By Catrell Thomas, For Medium, Maryland Institute College of Art, Apr 5, 2018
Jennifer ‘Jeni’ Fairman ’17 (Business of Art & Design M.P.S.) never thought she would be a business owner. After receiving her first Masters degree in medical and biological illustration from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Fairman envisioned her life post-grad, where working for an employer for a myriad of years would be the norm. Getting laid off one year into her first job was an unexpected hurdle she hadn’t anticipated so early in her career. Significant change was at hand, and Fairman was presented with two options–find another job in her field or step out on her own. With zero openings for a medical illustrator in the Boston area, Fairman took a leap of faith and started her own business.
Founder and creative principal of Fairman Studios, LLC, Fairman enrolled in MICA’s Business of Art and Design masters program, where she could focus on, refine and grow her business. A few months into the course, she attended a Business Matters Workshop organized by MICA’s Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Career Development. It was here where she first learned of the UP/Start Venture Competition and was immediately inspired to apply. “I was encouraged to give it a try and I had an idea of what I kind of wanted to do, but I didn’t feel I was ready,” Fairman said. “But this was a defining moment for me, because that’s when I realized what I wanted to focus my thesis on…”