We had the good fortune of connecting with Debra Jason and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Debra, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Truth be told, I have changed careers a few times (as many folks do). When I shifted toward a more creative path, I was working for a local catalog company. I was managing production of the catalog from product selection to completion (in the days before the internet). After a couple of years with the company, I wanted to do something more creative and less administrative. Feeling like I lacked the necessary artistic skills to do catalog design, I asked my boss if I could write the catalog copy. Hence, I took my first step toward a creative career.
Fast forward several years when Colorado was in a recession and I couldn’t find a J.O.B. Several companies suggested that if I freelanced, they could give me work. On January 1, 1989, The Write Direction was born. I have now operated my copywriting business for more than 30 years.
However, little did I know then that another creative skill was tucked away within me. In March 2020, when the pandemic hit, an inner artist began to reveal herself. I picked up some alcohol inks that I had stored away two years prior and began painting with this medium. I was surprised when, sharing photos on Facebook, people reached out wanting to purchase some of my paintings. Then, I turned them into earrings, notecards, and holiday ornaments and called my journey, Creative Whispers of the Heart – Imagery to Inspire.
Funny thing is, when I went to college (many moons ago), I started as a fine art major. I changed my major after a year because I felt I couldn’t draw a person or a landscape. I was an abstract artist who got an “A for effort” in my high school art class. Today, while I still operate my copywriting business, the silver lining of COVID has been painting with alcohol inks. This medium has opened the door to letting my inner artist out.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Have you ever spent years studying for a degree? Then, received that degree and worked in your field only to discover that the path you were on didn’t fuel your soul? That was me. And, it took me a while to admit it.
After all, between undergrad and graduate school, I had spent six years studying to become a speech pathologist. When I got physically ill, my body was telling me, “It is time for a change.” Fast forward several years, and a couple of career changes, I discovered the art of copywriting. Thanks to a couple of wonderful mentors who encouraged my craft, I decided that I wanted to pursue this path and opened my doors for business as The Write Direction in 1989.
One way I marketed myself (it was before the internet & social media), was to share value by delivering in-person presentations and workshops. In 2015, I became a professional speaker (currently serving on the Board of the National Speakers Association – Colorado chapter) speaking on topics that range from copywriting and LinkedIn marketing to marketing in turbulent times and dancing to success.
Marketing and writing with heart, not hype. I empower you to communicate your message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans – even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past. If you’re a heart- and soul-centered professional who is overwhelmed by writing your own content, let me help. Put your time and attention into what you do best – running your business. Let me relieve you of the stress of writing.
As a professional speaker, I understand that your audience members want not only to be inspired, but to receive practical, innovative business-building strategies that they can implement right away. When you are looking for a memorable, dynamic and engaging speaker who leaves your audience wanting more, feel free to contact me.
In addition to my copywriting/speaking career, in 2020 with stay-at-home orders in place, I decided to pull out a set of alcohol inks I had “played” with two years prior, but had tucked away. When I first painted with them in 2018, I wasn’t pleased with the results and judged myself too harshly. This time I decided I would play and experiment with technique and color. And, not judge the results. I started to post some of the images online asking my friends to suggest names for some of the pieces. I received a ton of positive, uplifting feedback AND someone purchased one of my paintings and then, another. That’s when I took it a step further and looked into turning the paintings into earrings, notecards and holiday ornaments. “Creative Whispers of the Heart” was born.
As people have reached out to me, I discovered that my artistic journey with alcohol inks has inspired others to explore their own inner artists. This has not only been rewarding, but has touched my heart deeply.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When it is safe to travel again and my BFF visits the area, I would want us to attend live outdoor events such as Band on the Bricks in Boulder or Rock and Rails in Niwot. Of course, when talking about live outdoor events, Red Rocks in Morrison is a must on the list – not just for live concerts, but for the amazing backdrop, awesome views and trails to explore there.
We would also drive up Flagstaff Mountain to soak up the panoramic views of Boulder from the Sunrise Amphitheater. Then, we’d go on long walks/hikes on my favorite trails such as Caribou Ranch Open Space in Nederland, Coot Lake or the Dakota Ridge Trail in Boulder, and Rocky Mountain National Park. In any of those spots, we can explore the great outdoors while breathing in the beauty of nature and enjoying delightful conversation.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents are the first people who come to mind as they were the first entrepreneurial role models I had. They are the two people who inspired, supported and loved me through thick and thin. They have both passed on to the spirit world, but are always in my heart and are with me in spirit.
I was very fortunate to have two wonderful copywriting mentors. I took a copywriting course at New York University with veteran copywriter Milt Pierce who believed in and encouraged my talent. He introduced me to the incomparable Eugene Schwartz, author of “Breakthrough Advertising” (considered a “bible” in the world of direct marketing), who inspired and guided me not only in all things copywriting, but in my efforts as a solopreneur when I went out on my own.
When it comes to my artistic journey, I owe a shout out to my friend and colleague Karen Griffard-Putz. Several years back she started painting with alcohol inks and seeing how the colors came alive in her work inspired me to give the medium a try.
Last but not my least are my two brothers, family, friends and many colleagues who have not only supported my creative and artistic efforts, but have been there for me on this roller-coaster ride called life.
Websites: https://WriteDirection.com https://DebraJason.com https://MillionaireMarketingonaShoestringBudget.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/debrajason/ https://www.instagram.com/creativewhispersoftheheart/
Other: Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WhispersoftheHeartUS
Fine Art America: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/debra-jason
Featured professional photo is by Anne Barhyte, Photographer of Life: https://photographeroflife.com