Name: Kim Jackson
City: New York
Main Hustle: Public Relations Professional
Side Hustle: Potter
How did you get started?: I wish I could say I had an epiphany sparked by seeing Ghost or something of the sort, but honestly I needed to fulfill an outstanding art credit my senior year in college.
What started out as a “hey, this is kinda fun” quickly turned into a “hey, I kinda love this.”
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I live on the Upper East Side in Manhattan and throw at Earthworks NYC, an amazing studio only a few blocks from my apartment.
When I’m not out of town attending for a wedding (because let’s be honest, I’m 28, being a wedding guest is the name of the game at the moment), I’ll try to spend Sundays in the studio, in addition to my weekly class I take after work on Tuesdays.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?:
I think one of the biggest challenges is that pottery is imperfect. But that’s the beauty of “handmade.” Pottery unabashedly combats this Instagram vs. Reality society we all live in. So many things can go wrong in the process: a rogue air bubble when throwing, a runny glaze that makes the piece stick to the kiln shelf, or a shipment that, no matter how many fragile stickers you place on it, arrives in shards. The imperfections and inconsistencies have taught me patience and have served as a constant reminder to not sweat the small stuff, because you can always pick yourself up and try/throw again!
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?:
I’m a potter because it brings me joy, so the best reward to me is being able to spread a bit of joy to others.
In spite of the risks, the reward when everything goes (mostly) right is an awesome feeling because I get the honor of seeing my work on a dinner table, given as holiday or wedding gifts, or used by a (very good) doggy.
Who is your greatest supporter?: My mom, hands down. She proudly displays my latest woodfired pieces right next to my hand-built “princess tower” I made when I was 8.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: There are tons of artists both in the world of pottery and in the larger art world who I draw inspiration from, especially with the onset of Instagram. Jack Troy and Sara Patterson are two incredibly talented potters whom I admire. But I also have a love for watercolor artists, like Inslee Fariss—she has created a world from ink and paint that I’m obsessed with!
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: There are so many different directions I could go with this! One dream I’m noodling on is how to make my work synonymous with wedding gifts. Registries are great, but wouldn’t a piece of handmade ceramics be even better?!
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?: I think an area where I’ve had a lot of self doubt is that I am not a “traditionally-trained” potter. I didn’t graduate with an MFA in ceramics, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t keep pursuing it!
Everyone has their own journey and reminding yourself that your background does not determine your success in doing something you love is a good recalibrator.