Written by Richelle Putnam
Kelly Quick knew art was her calling. She just didn’t know when or how…or even what.
“I always loved drawing and painting and in high school, my senior year, thinking of college, I knew I wanted to be some type of art major,” she said. But there were so many options within the arts. “I declared graphic design as my major, but quickly realized that computer art was not for me.” She changed her emphasis to photography, but then ultimately switched it to painting, which “was where I should have been the entire time.”
But it was after she graduated Mississippi State University in December 2011 that she discovered an art she’d always known…but never really knew.
It was Christmas time, and Kelly was searching for “that best gift for somebody. So, I thought maybe I’ll paint something, or do something. My great-aunt had the best taste in jewelry, and she had all these cool pendant pieces and rings and stuff.”
So, Kelly pulled out her great-aunt’s jewelry, and there it was… the art and the vision for what would become JOVIALArt.
“I became really inspired by the buttons, and I dove headfirst into the collar necklaces. It started off as Christmas presents and so honestly it came out of nowhere.”
When people started seeing other people wearing Kelly’s pieces, they wanted a piece. The demand started to grow and Kelly realized that jewelry making could be something significant. She incorporated her painting skills into her gift wrapping, tags, and bigger pieces, like the backdrop of her tent display at art shows.
“I thought it was a neat take on the water color to mix it with the jewelry. I try to tie them both together because they are two things I’m so passionate about and love and enjoy doing. It’s still a work in progress, putting the two together.”
Kelly is always in search of vintage jewelry and has her favorite shops through which she rummages. “A lot of what I buy are earrings that may be missing a mate, or one is broken, or they’re both broken,” she said. “I go to flea markets, antique stores, thrift stores, and if something catches my eye, I’m going to buy it and bring it home.”
She often keeps pieces for one to two years until one day it clicks. “I collect them and keep them until I have figured out a good placement for them.”
What Kelly loves most about creating vintage pieces is “there is something so interesting about the life they lived before they ended up in an antique store. Even though I don’t know the story behind the piece, where it came from, and where it was worn, I love the idea of recreating it and giving it new life and sending it to a new home. I am very sentimental. I like the idea of bringing life to those old, cool pieces.”
Kelly’s vintage pieces are all unique, meaning no piece is the same. Even the glass crystals and the stones she recreates in the same style as the ones in stock, she does differently. “It’s all about mood and what I want to make at that moment.”
Kelly loves to create custom orders. “A client may call and say I like this style, but I want this stone added. I want them to love it and to wear it all the time,” so it’s fun when customers give her free creative reign. “But it’s also fun when people know exactly what they want. I’m a very visual person, so it’s good to get that vision from them. Custom pieces are my favorite because I love the individuality of the customer.”
JOVIALArt has a website where customers can browse through the magnificent jewelry pieces. Kelly also shows at festivals where she welcomes potential buyers to come in and “play with her jewelry.”
“Art has been so therapeutic and healing, and when I say that I don’t mean that in the sense that something traumatic happened in my life,” said Kelly. “I can’t imagine my life without art and not being an artist. There is fulfillment that comes with it that is powerful.”
Kelly wants JOVIALArt pieces to make the wearers feel good enough to take on whatever they meet that day. The jewelry may be tiny, dainty pieces, but “they hold a lot of power.”
Follow Kelly and JOVIALArt on Instagram