Art, intention, and action are all daring ways to make a statement, not only for others but also for oneself. Joby Shimomura understands what it’s worth to truly follow her calling in life. After 20 dedicated years of working in government as Washington governor Jay Inslee’s chief of staff, she is now representing a more authentic self as an artist.
Steady devotion toward one’s craft can sometimes be a complicated relationship, but not with Shimomura and stained glass. As a freelance stained glass designer, she has worked her way up from a standard approach to stained glass to extravagant technical pieces. Layers upon layers of tactile decorative glass act as mere samples of her capabilities as they salute the walls of her Olympia studio.
After taking a six-week stained glass class, Shimomura was hooked. She opened her first studio in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, but quickly fell in love with Olympia’s supportive, genuine community.
Shimomura is prepared to incorporate an assortment of new ideas and techniques to keep stained glass alive and fresh. She will be practicing the idea of “playing with motion” and has already composed several pieces that include hand-written quotes, fusion of glass, and construction of stained glass molds for bowls and larger pieces. More projects include imposing photos onto glass, a similar process of screen printing, and making sweet little personalized ornaments. Shimomura has completed a number of large designer panels for houses and buildings as well.
Releasing her energy from 20 years of government work is resulting in major concepts and compositions. “It feels like freedom. It’s liberating and playful. There are no rules, process, or formal consensus,” she says.
Shimomura has always had an appreciative artistic eye. Growing up as a daughter of a painter/art professor and a theater director, she was welcomed warmly by the art. Expression and passion go hand in hand as she conjures ideas and inspirations so rapidly in her studio. “It’s really fun and you can’t really mess up. It’s even hard to keep up with ideas,” Shimomura says.
Following passions and listening to instincts can easily be neglected in life. Being able to fluidly change careers during any stage of life takes true courage. Shimomura has found her duende, her muse and her rights as a human to be inspired and inspire others through her art. Her work is stunning and innovative, experimenting with all the possibilities that are at her fingertips and beyond.
Joby Shimomura’s studio is located at 313 5th Avenue SE in downtown Olympia. To learn more, follow Joby Glass on Facebook.