Interview with Local Artist, Jennifer Maroney

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?



My website and Etsy shop is at and I am on Instagram as Jennymaroney.

Interview with Local Author, Dawn Morningstar

Katelyn: Today I am interviewing another participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors, Dawn Morningstar. Dawn and I have known each other for years.  We first met when I had my group, Magnetic Business Women Networking, and there was an instant connection.

Katelyn:  Good Morning Dawn! Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself that isn’t writing related?

Dawn: I grew up on the East Coast and moved to Minnesota in 1990. My first winter here was unlike anything I’d ever experienced! Yet because of the enlightened people and quality of life, here I am 28 years later, loving being a Minnesotan!

I love connecting with people in authentic conversation, not surface stuff! This is a time when rich connection is essential–and hanging out with my tribe really feeds me.

Another thing I love to do is cook–and now that I’m vegan, it’s exciting to learn new recipes and plant-based alternatives to classic recipes. Eating this way I feel like I am doing what I can to minimize my footprint, support a healthy ecology, and be compassionate to animals. That being said, I carry no judgment about how anyone else eats!

Katelyn: I am glad you ended up staying in Minnesota despite the winters! I am always curious about what inspires authors to start writing. What inspired you to start writing?

Dawn: I’ve been writing and loving it since I was a little girl. In 8th grade, I won a bronze medal in a state-wide writing competition sponsored by the American Legion. I consider this medal to be very dear to me–and keep it on my writing desk!

Writing taps into a deep part within me and what I write feels sacred.

I wrote the book, “Venerable Women: Transform Ourselves, Transform the World” because I developed a rich and meaningful philosophy about women’s worth over many years and wanted to share that message with those seeking it.
Katelyn: What a great motivator to have the bronze medal to remind you of your writing abilities. I love your book, Venerable Women, which isn’t just a book but a movement as far as I am concerned!  Can you tell us about Venerable Women?

Dawn- Venerable Women is an organization, a philosophy, and a movement that connects and inspires those who choose to manifest a kind and loving world starting within themselves. Venerable means worthy of honor, love, and respect by virtue of wisdom and experience; profoundly honorable.

The heart of the Venerable Women philosophy is the 12 Venerable Attitudes (V-Attitudes).

The Venerable Women philosophy affirms that all people are venerable. Our mission is to elevate the spiritual, social, and economic well-being of humanity through the empowerment of women and girls. We do this best by transforming ourselves in order to transform the world beyond us.


Katelyn: What is your genre to write in and to read?

Dawn: I tend to write in the areas of spirituality and self-help–and tend to read the same!

Katelyn: It seems strange to say with all the books out there on spirituality but the world needs more books like yours that provoke us to look within and find our true nature. Why do you write?

Dawn: I write to become more clear in my thinking and to offer provocation for others’ evolution.
Katelyn: That resonates with me because I use writing to get clarity too. I know at some point we all get creative blocks. What do you do to move past it when you get a creative block?

Dawn: When I hit a creative block, I meditate. If that doesn’t work, I take a walk, call a good friend, or watch something silly on Netflix!
Katelyn: Those are all great ways to shift and get out of your head, especially the silly Netflix one.  Do you have specific writers that inspire you and why?

Dawn: Elizabeth Gilbert inspires me, as does Sue Monk Kidd. Both use rich storytelling to inspire profound observations and lessons on life.

Katelyn: I love both of them too.  They are great storytellers for our turbulent times because the write from a deep, personal prospective.  I am sure there are aspiring writers reading this post. What advice would you give them?

Dawn: Don’t ever think for one moment that what you have to say is unimportant or already been said. No one will have the perspective you do and your voice is needed.

Katelyn: Dawn, how can people support you in your writing career?

Dawn: People can support me by letting me know what I’ve written that resonated with them, and what felt missing. They can also buy my books and tell others about my work.

Katelyn: I often think people don’t realize the importance of letting authors know they were touched by their work.  Where can people learn more about Venerable Women and find your book?