About Jillybeanswiggins

With new friend at Loch Ness, August 2013. Photo by Gary Payne

With new friend at Loch Ness, August 2013. Photo by Gary Payne

The idea for Jillybeans resulted from a perfect alignment of events: a creativity web site, Creative Life Spark, with Katherine Torrini’s boosting and encouraging “high voltage women” to jump-start their creative lives; advice from a therapist to, as they say on the airplane, “put on your own oxygen mask first,” in order to properly care for others who depend on me; and an invitation via another blog, The Smallest Forest, to join ihanna’s post card swap.

In the four-and-a-half years since I retired I’ve done a lot: traveled with (and without) my husband; put in many granny hours; written poems and published one poetry chapbook called Street Scenes; done more than my share of errands, laundry and meal prep, and followed the distractions available to one who arises each morning with no job to go to. I started a blog that’s supposed to be about my writing and art, and I’ve loved doing it.

But I was still searching for a place to let out my true artist. I have a degree in art, but I worked mostly in writing, editing, graphic design and desktop publishing. I’ve done a lot of painting and drawing, but nothing had sparked my passion.

Something about the post card swap grabbed me: the small format is less intimidating than a huge canvas, and it allows for unlimited possibilities in content and media. And there was a deadline. Just what I needed.

I doodled through countless meetings in my working life. I often thought I should develop my doodles into real art. My seven-year-old granddaughter sometimes calls me “Jillybean.”

I googled the name and discovered candy shops, dog treat suppliers and a strain of cannabis, so I tacked on my last name so there’d be no confusion.

I was born in England, moving to the U.S. at age eight. I grew up in Northern Ohio. I have a B.A. in art from St. Edward’s University. My last job was as public information officer for the Texas Medical Board. I sing in several choral groups, love to read, knit, write, travel, hike and swim. I live in Austin, Texas, with my husband, a theater director and actor. I have two adult daughters and two perfect grandchildren.

Jill Wiggins
May 2014



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