Where would artists be without inspiration?

Where would artists be without inspiration? Whether it’s a spring flower, a sunny day, or a cat napping near a window, artists draw inspiration every day from their experiences and the things they see.

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If you’re really lucky, like our own Jennifer Orkin Lewis, you can draw inspiration from an amazing trip to India! The sights she is seeing are awe-inspiring and we’re sure that they will inspire Jennifer to create some wonderful new images of her own. Just take a look at the some the amazing photographs from her journey. Enjoy! – (the other) Jennifer

Lauren's My Super Sweet Scented Sketchbook for Klutz Books!

Wow, I'm so happy to show some interior pages of my new book out with Klutz, My Super Sweet Scented Sketchbook! 

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Lauren Lowen's perfectly cute illustrations bring this terrific new KLUTZ book to life! The Super Sweet Scented Sketchbook (complete with scented markers)!
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This was an absolute dream project and I couldn't be happier with how the finished product came out. Klutz was an AMAZING client to work with and their design team took my art to a whole new level! BONUS: it comes with scented markers that have faces and even EARS. How cute is that?  Enjoy! — Lauren

Inspiration from The Potteries

Hello, Rachel Grant here writing from a rather damp, cold North Staffordshire in the UK.
 
I wanted to share with you a little bit about this area I live in and the way in which it inspires some of my artwork. 

Books and catalogues full of manufactured designs

If you have had a peek at my portfolio you will notice that I have a bit of a passion for painting images that include a piece of pottery or two! 

Burleigh ware in the museum with the original office windows
Burleigh transfer prints

North Staffordshire is known affectionately as "The Potteries" because historically this area has been an important centre for ceramics since the industrial revolution. Wedgwood, Doulton, Spode, Minton and many more all built their legacies here. The iconic bottle kiln is a familiar sight for me and although a lot of the local factories have been lost, there has been significant investment in regenerating some of our historical sites into heritage centres that have become wonderful places to visit, explore and be inspired by!

Iconic Potteries Bottle Kiln

One of the closest factories to me, only a twenty-minute walk away, is Middleport Pottery where the wonderful Burleighware is still manufactured today. The factory’s historical character has been preserved and recently a visitor centre has been created around it, including museum areas, displays and a lovely café with a cosy wood burner - and of course all Burleigh tea sets! It has become one of my favourite places to visit, mooch around, photograph and sketch at. 

In the heart of the old factory

When I was younger and learning about our local history I would often imagine myself as one of the paintresses or even one of our famous designers like Clarice Cliff or Susie Cooper. When I am busy at my desk now, I still channel a little bit of this dream as I paint the pottery pieces in my illustrations. I am particularly drawn to blue and white pottery which we have produced plenty of in the Potteries but also of course the beautiful Delftware from the Netherlands offers boundless inspiration. 

Cafe Table at the Heritage Centre

In my most recent series of artworks I decided to give this inspiration centre stage and created a little collection of paintings with a piece of blue and white pottery in each one. All of these original works on handmade paper sold and flew off to new homes before the New Year, but they are now available to license. 

My blue and white collection
My blue and white collection continued

While I paint these pots into my illustrations my mind often wanders to the (unfeasibly dark) wood clad designer’s room at Middleport Pottery Factory and I dream of continuing the Potteries legacy in my own small way by designing patterns for a range of ceramics. That really would be a dream come true. So you see these little still life pieces hold more than just those flowers and the foliage, for me they hold a little piece of my heritage.

On my desk - pattern work in progress

Thank you so much for allowing me to share this with you. Until next time, Rachel

Miriam Bos's the Hidden Garden Collection for Birch Fabrics

I am so happy to announce that the Hidden Garden collection made with Birch Fabrics is finally open for orders.

Last year Birch Fabrics approached me to create a fabric collection inspired by ‘The Secret Garden’. A classic novel (1910) by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It’s a beautiful story about the friendship of a girl and two boys, who find a secret garden and work hard to make it bloom again. Of course, this is only a very modest summary.  I’d love to encourage you to read it some time, if you don’t know it yet.

