So I have been eyeing this poster on etsy for quite some time now.
I love the bright colors, and the cheerful message. Why I haven’t purchased it yet, I’m not really sure. Probably because I don’t have a place to put it…I think I’ve mentioned that dilemma at least 7 times throughout the course of my blog. Anyway, the other day I decided to finally check out the entire etsy shop and see what it was all about. It is called JayHell and is run by Jen Lewis. I guess I was feeling a little froggy, because I decided to send her a message to see if she would be interested in answering a couple of questions for my blog! Now, we all know I’ve featured a bunch of artists from etsy on my blog, but for some unknown reason I’ve never contacted the artists. But this time I did, and I am so glad that I did. I asked her a couple of questions, and I am pleased to share her responses with you.
Tell us a little about your background. [where you’re from, how you got started, how you got to where you are today, etc.]
I live in the Ribble Valley, just north of Preston in the North West of England. I’ve always been a creative, crafty type, one of my earliest memories is spending hours colouring and arranging my Crayola crayons in neat rainbow order! A little over six months ago I was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyletis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, unfortunately I have been unable to go back to my day job but try and keep myself busy as and when I can, creating my “Wellbeing Wall Art”.
When you’re not creating, how do you fill your days?
Because of my illness my lifestyle can be quite restricted. I love to read and I find knitting very therapeutic! My pet budgerigar Jimmy keeps me entertained on a daily basis! On occasions where I find the energy I love to visit craft and vintage fairs, and I love thrifting in charity shops.
Chocolate or vanilla?
What keeps you inspired to continue to create?
I hope that the messages conveyed in my prints help other people to be inspired and motivated. The creative spark runs in my blood and I am forever coming up with new ideas to turn into more prints or art cards, or maybe a wider range of products in the future!
Where is your favorite place to travel? [vacation, or on a daily basis]
As a child we spent a lot of time on the Norfolk Broads, an idyllic part of the east coast of England. I have many fond memories of messing about in boats-the idea of retiring there and setting up a small studio over-looking the waterways is extremely appealing! I also took my mum to Barcelona for her 60th birthday, and plan to return there one day.
Do you have a designated studio? If so, what is your favorite part of it?
My studio is the spare room in my house. I have recently re-organised it, my favourite parts being all my hand-labelled drawers to keep my art supplies tidy, and an array of re-used mugs to keep all my pens, pencils and markers at hand. (Click here to see the makeover in full!)www.flickr.com/photos/creativejen/sets/72157629244475373/
What is your number one cure for artist’s block?
I would say just step away from what you’re focusing on for a while. Personally for me I shut the door on the studio, grab something to eat and then meditate/rest for a bit. I find after this I always come back to what I am doing with a clearer mind or vision of what I want to achieve.
If you had to describe your creative style in three words — which three would you choose?
Quirky. Inspirational. Positive.
Where do you see yourself in seven years?
Above everything else I would love to recover from my illness to the point where I would be able to put proper time and energy into working for myself, being creative day in day out, and hopefully helping others in the process.
Do you have any exciting upcoming projects that you can or want to share with us?
Just a couple of personal projects at the moment, I am making a batch of Easter cards for my grandmother, and working on making a patchwork quilt for my friend who is going to have a baby soon!
What an awesome story, right?! I am so moved and inspired by her honesty and the positivity she keeps despite her illness. I love that she uses her posters and pocket affirmations as inspirations for others, as well as for herself. Knowing a little bit about her background and her story makes her posters that much more inspirational. I also love that she “colours” and “organises.” Okay, enough from me, let’s check out her work, because honestly, it speaks for itself.
Awesome, right? I feel so honored to be able to share her story with all of you, and I hope that all of you can use not only her artwork, but also her journey as inspiration. I know I will! Keep on keeping on, Jen! I will definitely be keeping an eye on your shop to see what else you come up with! We can all follow JayHell on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/JayHellArt