Q-and-A featuring freelance Dallas artist

By Stephanie Ball

Kelly Jacobi works as a fine art freelance artist and is learning how to do freelance illustration.

1. How and when did you become interested in journalism?

I became interested in journalism while studying visual communications at Brookhaven College. The Brookhaven Courier office was next door to many of my classes. Prior to that I had little interest in participating in journalism; I didn’t know much about it and assumed it was a very dry task.

2. How long have you been in the field and when did you start?

I was in the field only during my time with the Courier. I’ve maintained a blog but it’s more of a personal endeavor than a journalistic one.

3. What have you learned while in the field?

I learned that reporting the details with an objective and clear voice is very difficult. I had no idea prior to working with the Courier that writing the facts was such an intensive process. Also, headlines take a lot more work than anyone would guess.

4. What prepared you for your profession?

The strict deadlines and working with a diverse group of people were invaluable experiences. I was lucky that the group of people I worked with at the Brookhaven Courier were all really nice and dedicated to doing good work and finishing it on time.

5. What advice do you have for future journalists or media students?

Explore. Perpetually and exhaustively explore new things. I think one thing that makes a journalist great is being able to approach new stories with an open mind and have a variegated palate of personal experience to flavor their writing.

6. If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?

Telekinesis sounds pretty cool today. I could levitate wherever I’d like to go while preventing bugs from flying into me.

7. What was your favorite memory at the Brookhaven Courier?

My favorite memory at the Courier would probably be the end of my semester as the layout editor. The joy we all felt walking out of the office, knowing that we’d done well all year and feeling like we’d accomplished a lot. Placing at TIPA [Texas Intercollegiate Press Association] was pretty awesome too.

8. What did you want to be when you were a kid?

When I was a kid I really wanted to be a magician or a circus performer, specifically a contortionist. I figure those are both so blatantly awesome no further explanation is necessary.

9. Who is your inspiration and why?

I’m inspired by a lot of people. Mostly, though, I’m inspired by my younger sister for sticking with school; she’s nearly completed her bachelor’s degree. I’m also inspired by my father for all of the sacrifices he makes, not just for family, but friends as well. Lastly, on a daily basis I am inspired by my boyfriend, who is working hard to pursue his dreams musically and entrepreneurially.

10. What are some challenges and advantages of your profession?

Challenges in my profession include but are not limited to finding clients, selling myself and marketing my work.
Being pretty new to the tedious and stressful working world, the advantages are still accruing, but I certainly enjoy the personal freedoms I exercise in being my own boss.