I was listening to the book when I was working on this collection, and it literally got me in the mood. It’s been such a dream project to work on. I love working with Birch Fabrics. These are real kind people who put great effort and love in producing beautiful fabrics.

A few weeks ago Birch Fabrics attended the International Quilt Market in Houston. They shared a few photos on their Instagram account, and I loved seeing my artwork making it to actual products like onesies for baby’s, dresses, pillows, and curtains.

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Birch Fabrics also sent me a huge box of fabrics, and I really wanted to share some photos to give you an impression of their beautiful and intense colors and detail. I love the quality of their fabrics.

The fabrics are online available at Fabricworm.com and on the website of Birch Fabrics. Birch Fabrics also wrote a lovely blog about the collection!

Scroll through the gallery below for more imagery.

Enjoy - Miriam  

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Ready, Set PRINTSOURCE - here we come!

After a very successful show last year, look for artist’s agent Jennifer Nelson to return to Printsource in New York City on January 10th and 11th, 2017. Jennifer will be there representing the terrifically talented illustrators of Jennifer Nelson Artists: Anisa MakhoulBee BrownJennifer Orkin LewisJill HowarthKelly AngelovicLauren LowenMiriam BosRachel Grant and Rae Ritchie

“This is one show that we come back to every year. It has been good for us before and now we have some new artists to introduce, so we expect it will be even better,” said Jennifer Nelson from JNA’s Boston office. “These days it’s not uncommon to do business with a client for years without ever actually meeting in person. So we relish these occasions when we can meet face-to-face with the wonderful people who buy our art. Sure, it’s business, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves.”

With an expanded roster that now includes nine amazing illustrators, Jennifer looks forward to dazzling art buyers with a wealth of stunning new images. JNA’s artists specialize in a kind of hand-crafted look that conveys a warmth and sincerity that’s hard to find in today’s digital world. Although each artists has her own unique style, all of them create works that are quirky, feminine and fun. 

“It will be great to see our favorite customers again this year, and to meet some of them for the first time. Of course, the best part is meeting new people and making new friends! The art attracts people to our booth and that naturally starts a conversation.” Attendees should make an appointment with Jennifer in advance, to avoid disappointment. “If we miss you in January we’ll have to wait until August, and that’s just too long!”

Jennifer Nelson Artists is still a relative newcomer to the surface design world. But since their launch in January of 2015 they have been creating piles of new art and making literally hundreds of licensing deals. “We’ve been busy!” said Jennifer.

Printsource is the main resource for surface and textile design for America's major manufacturers, retailers and catalogs, covering such industries as men's, children's and women's apparel, bed and bath, kitchen and tabletop, paper goods and stationery, wall coverings, window fashions and other surface and textile design applications.

Rae Ritchie’s Gift Guide Cover Design Work with the Los Angeles Times!

Happy holidays dear friends! I am over the moon excited to share a project I worked on for the Los Angeles Times last month! When Jennifer contacted me about a project with them, I was so excited, and I admit, a little nervous. When she said they wanted a cover design for their holiday gift guide AND an illustration for an article, I was pinching myself. I’ve always wanted to work with the Times, so this was really a dream come true! Here’s a look into my process for this exciting project.

In the idea stage, I stick to little thumbnails, just to flesh out the ideas in my head before I commit to an entire page. The client said they wanted to focus to be in hand lettering with some imagery that gets L.A. and Cali-handcrafted gifts across. 

When I decided on a basic layout that I liked, I proceeded to sketch it out for real! I then sent over to the LA Times team along with a color palette. They had a couple little tweaks as far as landmarks and placement. Once those changes were made, I was ready to proceed with the final art!

This is where the fun part begins; the painting! For this, I painted everything separately, then placed it together in Photoshop. This way, I have more flexibility in terms of layout and color tweaking, if needed.

It was a "star on top of the tree" moment when I added the Los Angles Times logo to the final art!

I followed a very similar process for the article illustration, beginning with a sketch, painting it up, then finessing in Photoshop!

