Janna Ugone: Artist Timeline
Declared myself an artist. Worked for hours at this old mission desk in our basement while my mother hung the clothes to dry. Discovered making art brought me a sense of focus and a genuine thrill as a young child.
Focused on jewelry at a high school specializing in the decorative arts. Received some awards and scholarships, and inspiration for my work.
Entered Massachusetts College of Art. Started out as a jeweler, later focused on the handpainted ceramic surface. Fell in love with mixed media.
So how do we make a living?
I became a corporate product developer for a national company.
Found a new love for blending art and business into the design process. Fascinated with bringing to the old boy’s network a new perspective on product design – the freedom of an artist’s point of view; embracing all the technical capabilities and the blank canvas with fulfilling a new market need. Stored this exciting formula for my next creative phase.
Left the big corporation. Raced back to my roots, hoping to cleverly weave my mixed media talents back into my working life.
Made the connection. Used the magic formula: “Artist’s point of view – technical capabilities – blank canvas – market need” and dug in to find my niche.
Started a marketing consulting firm to support myself and wore a suit and an apron through the launch phase.
Hit the design beat and researched. While in a successful home store in the city, looked up and saw a run-of-the-mill sconce and it clicked: Lighting. Beautiful lighting. Creative, livable lighting that performs its function, but offers up all parts as an opportunity for beauty. Detailed or simple. Uniquely narrative or historically classic. Painterly and sculptural. Finally, a home for jewelry-like metalwork and handpainted composition. It was one of those moments in life where everything and everywhere I’d been made sense.
In the evolution of my work, blending historic references with a fresh, contemporary approach is forever inspiring. I hope to always bring forth a mix of elements that keeps the viewer curious, focused, and pleased with our efforts.
My line is now represented by over 250 galleries, designers, and lighting studios. Many of the same galleries that bought my work at my first New York show in 1987 still represent my work. Since 1991, I have and continue to design and produce exclusive work for wonderful companies such as the Sundance catalog. Producing custom lighting and related products for the designer and architect markets has been integral to our studio and always offers the opportunity to keep our work fresh.
Life is so quick. But just wait until you see what’s in the sketchbook…