in the weddings. And when I was transitioning out of that anyway, I had started a new company called soul Maven, which was all about workshops and getaways for women. And it was still in the event industry, you know, it’s still event based, but it was on a much smaller scale and the purpose was wellness. You know, what I would do is I would work with teachers, healers guides, people that had so much wisdom to share, but necessarily maybe weren’t, you know, good at planning a retreat because they were there to teach, but they were stuck dealing with logistics. And I was like, how would I handle the logistics and create this like space for you to show up and then teach? And then your teaching is so much more potent.
Jessie Baca (29:41):
And so I think that that’s, it’s something that’s kind of like coming in, you know, a little bit more kind of this retreat creation or workshop creation where I’m a nerd. And I, I totally, you know, in my event planning career, it was all about just these beautifully crafted timelines and nuance in terms of every sense being a tuned to, as you take part in an event and little details, you know? So I loved that kind of creation that, creating this experience. And so for me, pairing that with, you know, this wellness aspect was just so juicy and I was like, this is this stuff. And so, um, that’s kinda where I was aiming my efforts. And it was interesting right before COVID in 2019, I had kind of, I went through like a big kind of rupture in my own life of shifting a lot of different aspects.
Jessie Baca (30:35):
Um, you know, not only career, but like my relationship and changing the way I ate changing the way I like just interacted with the world and took a really huge deep dive into, um, personal healing, soul searching, all that good old woo stuff. And I had always called it like my wild woman search my soul search, my wild woman school. It was so cool as I was doing the it’s. So many people will be like, I want to go to, and I think that’s, I mean, I could say that as a woman. I know like once we get a little taste of that, like, I don’t know how to describe it. Maybe it’s just this like primitive, like this deep soul search, like you touch on that, like that wisdom that you have that intuition, you know, it’s just, it’s in your body. And that so often gets distracted by the world around us and all of the input we have just shooting at us.
Jessie Baca (31:27):
I needed to take a break from that. I was like, I just need everything to stop. And I’m going to like, come in and like do some soul searching, sorry, long story short. But that, you know, because of my event planning background, I was like, I really want to create an event for this to happen for people that they can, you know, it wouldn’t necessarily be like the six month long course or the year long core, whatever it is. But it’s like, let’s create summer camp where it’s like, you know, I love, I love like the kitchen is of that. Or it’s like add summer camp, whatever, you know, like we’re going to skin our knees and light fires and shoot bows and arrows and just eat food and sneak alcoholic or whatever it is, you know, but like creating that space for women to kind of like come in and check in and get quiet, honestly, like just have a little space.
Jessie Baca (32:19):
And so I partnered with this amazing team, um, that has a glamping outfit here in New Mexico. Uh, it’s called Kitfox and it’s a husband and wife team and they have a catering company called digging surf two and an engine. They are an incredible team. And so we’ve been working together for two years really to create this. We were to do it last year and you know, it didn’t happen, but, um, it’s finally come to fruition this year. And so we have 14 women coming together this weekend gathering to just get out in the wild we’re glamping or campfiring under the stars, picnicking, horseback riding. I roped my good friend, Sam, Tony, who does all my hats are rambling, rose hat company she’s coming in and teaching a hat shaping course. And we’ve got some wild land medicine being taught by a friend of mine where you learn about selves that you can make in the wild and all that kind of stuff. But there’s also a lot of free time, you know, and just like sitting and staring off at that and chanted sky. So I’m really excited. I think it’s going to be a really potent time. Um, it’s on summer solstice. It’s just such a great, great time, but I’m excited to host that. That’s like my other life, you know, of this like wellness hosting and you know, it’s not all painting and hermiting, there’s other stuff too.
Anne Kelly (33:40):
The balance of all of the, of all of the things. And I mean, that just sounds so amazing to me. And I’ve been hearing in the past few years just about these just in general, I guess they have adult summer camps that they crop like the Southwest vibes. Yeah.
Jessie Baca (34:03):
It’s the New Mexico version of that. And it’s really cool. It was like most of the people I’d say the majority of the guests are from out of state, like they’re coming from Montana and Oregon and Colorado and California, like, it’s so wild to me, it’s just like, all right, because I think there’s this allure of New Mexico and how beautiful it is. And, um, yeah, I’m so excited to create that space. We have so many beautiful details too, that are just like, you know, this experience I think will be absolutely exquisite. And just so, um, so incredible for these women, you know, but the idea is to make it a yearly thing. So it’ll become, you know, an annual thing. We might have two weekends next year. We’ll see. I’m just gonna see how it all goes. And I’ve been working on a nonprofit for it too, because ideally I’d love to sponsor the entire thing and no one pays for it. We just have applications and you get to come and have fun, but I don’t know a thing about nonprofits. So if anyone listening does
Anne Kelly (35:03):
Let us know in the comments,
Jessie Baca (35:06):
If you know about nonprofits, I’ve got it started. I just, you know, you get to that like financial tax thing and I’m like, well too much.
