Artist Highlight: Tin Cup Design

Jordan remembers her senior year as being the time where she became more aware of who she was becoming and how she wanted to incorporate that into her higher education.  With eyes wide open, full of dreams and ideas, there was a time when she wanted to be an FBI Agent, with a plan to make that happen.  She joined the Airforce ROTC with a scholarship, but ended up being released due to her epilepsy, which didn’t pass the medical criteria.  Looking back, Jordan sees this as a true blessing in disguise.

When her plans needed changing, Jordan decided to take classes in subjects that she loved, which were languages, art, and writing. She even studied abroad in Germany for a year.  Her combined interests, as well as her passion for ministry, led her to major in Writing and German, With an Art Minor.

Her first internship took her to San Francisco to do graphic design.  When she realized that wasn’t the right place for her, she came back to her home town in Duluth, MN to do an art internship with the Duluth Vineyard.  Lead pastor Michael Gatlin had been an art director in his past, which felt like a promise of both worlds to learn and grow in ministry, while also learning a lot about art and graphic design.

The art of Tin Cup Design is a beautiful, multimedia process of layering colors and textured patterns in a collage-like fashion, combining both paper and computer created media.  Jordan uses her large, personally created collection of scanned colors, textures and watercolors, to shape and layer her multi-dimensional imagery through her software program.  The end product is inspiring, capturing moments in time, or an idea in visual form.  Her unique style has been influenced by the art she has grown to love since childhood, like the art of Ezra Jack Keats and his imagery in the childhood classic “The Snowy Day.”  She has alway been intrigued by the way that edges and lines overlap and interact with each other to create interest and meaning, and her own experimentation with that process has helped define her work.

Though it might look different these days, art and ministry are still equally a part of Jordan’s life and purpose.  As her art has grown over the years through her company Tin Cup Design, she balances that with family and ministry.  Jordan looks at her art business as one of many callings in her life, rather than her primary.  She is called to be a wife, mother, homemaker, and be involved in ministry.  Yet, as an artist, she finds inspiration in all aspects of her life.  As mom of two girls, ages 6 and 3, Jordan embraces her time with her kids and the way it causes life to slow down.  Her kids help her see the world in a different way, focusing on the details of nature.  On their walks and trips to the beach, there is this quiet time for looking and observing, taking note of beautiful things, and desiring to recreate that beauty.  You can see the evidence of this quiet yet profound, intricate observation in her art.

Balance can be hard, and it’s important to Jordan that she doesn’t miss those fleeting moments with her kids, even if that means making them a part of the process of her work.  On Mondays, her girls will help her box her artwork to be shipped, and it’s a special time that they can be a part of her business.  Her spouse is a source of encouragement, while also challenging her to move forward and push her to achieve her goals.

A fun way she has found to stretch her creativity is through a creative word exercise with artist Carson Ellis, who started #transmundanetuesdays.  It’s an opportunity to get out of the ordinary, and outside the box.  Through the process of melding a picture story out of assigned random words,  it has given Jordan a desire to pursue  illustrating children’s books.

One of her favorite collaborations has been with Fica coffee, designing their coffee bags while working with people whose hearts are for the same thing.  It always feels rewarding for Jordan to work with other businesses and organizations who are up to really great things, working to make a difference in their communities.

I asked Jordan to share a couple simple pleasures that enrich her life, and these two were at the top of her list:

-Waking up early, having some quiet time alone, and being able to watch her girls come down the stairs in the morning, with their fluffy heads, holding them first thing.

-“Top the Tater” and Potato chips on hand.

We are honored to be able to showcase many of the beautiful images of Tin Cup Design, for sale at our Bailey Builds and Friends shop on Grand Ave.  You can learn more about Jordan and her work on her website at tincupdesignco.com.