Jennifer is formally trained in graphic design but enjoys a career as an interior stylist in New York and Connecticut, which she adores for so many reasons but mostly because she make things beautiful, and gets to help people transform their personal spaces into real sanctuaries. She thinks everyone is a creator, it’s just a matter of figuring out what your medium is. She has been lucky enough to have had parents that encouraged her to figure that out at a young age. She sells a lot of prints of her paintings through online venues like minted.com but typically gives a lot of her art away. She’s not about trying to be an artist, “I make stuff and that makes me happy. if what i made makes you happy too, then all the better, you’re welcome to it.”
1. What’s your medium of choice and what do you love about it?
I’d say I’m equally in love with photography and painting, but spend more time painting these days. I use acrylics and love how you can keep piling up the paint, transforming it layer by layer until you get the result that feels best. The best paintings are the ones that you couldn’t get right and thought were a muddled mess not worth saving until, something strange happens and you don’t know how, but the paint ends up where it needs to be and all of a sudden it’s gorgeous. Sort of like life!
2. What are you working on right now? What’s on your camera/desk/easel or in your studio?
I always have like 15 projects going on at once. There’s always a painting in progress, a file full of photos in my computer waiting to be edited and a few clients waiting for me to make them happy. My most important project though, when it comes to creating, is more about the life I’m creating for myself, figuring out what I’m here to contribute, and helping my teenage son gain the awareness and tools he’ll need to create a life he’ll really thrive in.
3. What practices/activities are most valuable to your creative process?
Other artists’ works and lives are of great inspiration to me. It’s amazing how much things have changed since the introduction of social media in terms of exposure and community. Instagram is my venue of choice and I can’t tell you how many awesome artists I’ve been introduced to, supported and received support from through this platform.
I’m also very selective about the people and activities that I let into my life. I’ve decided that if I don’t deem something/someone extraordinary or in some way beneficial to my personal growth, it doesn’t make the cut. This helps to keep positive energy flowing into my life as opposed to it being drained, which is really important to creating my best work.
4. What’s one thing you want to share with others about your art and/or process?
I’m very interested in love and beauty and try to embody that in my life and everything I create. If I feel like I’m not in that space, I can’t make anything — except a mess. There are important and talented artists that do really profound things when their insides are dark and stormy. I’m not one of them.
I also read a ton which helps me to stay in that centered space that allows me to create things I love. I can get really turned around and kind of obsessed over really big questions about life that I’ll never be able to answer. Reading about how really smart people have confronted these questions, their observations and views, has a super calming effect on me and often leads me to feel a bit more comfortable with the unknown. Sometimes I’m even fooled into thinking I have a clue.
5. What advice would you give to your young artist self?
Ooooh so much! First of all I’d tell her that if you want to hang out in your cut-offs all day and paint, then do it. Do exactly what you want. That pressure you feel to “be something” and “get somewhere” isn’t real. I wasted about 10 years in a career that, while exciting, was not my calling. I was more concerned with security and what people thought than following what was true and right for me. There’s no such thing as security and if you betray what your heart knows trying to seek it, then when things unravel, which they absolutely will, you will be left at ground zero. Life has a way of doing whatever it can (no matter how painful) to set you on the path you’re built for. So I’d tell her to pay attention! The stuff you only think you may know, you actually do know. You don’t need to be anything, it’s enough to just be. And the only place to get to is right now. This one I’m still learning, presence will probably remain my biggest challenge and hardest life lesson.
All makers know that it’s the process that keeps them coming back for more, not the finished piece. I’d tell her that this is also true in life. It’s never about the destination and always about the many (terrifying, exhilarating, mundane and totally perfect) moments that delivered you there.
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