Katelyn-Today I am spending time talking with Jennifer Maroney about her art. Jennifer is another participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors, Good Morning Jennifer! Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself that isn’t art related?
Jennifer- That is a hard question because my entire life is art-related. *wink *wink. I have a very spoiled 8-year-old Chihuahua named Sid. He is 6.5 lbs of pure love. He is my constant companion as I work from home as a graphic designer. I also collect tiny erasers shaped like food. My favorite is a tiny ramen bowl with ramen noodles inside. I am an avid reader and usually have about 3 books I am reading at all times.
Katelyn- It is so fun to have our pets around while we work to add moral support! I love your collection, I can see it as you describe it to me. Can you tell our readers what inspired you to start making art?
Jennifer- I have doodling and drawing since I could hold a crayon and drew on the walls at our home – yes I did that! Everything inspires me – early on it was my love of horses and animals and then it turned into everything around me, nature, dreams, things I’ve read or conversations that I hear or have had. All of those things can inspire a drawing or painting. I am constantly doodling and keep numerous journals to hold all of my ideas.
Katelyn- I love how your love of art started early and didn’t stop! It is so true that we can find inspiration everywhere. Do you have a favorite medium and why do you like it?
Jennifer- Black ink. All of my drawings and paintings start with a sketch in ink, where that is a Sharpie marker or regular in pen. After that, any medium with color, such as acrylic paint, watercolor, oil pastels and markers.
Katelyn- That’s interesting, I start with black ink too. I have never even thought about it as my favorite medium but you are right. I see that you are a book illustrator too. I love your work. I am always curious to know why a person chooses to do art. Why do you create art?
Jennifer- It makes me feel good and I can’t help it, I must create! Making art is my happy place. It is meditative and the one thing I can do where I lose track of time and everything around me.
Katelyn- I went looking for a piece of art that I could add to this blog and found this one that demonstrates exactly what you are talking about to me. Your happy place!
Katelyn- With all of that creativity flowing you still must get creative blocks at times. What do you do when you get a creative block?
Jennifer- I doodle abstract shapes, practice lettering, look up inspiring quotes, read, look through my photos and look at images of old toys and vintage advertising, that always sparks something. Pinterest is a fantastic way to unblock. It is window shopping for creativity.
Katelyn- I love that idea of window shopping for creativity, and Pinterest is a good place to shop! I am curious about what artist/artists inspire you and why?
Jennifer- There are so many! When I went to college for Art, I LOVED my Art History Classes. Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Joan Miro’ Frida Kahlo, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse- all so inspiring! I also love William Morris’ pattern designs and the Art Nouveau Movement. All of these artists inspire me with their color and vibrancy as well as their individual narratives. Frida’s self-portraits, Chagall’s images from his childhood, to Matisse’s ever-evolving style and medium choices. They LIVED their art.
Katelyn- Those are some of my favorites too. I especially see Kandinsky, Chagall and Miro’s influence on your work. I love all of the colors you use. I know there are some aspiring artists that are reading this blog. What advice would you give them?
Jennifer- Just be yourself. Paint, draw, doodle, sculpt. Whatever your passion is, do it and do it with our authentic self 100%. No one else can do what you do or create what you create. Not that long ago, I had put all of my art supplies away, convinced I couldn’t ” make it” as an artist, so what was the point. A friend of mine encouraged me to just do a little art every day, just for myself, even if it was only 10 minutes. That got me out of my rut, and help me see how much I missed creating. No matter where it takes me or if no one ever sees something I create, I create primarily for myself now and if someone else enjoys it is a happy bonus.
Katelyn- I so resonate with this advice! I have done the same thing. Put my art to the side and gave up because I thought what is the purpose if I was the only one seeing it. We artist have to get to a healthy space where we create because we have to and not make it about “Making it”. It sounds like you got there!
One of the reasons I created Brush and Pen: A Festival for Artists and Writers is to give local people who are talented a place to be seen. Where we can connect with other creative people and the community and make connections. I am so glad you are a part of the event.
How can people support you in your art career?
Jennifer- People can support me by liking my art that I post on Instagram or Facebook and telling me that it makes them happy! That is always the best! Also, buying my work is a blessing- to know that something I have created has touched someone so much that they want to have it in their home. I also love to collaborate.
Katelyn- Thank you for spending time with me, Jennifer. It was a pleasure to get to know more about you. Where can people see your art?