I Needed to Find Myself Before Starting My Own Art Business

Jenn Cohen, founder of Facsimile, shares her journey as an artist and obtaining stability as a imaginative entrepreneur.


photo of entrepreneur Jenn Cohen

Jenn Cohen, founder of Facsimile


I never particularly remember my really 1st moments holding a digicam, but I recall the experience. I could emphasis on distinct configurations, objects, and people today and was in full control. It was a visual meditation and permitted me to be present with what I saw through the viewfinder and ignore everything else around me. I fell in love with photography from that place onwards and started to see the globe as an artist.

That was a extensive time in the past, and my lifestyle has adjusted considerably due to the fact then. But one particular issue has remained the similar – looking at with wonder and producing is just how I exist. Now, I run my individual organization, Facsimile, in which I invest my times colorizing people’s black and white reminiscences and restoring weakened images back to their genuine and superb form.

Honestly, Facsimile is not what I at first prepared or aspired to do, but additional a path supplied to me by the Universe. I had to go via so much and find myself just before being equipped to make that life-modifying final decision.


Photo restoration in progress

Jenn Cohen trimming photos for shoppers.


Folks go to LA to “find themselves”

I received formal artwork training in my undergrad at LMU and a Master of Good Arts from Artwork Heart Faculty of Design in Pasadena, CA. Through those several years, I was mesmerized by anatomical and physiological buildings and genuinely liked delving into light and shadow, coloration theory, viewpoint, and framing. In the most unexpected approaches, I use these insights and techniques everyday in picture restorations and colorizations.

I interned for the renowned photographer Chris Cuffaro even though I was executing a ton of high-quality artwork images. This internship opened a doorway for me to the enjoyment field and taught me a ton about modifying images and workflow. Although I enjoyed the operate and even considered about staying a vogue photographer or doing portraiture, I did not truly feel at home in that market.

Electronic technologies was evolving so rapidly and really considerably anybody could very own a good camera. This, of class, accelerated the aggressive edge in the leisure market far more than ever. I didn’t finish up likely the route of starting to be a experienced photographer. What I needed to do was reside as an artist and remain away from what I considered an harmful life style as a lot as doable. And LA couldn’t give me that.


photo restoration example

Civil War era, big “Cabinet Card” photograph measuring 7.5″x9.5″
10 hour restoration and reconstruction
Photograph shared with permission of the Bamberg Spouse and children Archive, South Carolina.


So I Wandered Up to Washington Point out

Right after considering it by way of, I determined to shift from LA to Washington Point out. To be honest, I didn’t have everything lined up on the other hand, it was prime time for me to take hazards.

Although I was trying to establish a new existence for myself in Washington, I acquired in contact with just one of the regional picture labs in the space and secured a task. I was digitizing a good deal of film and pictures and undertaking some very slight enhancing to start off. Rekindling a partnership with my previous skills…

I experienced hardly ever been formally trained in image restoration, but my formal schooling in art came alive yet again as I used it to the electronic realm. The superior information was that I’d presently acknowledged how to use the applications that were required for this apply. My earlier anatomy, physiology, and standard figure drawing coaching assisted me improve my new ability.

That was the instant when I understood restoring images was contacting me – to be of service in a tangible way to people felt great. If you’re wanting to know how I understood that as an artist, I see achievement via open-minded ahead momentum and residing in full alignment with one’s possess values.

And restoring photographs meets my requirements: It balances the technological factors of images with the emotional and social way that really satisfies my individuality. The photos I have inherited, taken, or have been photographed imply so a great deal to me. It is an honor to be capable to assist other men and women cherish their memories.


Colorized vintage photo of women and mums

“Women in Mums,” approximated 1920s from the archives of Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Rising as an artist and a business enterprise operator

Raise your hand if the pandemic changed your life! In the course of the initial months of lockdown, I got really unwell (I feel it was Covid-19) and had a minute of epiphany. I was missing residing a deeply significant existence with objective and fulfillment.

You know how individuals say life is too limited to do every little thing. I disagree. My illness opened my eyes. The key to living a content lifetime is performing some thing satisfying. Which is why, when I received superior, I launched my company, Facsimile. It was born out of sentiment and appreciation for visible storytelling and background, only with a true truthful desire to be of services by supporting men and women preserve and restore their loved ones background and heirlooms.

I just cannot deny the fact that it’s tricky to balance the enterprise managerial aspect of my function and the inventive side because Facsimile is a a single-individual organization. Each time I’m confused, gratitude seriously will help me remain concentrated. I take pleasure in what I have and what I can do for my group. I also have to consider breaks to treatment for myself and delight in some other pursuits that I adore, these kinds of as going on walks, dancing factors out, sitting down exterior, and consciously breathing.

Taking pictures has usually assisted me block out the sounds. As a result, when I require to switch off, I take a photo of myself. Not with a camera, nevertheless – it is a mental picture. I come to be the subject matter that I concentrate on and attempt to fully grasp the tale I’m telling. Then I choose a deep breath and press the shutter.


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