Regina, Treaty 4: Jennifer Eisler
(Photo by Aidan Morgan, Intro by Jennifer Sparrowhawk)
She is fun and funny and kind. She is smart and shrewd and resourceful. She is incredibly dedicated to her clients. She likes witchy things and talks with her hands.
I met Jen on the set of a movie in the summer of 2007. We were both trainees. She was the Continuity trainee, I was the Director’s Observer. One of our first conversations was late one night on location at a farm. We were the only ones in the producers’ tent and she was describing her dream job to me “I want to be a motif specialist [a motif is a re-occurring visual element in a film that supports the theme, and is always invented by the director] — a motif-ist. I just want to come in and be like ‘BAM, BAM, BAM - there’s your motif! See ya. Jen OUT!’". Jen has a way of laughing at herself that makes you laugh too. And if you’ve been working 12-14 hour days for quite a few days, both of you might laugh into hysterics, and you might fall in love.
Aside from film, Jen’s other love is music. She worked in a music store throughout school and even fronted a rock band before moving to Toronto to learn the ins and outs of music publicity, skills she has since brought back to SK.
It has been an honour to know Jenny and to see her work hard to grow stronger in every way possible over the years. And to see her achieve her dreams…and then realize she doesn’t like the reality of those dreams so much, and then watch as she achieves new, more fulfilling ones.
It is my pleasure to introduce to you, my friend, Jen…
KC: What kinds of projects are you involved in right now?
I’ve been fortunate this year to be involved in publicity campaigns with national clients in various music genres. I’m currently wrapping up a campaign with Manitoba roots/country artist, Quinton Blair, and in the middle of working albums for Calgary-based label, Chronograph Records and Montreal-based label, Justin Time. I’m also involved with a new label out of Toronto, Really Records, as their in-house publicist.
Offering consulting services, especially to Saskatchewan artists, is ongoing and always rewarding. My mandate is to provide valuable DIY advice and guidance.
I’m also turning my focus to marketing and creative development for my business. I’ll be taking the summer months and into the fall to work on creating valuable “how to” content and offerings, spruce up my blog series and website, and develop a more sustainable long term business plan. The wheels are turning, uncertainty is looming, and the 2AM (lying in bed awake when suddenly a brilliant idea strikes) emails to myself are many.
KC: What’s your day job? What do you like about it? What’s challenging?
My day job is owning and operating my publicity business. I love it. It’s by far the best role I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot of jobs in the creative industries both here, and in Toronto. The ability to create and build on my terms, focus on my goals, and work with artists who I want to work with is beyond rewarding. The challenges that come up are also welcomed. I’ve learned a lot about myself, how I like to work, what I want to create, and where I’d like to focus my skills. Of course making my own hours, and the ability to do national work from home (or any location I choose) is part of the greatness too. I enjoy maintaining relationships with national media and colleagues, as well as working with new artists in being a part of releasing their creative endeavours to the media/the world.
Running a business alone has its challenges; you’re the only one to do the work and meet the deadlines. Another challenge is balancing my own ongoing business marketing and development, administration, and training vs. working on client’s projects. The time is divided 30% / 70% and it can be a struggle.
KC: What’s important to you?
My body. More than ever. Moving it, being still with it, honouring it, accepting it as it is.
KC: What do you like most/least about Regina?
Living in Regina the majority of my life I often desperately crave anonymity. That’s one of the major things I miss about living in Toronto. At the same time the sense of community is comforting, and the city is home to many of my favourite people. The encouragement I receive from family and friends, and the constant support from artists and colleagues in the creative industries has been paramount. Honestly, I’m not sure I could have created or made the necessary personal “space” for my business if it wasn’t for being back in Regina.
KC: What is your impression of Saskatoon?
I like the city. I like the people. I like the venues, the bands. I like the change of scenery.
KC: How do you survive the winters?
Working from home, that does help.
From the Proust questionnaire: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
For me, misery is denying and struggling against what IS. I’ve had many opportunities to practice and lean into this over the last few years, since choosing to move back to Regina from Toronto. As a result, I am more open and tuned in with myself, what is important to me, and how I want to live and work in the world.
Here’s my website: www.jeneisler.com - check out the blog, sign up for my monthly newsletter. Thanks!