As a researcher, designer, artist, and educator, my scholarship and creative endeavors are centered around three core goals which are to: understand the creative process via both research and practice; enable artists and designers to have self-sustaining careers; and develop tools to help artists succeed in art and business. For the first goal, I investigate the creative process through my own art and design practices as well as research into other artist’s processes. To achieve my second goal of enabling artists to have self-sustaining careers, I teach visual arts management and design management while studying current management techniques and market conditions in the arts. I work towards my final goal of developing business tools for artists through teaching at Columbia College Chicago as well as my art consultancy practice, Art Ally, which helps artists develop goals, working processes, business plans and self-management skills for future success. 

My cross-disciplinary scholarship and professional endeavors explore the work of integrating both business and art knowledge to help artists and designers succeed. My research interests revolve around:

  • design management pedagogy
  • arts and design entrepreneurship
  • synergies between art and business utilizing methods and language from the creative process

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Jacobs, J. (2017). Managing the creative process within graphic design firms: A literature review. Under Review.
This literature review examines an array of research that interrogates how the creative process in graphic design firms can be most successfully managed. A key question for graphic design educators arises from this type of inquiry: how should the management of the creative processes taught to students be aligned or not aligned with the way the creative process is managed by design professionals in their respective working environments? 

Jacobs, J. (2017). Teaching design management: Synergies between studio and business pedagogy. Under Review.
Design managers bring both creative design/art backgrounds as well as business expertise to their work in the marketplace and in the classroom. This paper proposes a practice-based model of design management education that embraces the collaboration, critique, reflection, and elements of a flipped classroom towards a deep pedagogy of enactment.

Jacobs, J. (2017). From design thinking to art thinking. Under Review.
As the problem-solving methodology of design thinking has gained legitimacy in business and educational environments, I suggest we also think about incorporating ‘art thinking’ into approaches in the classroom and the workplace. 

Jacobs, J. & Kumorowski, S. (2016). Marketing mix elements used by visual artists from Renaissance to present. American Journal of Arts Management, September.
Through the lens of marketing mix methods and tools such as product, price, promotion, place, segmentation, targeting, differentiation, and positioning, we examine how artists initiated shifts in marketing strategy. 

Jacobs, J. (2016). Teaching the business of design across disciplines. The International Journal of Design Education, 10(2), 19-29.
Columbia College Chicago recently launched a bachelor’s degree program in Design Management. This article details the efforts to build a bridge from the Business & Entrepreneurship department to other departments and constituents across campus in order to develop, refine and communicate a valuable new degree program that connects the disciplines of design and business.


AIGA Design Educators Community Faculty Research Grant, “Understanding Best Practices in Student-Operated, Faculty-Advised Campus Design Studios”, Amount: $2,500, 2017
I was awarded an AIGA Design Educators Community Faculty Research Grant to investigate successful practices of student-operated graphic design studios housed on college campuses. This research will be disseminated in a scholarly article, conference presentation, and possible website/book.