Abstract artist sets up business by making unique backdrops

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Merced, CA – As you walk towards Jessica Raye Dekker’s studio, you’ll notice the paint stains on the driveway and nearby trash cans. “Before we renovated our garage, I painted in the driveway and it always seemed like I painted on Tuesday, which was garbage day,” Dekker says. “So I was painting when the trash can was full. So when people see my studio I hope they know I haven’t had this all the time and literally painted with trash and toddlers running around. “

Dekker owns JRD Art Shop, where she creates unique style backdrops and covers for photographers and other creatives. Each piece is hand painted by her. “I started selling my abstract art in 2016. Then a local photographer came up to me and asked if I could create something like this but on a larger scale, like 8 feet by 12 feet. I thought, yes, I could do it! “

Over the course of a month, Dekker paints mattes and backgrounds in different sizes and colors, taking polls on his Instagram page to gauge interest. Then once a month, she launches her collection for sale on her JRDartshop.com site. Her designs quickly became the most sought-after backdrops and props in the photography industry. As for those who might go straight to big box stores to get their backgrounds, Dekker says “there’s a depth and dimension to something original, that you just can’t get when you print. There is texture and layers that come to life behind a camera and you just can’t duplicate that. ”

Although Dekker’s art is her passion, she hopes that being a stay-at-home mom who also takes time for her business will inspire other women to find time for themselves by doing something they love. “I fought the feelings of is that selfish of me? Having a babysitter to have time to paint and do something I love? It’s not selfish, it’s taking care of me. If I don’t put myself first, like I do with my family, what do I offer my family as a mom, as a wife? It’s very important for me to Introduce myself as the mom I want to be and the woman I want to be.

But above all, she wants her art to be a means of connection. “It’s so much more than art. It’s so much more than a business. It’s being able to really connect with people.”

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