VoyageLA: LA’s Most Inspiring Stories

On June 22, 2018 by Kasey Jones, Ink.

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Every month VoyageLA recognizes the stories of creative and talented people who call LA home. I was honored when they shared mine. See below for my interview with VoyageLA this past May.

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Today we’d like to introduce you to Kasey Blaustein.

Kasey, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Kasey Jones, Ink. started as a creative outlet/hobby while I was Brand Manager at a start-up spirits company.

Although branding and marketing is a passion of mine, I wasn’t fulfilled professionally (and therefore emotionally) and decided to start exploring creative projects on my off hours. One of the projects included a chalkboard photo booth backdrop I created for my 30th birthday. On the backdrop, I wrote “It’s Kasey’s Birthday” (that’s the PG version) in a creative design and in vibrant chalk ink. My photographer friend set up his camera, and the booth became a huge hit.

My friends started sharing their photos online and changing their Facebook and Instagram profiles to pictures from the booth. From that exposure, I started getting cold calls asking if I did photo booth backdrops for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. I took a leap and started taking the jobs under the guise of CHALK SHOT, working long hours in the evenings and weekends. Three months later we booked the Golden Globes and I quit my job to invest in the venture full time.

CHALK SHOT requests led to other job opportunities like creating live art at events, illustrations for press and media, office murals, etc. Four years later Kasey Jones, Ink. has developed into a full creative branding company using different art mediums to meet the marketing needs of national brands throughout the country. CHALK SHOT, our interactive photo booth experience is still one of our most popular services.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Balancing the workload and demands from all directions (inquiries, outreach, invoicing, designing, executing, marketing, etc.) is a struggle. Developing a competitive price structure has also been a huge challenge. I’m four years in and I’m finally at a place where I’m comfortable with my rates – where I’m ok passing on a project if a client doesn’t have the budget, or taking on certain projects at discounted prices if it excites me or is for a good cause.

I also lean on a wonderful team of artist assistants, graphic designers, photographers and marketing mavens I curated throughout the years who help me get through the more demanding projects and advise me on bigger picture/growth concepts.

Please tell us about Kasey Jones, Ink…
Kasey Jones, Ink. is a one-stop shop for creative branding and consumer experiences through the use of multiple art mediums. We provide a unique variety of interactive and one-of-a-kind services for events, companies and individuals including Live Art Activation, murals, step and repeats, press walls, lettering, event signage, illustrations, specialty gifting, and the interactive photo booth experience CHALK SHOT. Clients include Viacom, TOMS, Target, Kettle Chips, Lacoste, XBOX, Fabletics, Plymouth Gin and Nivea.

Our most popular services are Live Art Activation where we create murals live at events, our interactive photo booth experience CHALK SHOT, and our travel friendly and reusable backdrop package CHALK SHOT-IN-A-BOX. We launched CHALK SHOT-IN-A-BOX a few months ago and I’m really excited and proud of the response it’s received so far. Several nationally known brands have already purchased custom BOXes, including American Idol who purchased a few to go on tour with them as they auditioned Idol hopefuls throughout the country. We’re launching a consumer version of the BOX this year, which I’m really excited about.

What sets KJI apart is our team is comprised of individuals with strong roots in the art, marketing and branding worlds. We understand how brands communicate. We know how to read their identity books and translate their message to consumers in fresh, vibrant, and on-brand ways. We’re also in love what we do, and our team has a blast working together. I feel very lucky and proud of all this.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
That’s hard! One of my best friends Jessie has been in my life since elementary school, so a lot of my childhood memories are of laughing uncontrollably with her…to the point of almost getting kicked out of establishments… like Costco… and Baja Fresh… and the Pantages Theater during a showing of Ragtime. We just couldn’t ever control our laughing even when getting in trouble! We still have that problem.

Contact Info:

Cover & Main Image Photo Credit: Chloe Roessell

Bella Thorne_Bai Angel Mural
Kettle Live Art_Expo West KJI copy .   CHALK SHOT_The Voice_(C) Kasey Jones, Ink. 2018
KJI X GOOD+ STEP AND REPEAT 4 copy
Off The Menu Club copyVanity Fair

WeWork Creator Awards copy
WeWork Live Art

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