Anne Kelly (35:15):
Right. Well, that’s just, yeah. A whole other, other world you’ve run different types of businesses. But yeah,
Jessie Baca (35:21):
I was like, you’re not know your strengths. Like that’s, that’s not mine. So all that
Anne Kelly (35:25):
Collaborating. I know. I mean, that sounds amazing. I mean, it looked like it’s not just food, but it’s really, really good delicious food, the glamping,
Jessie Baca (35:36):
It’s all, it’s like, world-class, glamp, it’s, you know, and dig and serve the catering. Their stuff’s all farm fresh. Like they called me this morning and they’re like, we’re going to the farms. We’re getting all this stuff for this weekend. You know, like it’s as fresh as it gets. And they, oh my God, I still dream about the avocado toast that they make. It’s
Anne Kelly (35:52):
Not just avocado toast. It’s like exquisite. It has like edible flowers on it and like the most beautiful slice radishes. And you’re like, oh, this is so pretty everything. Yeah. It’s just all those little things, like just really heightened it and make it exceptional. One of the questions I like to ask everybody on the show is about things that they collect is there.
Jessie Baca (36:16):
I collect heart rocks and I, it’s very funny. My son knows that I have a problem, you know, and I remember one time we were in [inaudible] and he looks at me and he’s like, mom, we’re only allowed to take home rocks if they’re heart shaped. And I like had way too many rocks that were not heart shaped, like in my pockets. And I was like, okay, but I do have a very extensive heart rock collection. And the thing is like, I’ve stopped collecting them because my house is too full. And I just start like, well, I’m hikes. I’ll just start placing them, you know, in the same spot every time I go. So that grows like there’s this tree up and, you know, add Elia that like has a ton of heart rocks around the base of it. And I love, and when other people add to it or, you know, it’s so fun, but that’s my collection. That’s my, my thing. Well, that’s,
Anne Kelly (37:05):
It helps to have kind of that sub criteria to the collection, like your son’s idea to do the heart rocks, just as opposed to any cool rock.
Jessie Baca (37:15):
Well, because we both are kind of nerdy about the rocks and he was always really good at finding heart rocks too. And I think it’s one of those things, once you attuned to it, like, that’s all you see, you know what? I’m like, heart rock cart, rock, heart, rock, heart rock. He knows just because you’re aware of it. And so he’s, his awareness is of that too, but it’s sweet. Cause like he’ll come home from school and be like, I got you this heart rock, you know, you’ll find it. I know. So sweet. So that’s a thing,
Anne Kelly (37:38):
Georgia O’Keeffe she has, well, Georgia O’Keeffe is no longer around, but the Georgia O’Keeffe foundation and museum still has her collection. The house.
Jessie Baca (37:50):
Yes, exactly. Hopefully mine will get passed down. I have this vision of them being like laid into a cement, like slab someday. It’s just like all heart rocks, like little mosaic of heart rocks. But I always write on the back where I got them in the year or the date. And so that’s really fun to like, you know, their lead around my house everywhere. And I just like pick one up and I’m like, oh yeah, the Chama like, oh yeah, this happy, cute, like, and all over New Mexico or even, you know, wherever I go. And so it’s fun to have that reminder. Yeah. It’s cool. You get a little, a little real tangible memory there
Anne Kelly (38:27):
And a fun collaboration with your son. I
Jessie Baca (38:30):
Know. That’s great
Anne Kelly (38:33):
Blessing. And, and how about music has, um, has there been a specific soundtrack to kind of the last year of your life?
Jessie Baca (38:41):
This is going to sound a little weird. Like I’m so sensitive that like, when I listened to music, it instantly gets like put with a time and a place. Right. And so a lot of times there’s music. I can’t go back to because it was like, that was when I was feeling this way. Or even if it was a good time, it was like, that is associated with this. Like there’s such a deep like association. And so I’m very conscious of like what I’m associating. And you’re like lately I’ve been listening to like Kurt vile. I’m like Kurzweil is going to be the summer of 20, 21. Like this is it. You know, it’s like, that’s what it’s going to be. But it’s interesting. I spend a lot of time in silence and I know that sounds kind of weird. Like, but when I drive the radio is not on the, there’s no music on.
