Unexpected success on Etsy has allowed Jamie Hansen to pursue a career as a full-time watercolor artist.
A native of Cary, North Carolina, Jamie Hansen studied art at UNC Pembroke. She originally painted in oils, but during a college semester in Germany, she picked up watercolors and was hooked. Her process is predominantly wet into wet. “I love the way paint mixes on the page,” she said. “I love the play between sharp, precise lines versus ethereal washes that bleed over the page.”
But it is in graphic design that she has found the most success professionally. She worked as a graphic artist in the giftware industry for Village Court, who sold wall décor, and then CTW Home Collection, who sells wholesale country accessories to clients like Cracker Barrel and Magnolia. At CTW, Hansen’s responsibilities included building and maintaining the website and creating catalogs and flyers.
When her husband, Chris, took a position at Anderson University teaching music education, they moved to Anderson. She continued to work remotely for CTW. She also continued to run her Etsy shop, where she sells personalized family crests. She started selling on Etsy in 2010 when someone asked her to paint their family crest. When she did another and posted it on Etsy, it sold. Under the name Flourish Family Crests, she has since sold hundreds of them for a variety of clients, from business owners to those seeking a unique wedding gift. She creates each crest from scratch based on a questionnaire about interests, then ties those elements together to create a personal story. She uses Photoshop and other software from Adobe to create the artwork.
She continues to paint in watercolors as well. Her favorite subject is her 10-year-old son, Xander. “I must have painted him at least 50 times,” she said.
Hansen joined the Anderson Artists Guild soon after relocating. “I felt extremely isolated when I first moved here, sitting in front of the computer for 60 to 70 hours a week as a freelancer,” she said. “I joined Central Presbyterian Church and the AAG looking to find connections and meet people.”
Jamie Hansen’s watercolors will be on display in the atrium space downstairs at the Anderson Arts Center in a show called “Seeking Harmony,” running in conjunction with the Anderson Artists Guild juried show. The opening reception is on July 27.
For more information about Jamie Hansen, visit jamiesdesigns.com, jamiehansenart.com, and flourishfamilycrests.com.