Interview with Local Artist, Jennifer Swenson

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with my friend Jennifer Swenson, a local artist in the Twin Cities.  Jennifer is a participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors,

Welcome, Jennifer! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today.

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Katelyn- Can you talk a bit about yourself that is not art related?
Jennifer- I am the owner of Heaven Sent Healing Massage and Wellness Center in Inver Grove Heights, Mn. I have been a massage therapist for 8 years specializing in Cranial-Sacral therapy, Oncology, PreNatal, relaxation therapies. I am a Reiki Master and medium. I like to treat the body as a whole – mind, body, and spirit.
I also teach art classes around the state. I love getting people to create and relax – the world needs that. 🙂
Katelyn- One of the things I know you do is classes where everyone does their own version of the same image.  It looks like so much fun!!
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What inspired you to start making art in the first place?
Jennifer- I have been an artist all my life since my sister put a crayon in my hand.  I have been doing it professionally for about 30 + years. I use art as a way of relaxation. I always have a million ideas in my head!
Katelyn- I have watched you over the years and it is true that you always have millions of ideas.  One of the things I love about you as an artist is you are always experimenting with new medium.  Do you have a favorite medium and why?
Jennifer- Honestly, just a regular old #2 pencil. But most of my art is in watercolor, acrylic, and pen. I love fluid art.
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Katelyn- That’s interesting that you say a pencil.  One of the other artists I interviewed said pen.  It got me thinking about those two things in a different way.  I have seen it as a basic tool but thinking of it as a medium expands my understanding.
I am always curious about why artists chose to create art?
Jennifer: Maybe as a way to escape. We live in such a harsh world right now, its a great way to ground and revitalize oneself.
Katelyn- I agree that it is a great way to escape and create beauty in the harsh world we are experiencing right now.  You said you always have lots of ideas but do you ever get a creative block and if so what do you do to move through it?
Jennifer- I doodle. I was the kid who got into trouble in school for writing on the desks etc. Sometimes doodling lines help me out of a block.
Just keep creating something and eventually, it starts to flow again. Don’t stop dreaming or let others opinions crush that creativity within you.
Katelyn- I was that kid too!! I was often in the hall for punishment because I was drawing or doodling something when I was supposed to be doing something else.
Do you have favorite artists that inspire you?
Jennifer-Norman Rockwell, Charles Schutz, Monet – I could keep going.
Watching new artists emerge always helps to stimulate new ideas and try new products-
Katelyn- I imagine there will be aspiring artists that find this blog.  What advice would you give them?
Jennifer- Andy Warhol once said
 “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
Katelyn- Warhol was right, thinking is the death of art!  It will stop creation every time.
How can people support you in your art career?
Jennifer-Buy from your local artists.
My art is always available online or at local shows. Even if they can’t afford to buy anything just sending a supportive message to those you know who are artists creating that helps get us through the tough times and self-doubt in the art world.
Jennifer- I agree.  Sometimes those special notes from people about our work are more valuable than money.
What is your web address or where can people see your art?
Facebook: Heaven Sent Creations
Instagram: Heaven_Sent_Creations
Etsy: HeavenSentbyJennifer