Cultural Quarterly
Summer 2008
Volume XXI, Number 3
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FEATURE ARTICLES
 

Artists Among Us:
‘You Can’t Afford to be Shy!’
By Samantha Rojas

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Elizabeth Jurado

Elizabeth Juardo, Graphic Artist

“It's my turn now!” says Elizabeth Jurado, as she discusses promoting her very successful print artwork in shows and galleries across the county. From a 30-year career in administration, she made a move – a big move – into her personal art full-time and has not looked back.
 
Pursuing a string of entrepreneurial goals she identified from a few strategic business art workshops, she launched herself into full-time mode as a self-supporting artist, businesswoman and fulfilled member of the working community.
 
Jurado attended one year of graphic design school more than 30 years ago. Then circumstances dictated that she work for the United States Postal Service. In November 2004, she retired after 30 years, took a month off and started painting.

Then one day she walked into Forum Publishing and got a job without any of the necessary graphic

Etching Press
Etching Press

design skills, save that one year 30 years ago. Like a boomerang, she turned around, back to the place of her heart. Forum Publishing hired her on a wing and a prayer, and today – four years later – having taught herself about the necessary design programs, she now works for the Sun-Sentinel as a graphic artist.
 
When Jurado attended the Artist as Entrepreneur (AEI) workshop in 2007, her focus turned to her personal art. More than anything else, AEI teaches how to be innovative with finding your personal niche. It helps you set sail in a boat of your own charting, where success is sure to find you.

The workshop teaches artists how to make goals and achieve them. Jurado feels that she has gained courage and ability to write her own press releases and create an e-mail list for networking. She now boldly pushes to get articles about herself into online news weeklies and newspapers. Shelearned how to “put it out there,” she says.

Jurado also set four goals: to win an award; to get a grant; to build her website and to do more solo shows.

Since then, she won “Best in Category for Printmaking” at the 45th Hortt competition for her wood cut print Madera. She acquired a mini-grant from the State of Florida for printmaking, with which she purchased an etching press. Her website is up and running, with a secondary page that leads to an artist society similar to Facebook and MySpace for artists, www.thedb.com/juradoartistudio.com.

Self Portrait

Elizabeth Juardo Self Portrait

She has sold out her first solo exhibit at The Firm gym and was invited to return for a second and third showing.
 
“I went into the gym with a friend who was going to join, and was drawn to a great lit wall. It said ‘Artist of the Month,’ and I said ‘wow!’ They told me they exhibited local artists, because it was good for the gym so patrons could see some local art, and it’s good for the artists,” explains Jurado about her first foray into self-promotion, thinking outside the box and seizing the opportunity. “I put up 20 pieces and sold every single one,” she says. “The prints started at $75 and went up to $450 for the largest one; $1,600 later, this is a remarkable thing.

Elizabeth Jurado has been a resident of Broward County since 1985 and has a small studio in her home for her work. She is very involved in ArtsUnited and the Broward Art Guild. Her story is about success, faith and perseverance.

So the next time that wonderful letter carrier with the big smile comes to deliver your mail, think possibilities – and think Elizabeth Jurado.

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