The 50/50 Company, established in 2010, was created to exhibit Matt & Jen’s sustainable art at an affordable level. They met in 1995, married in 2008 and have been co-creating ever since. Their specialty is black and white line art and most of their releases are done in limited editions. We had the chance to meet up with Jen to talk about how it all started.
Can you tell us about yourself and what you're working on?
Matt and I are high school sweethearts who, crazily enough, actually met in art class. Matt studied graphic design and illustration as an undergraduate and I focused on ceramics and printmaking. The 50/50 Company serves as our motivator to create great art on a regular basis.
I'm quite certain that if money were no object, we'd still be doing the same thing - creating with our cats nearby.
Matt mainly creates and edits the illustrations for The 50/50 Company and I assist with printing, packing and paperwork. We actually created The 50/50 Company so we could do just that - make anything we want.
What's the best careers advice you've ever received?
One of the most powerful statements that we've ever received regarding our business is that 'nobody's going to give you permission'. You have to give yourself permission to do what you want. That's a job that's yours for the taking because only you can apply for the position. And then, you can just make it happen! Don't wait to be tapped, chosen, appointed, or nominated. The chosen ones choose themselves.
You have to give yourself permission to do what you want. And then, you can just make it happen!
When you're running low on motivation, what do you do to pick yourself up?
At times, especially in the east coast winter months, motivation seems a little sparse. I personally find that yoga, traveling (to warm localities), volunteering at my local cat rescue and snuggling with my own helps pick me up whereas Matt gets revved up by listening and adding to his immense vinyl collection and design podcasts.
What is the best place in the world to be a maker?
We're lucky to live only 25 minutes from Philadelphia because we frequent their indie shops and galleries often for inspiration as well. The city contains many art museums, such as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Rodin Museum, which holds the largest collection of work by Auguste Rodin outside France. The city's major art museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is one of the largest art museums in the United States.
What have you been working on lately?
Recently Matt's been hand painting wooden signs and I've been creating custom jewelry which is a bit out of our normal parameters but it's fun and exciting!
Where do you usually work from? What's your ideal setup?
We each have our own separate home offices and we share the basement studio where most of the screen printing takes place. All three work spaces are inhabited and well guarded by our cats, Molly and Hatchet. And newbie BBC (Baby Black Cat) is starting to get in on some of the action. They keep us on our toes and provide great comedic relief when putting in long work hours.
If money were no object, what would you do with your time?
I'm quite certain that if money were no object, we'd still be doing the same thing - creating with our cats nearby. Maybe somewhere more tropical though...with Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher. ^..^