As entrepreneur capital of Southern Wisconsin, Whitewater is home to a number of artists, business owners, and freelancers who decided to do things their way. This group of talented people have an abundance of skills to share with the world, and we’re excited to bring them to you!
For instance, our first entrepreneur, Leah Jurgens, of She Arts with Feathers, is nothing short of artistically wonderful. Her eccentric style and bold approach to life have landed her gigs dancing at festivals, displays at art galleries, and venues that sell her “wearable arts.” As Jurgens describes herself, “I am a Creator, and I dance to the beat of my own drum.” So what makes Jurgens tick? We talked art with her and learned all about her process and what’s coming up.
The Artist and Her Work
Discover Whitewater: Who are you and what do you do?
Jurgens: I am, and always have been, an Artist and lover of the Arts. I have braved criticism, confused looks and misunderstandings for the sake of what I love. I am a Creator and I dance to the beat of my own drum.
DW: Why wearable art?
Jurgens: I love all forms of art, but I came to focus on “wearable arts” as this seemed to be a medium through which the larger population could relate to my unique artistic style.
“I have no preconceived notion of what I am going to create; I allow the pen to lead the way.” -Leah Jurgens, Owner of She Arts With Feathers
DW: Tell me about your drawings.
Jurgens: My drawings are very in-depth and rich with detail. When I draw, I sit with a pen or marker and allow the image to form on its own. I have no preconceived notion of what I am going to create; I allow the pen to lead the way. Eventually, an image will form and I may play off of that image, or I may turn the paper ninety degrees and continue to draw from another angle. DW: What’s your favorite piece you’ve ever created?
Jurgens: I would say my drawing from 2019 titled “Plutonian Shores” where I explored combining many different mediums on paper and drew jelly fish and an Alien for the first time.
The Process and Themes
DW: What’s your process with any of your creations?
Jurgens: My process is generally to sit, surrounded by my supplies, and allow the creativity to flow. I will intuitively know what to do so there’s no need for me to think about it. There have been times that I have finished a project only to look at it and marvel, wondering how I managed to create something so BEAUTIFUL. I find myself in awe of my own talent.
DW: What themes do you often pursue?
Jurgens: I generally do not pursue a theme, though I do find myself attracted to mythological creatures, surrealist styles, and anything that gives me pause and makes me feel something deeply.
“I think Artists have a very important role that can be felt when you are in their presence. We are peacemakers and deep thinkers. We encourage you to ‘think outside the box’.” -Leah Jurgens, Owner of She Arts With Feathers
DW: What role do you believe artists have in society?
Jurgens: I think Artists have a very important role that can be felt when you are in their presence. We are peacemakers and deep thinkers. We encourage you to “think outside the box”. We inspire you to follow your dream- by continuing to create and follow our own dreams. We contribute to the well being of our community by allowing our passion to be seen and experienced through our various mediums.
The Present and Future
DW: Tell me about your show at First Citizens.
Jurgens: I love displaying at the bank. I get to showcase many pieces at once and people really become familiar with me on a local level. Displaying at First Citizens has opened me up to new opportunities and connected me with a lot of great people.
DW: What’s on your bucket list for this year?
Jurgens: I plan on attending more festivals that I can share and sell my work at as well as network for larger projects and ideas. I have been hired to create a logo for this years Wise Fest in Elkhorn, and I am excited to see my work printed on their flyers.
“For other Artists who have thought of giving up hope- keep at it.” -Leah Jurgens, Owner of She Arts With Feathers
The Extra Tidbits
DW: What’s your favorite thing to do in Whitewater?
Jurgens: I like to sit with a coffee at the SweetSpot and draw. They like me being there so much- that I was offered an entire wall to display my artwork there for year of 2020!DW: Anything else you want to share with me about yourself or your line of work?
Jurgens: For other Artists who have thought of giving up hope- keep at it. You may not feel appreciated, understood or valued, but that will pass one day. You create because it is a part of who you are. The World NEEDS the beauty that you have within you. I have been creating for nearly 25 years and have made it my life’s mission and soul purpose to always be that which I am. You can find Jurgens’s work up/for sale at First Citizens State Bank and The SweetSpot in Whitewater as well as in Milwaukee at Riverwest Co-op, Sparrow Boutique, and Serendipitous Designs.
Like and Follow She Arts With Feathers on Facebook or visit the website for pricing and questions.