We had the good fortune of connecting with Missi Jay and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Missi, what’s been your favorite thing to do during quarantine?
My favorite thing I have done during quarantine has been creating “how to draw” videos with my daughter. It all started when my friend, who is an elementary school art teacher, requested I make a “how to draw” video for her class. I had never made a video of myself and I was terrified! The thought of hearing my own voice “blah blah blah,” and seeing all my own quirky gestures on screen made me cringe! But the thought of helping put a smile on the faces of bright, creative kids during quarantine, gave me the confidence I needed to say “YES.” Yes we can draw a picture and have fun! At “Gigglebox,” I create artwork for kids, and adults who are young at heart, so it seemed like this should be a simple task. I set up shop in my dining room because it has the best lighting and a pretty purple wall with lots of glittery artwork. I assembled my new “coworker” (my super-creative 11 year old daughter, Ruby) and our pug “Gigi Coconuts,” with markers, paper, and my phone and hit “record.” There were about 40 takes before we got a video I was happy with. There is something about hitting “record” that makes my brain melt and I get so nervous like I am live broadcasting while the world is watching. My daughter was a natural and never missed a beat. She never got tongue-tied and was a like a charming, seasoned professional. Gigi Coconuts slept through the whole thing. I posted it on my Gigglebox Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/GiggleboxDesign/), and immediately received feedback. People shared our post, provided positive comments, and posted pictures of their own artwork to share. It was so encouraging to know people were drawing with us and such a joy to see their work. Ruby and I enjoyed communicating with our audience and discussing artwork through my social media. It brought a sense of community in this time of isolation. We got such a warm reception from our initial video, we decided to keep going. So far, we have made 4 videos. The last video was released on May 4th, for “May the 4th Be With You,” and included our best home made Star Wars costumes and a special appearance by my husband as “Chewbacca.” I have our small collection on my YouTube channel now. We are planning to make another one this weekend. Ruby has a whole list of ideas and production notes. I can’t wait! I hope you tune in and draw with us. https://www.youtube.com/user/missijaygigglebox/ A big part of being a creative professional is encountering diversity, experimenting, inventing solutions, and transforming. It is inspiring to see so many people doing that gracefully.
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 believe art expresses emotions and brings people together. Artwork creates a feeling without saying a word. I like to create images that can help heal, bring joy, brighten your day, and give a hug. Gigglebox artwork emotes feelings of positivity, encouragement, inspiration, optimism, cheer, joy, and happiness for kids and adults that are young at heart.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a big shout out to my family and friends. I wouldn’t be able to do this without them. They continually inspire and encourage me. I also have the benefit of developing long-term relationships with my clients—who end up becoming my friends. The best reward is building relationships and creating together. I am lucky to be surrounded by such supportive people.