I Needed to Find Myself Before Starting My Own Art Business

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


photo of entrepreneur Jenn Cohen

Jenn Cohen, founder of Facsimile


I really do not specifically recall my extremely very first moments holding a camera, but I bear in mind the sensation. I could emphasis on particular configurations, objects, and persons and was in comprehensive manage. It was a visual meditation and authorized me to be present with what I noticed via the viewfinder and overlook all the things else all around me. I fell in enjoy with pictures from that position onwards and started out to see the entire world as an artist.

That was a long time in the past, and my lifestyle has modified significantly because then. But one point has remained the very same – observing with wonder and creating is just how I exist. Now, I operate my possess small business, Facsimile, where I invest my times colorizing people’s black and white reminiscences and restoring destroyed pics again to their genuine and glorious variety.

Honestly, Facsimile is not what I at first prepared or aspired to do, but extra a path presented to me by the Universe. I experienced to go by means of so a great deal and come across myself right before remaining in a position to make that existence-altering decision.


Photo restoration in progress

Jenn Cohen trimming photographs for buyers.


People today go to LA to “find themselves”

I acquired formal art training in my undergrad at LMU and a Master of Good Arts from Artwork Middle College or university of Layout in Pasadena, CA. In the course of those people yrs, I was mesmerized by anatomical and physiological structures and truly appreciated delving into light-weight and shadow, color principle, perspective, and framing. In the most unexpected means, I use these insights and competencies daily in photograph restorations and colorizations.

I interned for the renowned photographer Chris Cuffaro although I was undertaking a large amount of wonderful art pictures. This internship opened a doorway for me to the entertainment industry and taught me a whole lot about editing pics and workflow. Despite the fact that I relished the function and even thought about becoming a style photographer or carrying out portraiture, I did not really feel at house in that marketplace.

Electronic technological innovation was evolving so fast and really considerably anybody could have a good digicam. This, of class, accelerated the competitive edge in the amusement industry much more than at any time. I didn’t conclusion up heading the route of turning out to be a specialist photographer. What I required to do was are living as an artist and continue to be away from what I regarded an harmful way of living as significantly as possible. And LA couldn’t give me that.


photo restoration example

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


So I Wandered Up to Washington State

Soon after wondering it as a result of, I resolved to move from LA to Washington Point out. To be genuine, I did not have everything lined up nevertheless, it was prime time for me to get threats.

Although I was making an attempt to develop a new daily life for myself in Washington, I obtained in touch with 1 of the regional picture labs in the region and secured a job. I was digitizing a ton of film and photographs and executing some quite minor enhancing to start. Rekindling a partnership with my previous skills…

I had hardly ever been formally qualified in photograph restoration, but my official schooling in art came alive once more as I applied it to the digital realm. The great information was that I’d now regarded how to use the resources that were required for this practice. My earlier anatomy, physiology, and classic determine drawing coaching aided me increase my new skill.

That was the moment when I recognized restoring shots was contacting me – to be of company in a tangible way to persons felt good. If you’re questioning how I recognized that as an artist, I see success by open up-minded ahead momentum and dwelling in total alignment with one’s possess values.

And restoring photographs fulfills my demands: It balances the technological aspects of pictures with the psychological and social way that definitely satisfies my individuality. The pics I have inherited, taken, or have been photographed mean so substantially to me. It is an honor to be capable to enable other persons cherish their recollections.


Colorized vintage photo of women and mums

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


Developing as an artist and a organization owner

Increase your hand if the pandemic changed your life! For the duration of the very first months of lockdown, I obtained pretty ill (I consider it was Covid-19) and had a moment of epiphany. I was lacking dwelling a deeply meaningful existence with reason and satisfaction.

You know how men and women say daily life is way too brief to do everything. I disagree. My sickness opened my eyes. The essential to residing a content life is accomplishing one thing satisfying. That is why, when I obtained far better, I founded my business, Facsimile. It was born out of sentiment and appreciation for visible storytelling and heritage, only with a true genuine need to be of support by aiding men and women protect and restore their family members background and heirlooms.

I can’t deny the simple fact that it is tricky to balance the small business managerial facet of my function and the inventive aspect due to the fact Facsimile is a one particular-particular person enterprise. Anytime I’m confused, gratitude definitely helps me keep targeted. I take pleasure in what I have and what I can do for my community. I also have to take breaks to care for myself and enjoy some other pursuits that I enjoy, these types of as heading on walks, dancing things out, sitting outside, and consciously respiratory.

Taking photos has always helped me block out the sound. Thus, when I need to have to swap off, I just take a picture of myself. Not with a digital camera, although – it is a psychological impression. I grow to be the topic that I focus on and try to realize the story I’m telling. Then I acquire a deep breath and push the shutter.


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Angelia S. Rico

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