We had the good fortune of connecting with Ria Jupiter + Phire and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ria, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
In my earlier years, from my early 20’s up to my 40’s, I was solely focused on my career. Truthfully, I did not have a healthy work life balance. I thought a lot about how I wanted so desperately for things to change, especially as the years passed by what really resonated with me was the fact that you can’t get time back. For all the long cross country trips, long nights hammering away at getting reports & analysis completed.. just feeling mentally & physically exhausted all the time. These were all pieces of the puzzle that led me to focus on my mental health. Fast forward to 5 years ago, I am now early retired and have begun to strategize on how to launch my own art career. I am acutely aware that my work life balance has to be one that enriches one another versus causing friction. I get up every morning and dedicate 3-5 hours to my artwork; pause and work through my personal obligations/responsibilities to the household. Once those are completed then I can refocus my attention back to my artwork. For me, giving myself enough freedom and flexibility to create my own schedule, to think through the time splitting of my artwork and other necessary tasks has paved a better road for me to feel and see a better balance in my life. I’ve seen noticeable improvement with my outlook on things- my level of patience, calmer thoughts, and being able to breathe and let go of the things that once contaminated my mind.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I go by the name, Jupiter + Phire on social media platforms, I am an stipple/dotwork ink artist. For those who are not familiar with the term, stippling or stipple art. It is basically, a pattern simulating varying degrees of solidity or shading by using small dots. When I am creating, I’m sharing pieces of my life story. For me, I feel fortunate and honored to posses the ability to transform a sketch into how I am feeling, or an emotion I’d like to convey to the viewer. By using the stipple/dotwork method I find myself, transforming. I am drawn to things found in nature. I find them to be the purest form of what we as humans need to be grateful for. Much of my work is the blend of floral, trees, mountains, sun & moon. There are numerous amazing stipple artists out there, so I guess I don’t look at it as the method that sets us apart.. more so what each artist subject is that differentiates us. How did I get to where I am today? Perseverance and dedication to what you know you can achieve. Many times, we are super hard on ourselves, we look at an amazing piece of artwork and find the tiniest error and we feel like we failed. Was it easy? Definitely, not. It is still to this day extremely hard due to the aforementioned statement about being our own worst critic. Amongst that, art is not a steady job. However, I myself don’t look at it as a “job”. It’s my passion, it’s helped me sort out the clutter in my head, it gives me a feeling of accomplishment… its the one thing that allows me to be, ME. Along the way, I’ve learned that when I am feeling overwhelmed or frustrated at a situation dealing with my artwork that it’s always best to take a step away from it, take some deep breaths and then return to it. With that, I have also learned that your imagination is yours… if someone doesn’t understand it then it doesn’t mean that its bad… maybe the individual just doesn’t see the depth in the creation. What I want the world to know about my brand & story- Going back to my initial statement about each of my pieces represents a fragment of my life. In life, there are the highs and lows. We all deal with them in different manners. What I want to correlate my art with is, regardless of how good or bad there is always beauty to be found. I create pieces that may bring tears to my eyes as I’m sketching it out. But as it takes form,as the ink is applied my intention is that the end result only showcases my gratefulness to what I have, where I’ve been, and how far I’ve come to sift through and only focus on the beauty inside and out.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Day 1: Sedona (just walk through different trails, sit in nature, in silence and take it all in) Eat at: Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante & Tii Gavo Day 2: Desert botanical gardens Eat at: The yard (there are other things to do besides sit/eat & Bon Chon (because I usually have a hankering for spicy korean fried chicken) Day 3: Roosevelt Row Eat at: Angry Crab (I love how simple but good & messy this place is) Day 4: Day 5: I’m all out of ideas.. I am a homebody most of the time so I honestly don’t know what else besides asking my visitor what they’d like to see and do.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Well, first off, I’d like to give a shout out to all the amazing artists out there who put their work out there, and inspire others. I have come across many amazing people from around the globe who have been kind, genuine and supportive throughout my time on particularly, Instagram and I do my level best to reciprocate the kindness. Secondly, I have an amazing family. My, “hot date for life” and my son have been unwavering in their support. Both take the time to ask me about my art which, to an artist is pretty awesome when you find people who really stop and listen to how art makes you feel and acknowledges that its your heart beat. Each of them have even given me that extra little shove to put myself out there, whether it be for an art show, commission work or a small business with a taste for custom art. One of my biggest inspirations has been my dad. I can’t think of a time in my childhood where I didn’t try and follow my dad to his art shop or on a job to measure and discuss what the client wanted. Although, I was young, I admired that my dad created a job that he was passionate about and could support his family by doing something he was good at, and loved. He’s the one that I credit my outlook on, following through with your convictions even if it’s hard. To me, he’s the one that taught me the importance of letting your inner creativity shine through.

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/jupiterandphire
Facebook: http://wwww.facebook.com/jupiterandphire