Jack Giesen, 26, is a Calgarian artist, illustrator and designer of indie science fiction and fantasy book covers. She has taken all of her talents to maximize their potential through entrepreneurship. Her parents were her first point of reference in aiming for an independent career, and her grandma inspired her to get into the creative world.
As for her name, it is what it is: Jack. Not Jacqueline.
The first steps
She grew up in Saskatchewan and lived there until she graduated from high school. Because she was in a small town, she had to travel to a city on the weekends in order to take art classes.
“As soon as I graduated [high school], I was ready to go,” said Giesen. She recalls coming to Calgary in 2005 to take a pre-college program at The Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD). Then, she built a portfolio that was sent to several art schools. She got accepted to ACAD and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD).
Giesen decided to fly to Nova Scotia and begin a new journey far from the town where she grew up, which she didn’t like much. However, after a couple of years in that new program, she decided to leave.
“I left because they didn’t really teach any of the business side. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do afterwards, and I also wanted to run my own business,” she admitted.
So she went home and then returned to Calgary to work in the marketing and public relations field. Later on, she came across Royal Roads, a university in Victoria, B.C., where she is about to complete a bachelor in professional communications.
Last Tuesday I attended a press conference by Ken King, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Calgary Flames.
He came to SAIT Polytechnic to talk about the project CalgaryNEXT.
The objective of this project consists of a globally recognized centrepiece that will transform the way Calgarians live, work and play. At the same time, it will be a destination for world class events.
CalgaryNEXT is yet to be approved. King is explaining the plan to different publics including citizens, the government and companies. He’s convinced that this is the right time to propose this kind of project and make it a reality.
In that aspect, I admire his enthusiasm. It’s true that, right now, the economy crisis is critical in the province. It seems like there’s other issues with higher priority; however, in the long term, a project like this can bring great benefits in terms of employment, tourism and entertainment.