Jessie Baca (39:25):
And even when I work, it’s usually an audio book, um, when I’m painting not music. So I don’t know. I think this goes back to that whole concept of like, we have so much input. And I think for me feeling very sensitive if I have too much like coming in, I can’t like a lot of that intuition in that like juice doesn’t come up as much as I would like it to. So I try to leave a lot of space for that. So that’s my weird answer to like, I don’t really listen to that much music, but yeah,
Anne Kelly (39:57):
I think there is this beauty to sight silence and, and oftentimes it’s not even complete silence maybe in the silence you notice there’s a coyote howling in the background, or I tend to listen to a lot of music, but snowboarding is one of my favorite things and I never listened to music when snowboarding, cause I like the sounds of the wind and the snow or, yeah,
Jessie Baca (40:21):
I agree. I I’m a skier, but like I feel that same way. Like I like hearing my edges, you know, there’s a little gauge to that, but also too, like most of the time I’m painting outside and the sounds of the nature around me are really the most inspiring and that’s, that’s, that’s the juice, you know? Wow.
Anne Kelly (40:38):
Yeah, no, and I think just kind of balancing everything out, um, you know, maybe, maybe you listened to a really inspiring podcast and then after that you kind of need silence to kind of maybe take 10.
Jessie Baca (40:54):
Totally. Yeah. Yeah. And I wish we gave more time to that. Like that integration of a lot of things. Like, I don’t know, even after I’ve had like bodywork or massage, you know, like anything like that, I’m like, I need some time to like let that all sink in, you know, and right. And really like, I dunno, truly digest because you know, that doesn’t happen often. I think we go from one thing to the next we’re like, all right, cool. Next thing.
Anne Kelly (41:21):
Right. No, it’s true. And it’s kind of this balance of just staying organized and like planning all the things you want to do. But then also trying to experience them.
Jessie Baca (41:33):
Cause if I don’t do that, like that’s when I’m up at like 3:00 AM being like, you know, the mind’s going it’s. Cause I didn’t like process all that or take that time. And that’s where I’m thankful. Like I have a dog, I walk
Anne Kelly (41:42):
Him twice a day. Like that’s my time to just like, it’s like the walking meditation where things just like process and kind of sink in. Sure. It helps. What kind of dog do you have?
Jessie Baca (41:53):
He’s in New Mexico, black dog. He’s a hundred percent pure bred, New Mexico, black dog. He’s a rescue, but I think he’s got a little shepherd Collie lab.
Anne Kelly (42:06):
Yeah, I understand. I have, I have two that I call New Mexico special blends.
Jessie Baca (42:12):
He’s totally this special blend and he’s awesome. And he’s like the best loyalty. I took him camping yesterday and he’s like so protective, but not in like a clingy way. And just so he’s the best camping dog though. He’s awesome. Awesome pup. So I’m lucky you get lucky with those rescues.
Anne Kelly (42:32):
Oh yeah. That’s the way to go a hundred percent. So before I let you go, I’ve been giving a lot of thought recently into this kind of whole left brain, right. Brain theory and kind of over time, a lot of people have, there’s been this theory of okay. Creative people are right-brained, but kind of more recently there’s been kind of this discussion of kind of like we’ve been talking about balance. It kinda kinda needs to be under that both. And I’m just kind of curious your thoughts on that in that you’re engaged in a lot of creative things, but then you’re also running multiple businesses and totally,
Jessie Baca (43:09):
Totally. And I would say that that’s been my bread and butter being right. Brain and left brain. And really, I think it’s funny. I think my dad, but both my parents are artists entrepreneurs. And I want to say my dad had a company, it was called like right. Brain left brain media, you know, it was like, it’s always been a thing in our household of like, Hey, you’re not going to be like some sloppy artist who like can’t pay rent and like, you know, like, and I think too, let me backtrack. Like they taught us that it was possible to be entrepreneurs and creatives at the same time, because that’s what they did. Um, and my family I’m so lucky in the way that we were taught that, you know, like when I went off to school, it wasn’t like, oh, you should get like maybe an advertising degree and have like an internship.
Jessie Baca (43:52):
If you want to be creative, they were like, go for the painting job. Like, you’ll make your own job. It’s going to be fine. And like, I’ve never had a resume. I’m 40. I don’t have a resume. I like, I’ve never needed one because I’ve always worked for myself and never like, I probably wouldn’t, I don’t know how to go about getting a job if I had to. But my parents were like that. They always created work out of the creativity that they were producing and taught us that too. My brother’s the same way. Like we just make our own work. And so it was never like, you know, I do run into people that are like, oh, like, I didn’t know. That was possible. I didn’t know. You could just like, make your own job. It’s like, well, I make this stuff. Why don’t I just sell it?
Jessie Baca (44:37):
Like, you know? And so, um, it’s really wonderful. And, and then both my parents, you know, as artists, they’re also producers as well and do a lot of production and they’re such a great collaborative team, but we’ve learned that. And I still collaborate with my family and my dad actually helps a lot with the whole Mexi modern brand and kind of creating that as we’re like ramping up all of the textiles. Um, when we were younger and my mom taught art, you know, in the studio, he would come in at the end of the week and look at the art and be like, wow, this is all such great art that these kids are doing. And so he created a company called kids, did it that licensed the, uh, reproductive reproduction works. And we would, you know, get work that was reproduced on like checkbooks or gift bags or blankets.
Jessie Baca (45:26):
And like, I’m still getting checks for like, you know, nine bucks. But like I’m still getting royalties like the 30 years later, which is insane. And it’s, it’s very cool. And so that concept of like this creative world and entrepreneurial don’t need to be separate, you know? And that’s, and so I asked my dad, I was like, Hey, do you want to do like kids did it 2.0, like I’m all grown up now, but let’s start creating you to taking this Mexican modern into like a licensing arena or into, you know, like, so we’re looking at that and kind of like seeing how we can expand it in that way, you know? Cause you’d only paint so much in person. Like how do we bring it out further? But it’s so fun to collaborate with my dad. Like we have weekly meetings and that’s great. It’s really awesome. And he’s, you know, he’s tough. He’s like, Jess, you need to finish. I’m like, um, you need to finish this, check it uploaded to the Google drive. I’m like, okay, there you go. So you know that my family they’re, they’re intense about that, but they’re great. And my brother’s an amazing graphic designer and I always call him, I’m like, can you help me with this vector? So
Anne Kelly (46:36):
I think that’s one of the challenges of, um, participating in anything that’s kind of your own thing is sticking to a schedule or creating your own deadlines or,
Jessie Baca (46:47):
Yeah. And that’s hard. And I think that, that that’s where that like right brain left brain thing comes into play. And I’ve always been lucky that that’s like working for myself, worked because of that total left brain analytic. Like I gotta get this done and I have to have a schedule and have to have routine and stuff like that. Um, otherwise it wouldn’t be successful. So I think that that’s, I’m lucky that both of those are exercised. You know, it’s like, there’s enough of that going on.
Anne Kelly (47:15):
Worst case family shows up and lights, a little fire.
Jessie Baca (47:18):
That’s the best part. Like, and it’s been ingrained, it’s been taught, you know, but sometimes we have to, it’s funny, my brother and I are like, we got to tell dad to chill. Like it’s okay. We don’t have to work on Sunday for hardcore, like, Hmm. It’s been ingrained, but it’s good. It’s all good. It makes us successful. I’d say,
Anne Kelly (47:37):
Well, I love that story. And it’s, it’s been so much fun talking to you first, the people out there listening, how do they find you if they are,
Jessie Baca (47:47):
We rattle off a bunch of websites and Instagram handles. Okay. So, um, there’s of course the painting website, Mexi modern folk, art.com and Instagram of that is just Mexi modern. And then, um, I have soul Maven, which is my wellness workshops getaways. So that’s soul moveon.com. That’s spelled S O L S in Spanish for sun. So soul Maven, um, and the Instagram is also soul Maven. We have wild woman, summer camp.com, also wild woman, summer camp as an Instagram handle. You can find that. And then there’s also my personal Instagram is @JesseBaca. So you can find me there. There’s lots of places. Um, there’s probably a few more that I’m forgetting. So what,
Anne Kelly (48:35):
Well, thanks so much, Jesse really appreciate the time and, uh, hope to run into you in the, in the real world
Jessie Baca (48:42):
And the IRL be so awesome. And thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure and an honor. So I appreciate it. Thank you.
Anne Kelly (48:49):
Thank you. Well, enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you. Talk to you soon. Thank you for watching art in the raw conversations with creative people. I hope you’re feeling inspired and that you’ve enjoyed today’s conversations. If so, please do me a solid and like comment and subscribe and I’ll see you next week.
Speaker 3 (49:21):
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