Happy holidays everyone! Cheers <3 Rae

Peter Pan, illustrated by Miriam Bos

I received a great little package in my mailbox today!

My copy of "First Stories – Peter Pan" arrived, and I am so exited to share it with you. The book has little mechanisms hidden inside which make it especially fun for toddlers.

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Peter Pan was really a lovely topic to illustrate for a younger audience. And I’d LOVE to illustrate it for an older audience as well some day.

When I was a child I enjoyed the story of Peter Pan and Wendy and the adventures with the Lost Boys. While working on the illustrations I listened to the audio book and had quite a chuckle at the typical British humour and way of storytelling. I loved the character of Wendy’s dad too. He usually doesn’t get much attention in the stories. For the little ones, this book is a great introduction to a boy named Peter Pan, who didn’t want to grow up. It was a fun challenge to try and capture the characters and part of the storyline in four spreads only. My favourite illustration to work on was the children’s bedroom with all the old-fashioned toys and furniture.

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The book is available at Amazon and possibly in your local book store too! Please enjoy the little movie below.

Wishing you a great and magical day! “Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.” - Miriam

 

Rae’s visit to Houston for Quilt Market

Hello there! I feel so fortunate to have attended Quilt Market in Houston this past weekend. I had a spectacular time and I’d love to share it with you!

Quilters, sewers, shop owners, pattern writers and fabric manufacturers come together from around the world twice a year for this amazing trade show. I’ve been designing fabric for Dear Stella Design, a Timeless Treasures company, for a year and a half, so it was time to attend the show and finally meet many partners and friends - some face-to-face for the first time! 

Here I am at the lovely Dear Stella booth!

Here I am at the lovely Dear Stella booth!

A dress pattern (using my “Perch" fabrics) designed by “Made by Rae” - no relation lol! 

A dress pattern (using my “Perch" fabrics) designed by “Made by Rae” - no relation lol! 

This is one of my newest collections “Into the Reef.” The lovely quilt was designed and made by Sew Many Creations. Jessica from SMC worked in the booth with us, and it was fabulous finally meeting her in person, learning about her process, and seeing her impressive quilting wizardry!

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Embellished quilt labels from my “Made with Love” collection.

Embellished quilt labels from my “Made with Love” collection.

I was also very excited to meet Denniele from Louanna Mary Quilt Design in person! She’s designed quilts for several of my Dear Stella collections, including this "Late Night Lanterns" quilt, using my “Night Garden” collection.  I’m so amazed by the talent of these makers, and it’s truly surreal seeing these gorgeous projects with my art on them. I’m very grateful to work with such outstanding people at Dear Stella!

It a super short trip, but luckily I got out to see a bit of downtown Houston. The historic district and Market Square Park were especially lovely. I must say, Houston does a great job with green-space downtown. Halloween weekend wouldn’t be complete without some inspiring spooky trees and old buildings! - Rae

Our newest artist draws inspiration from quiet, still moments in an otherwise chaotic world.

Jennifer Nelson Artists is proud to present Rachel Grant! Please join me in welcoming our latest artist to the fold. 

Take one look at Rachel’s art and you can imagine her working in an old terraced house in the north of England somewhere… listening to music as she paints… knitting, gardening, baking bread, sewing clothes or snuggled under blankets watching great films in her spare time. And you’d be right!

Rachel is based in North Staffordshire where she draws inspiration from time-worn surfaces and the consistency of the natural world around them. As she says, “Quiet, still moments in an otherwise chaotic world."

Incorporating a range of media in her artwork, include drawing, painting, collage and print, Rachel brings them together digitally at the end. Her portfolio of evocative images embodies her love of a slow, peaceful life. “My overall aim is to capture an atmosphere of peace and harmony,” she says.

If you would like to see a custom gallery of Rachel's work, just ask! We have loads of her utterly charming work and I really do love to share! —Jennifer

Welcome Kelly Angelovic!

What? We have another incredible new illustrator coming on board at Jennifer Nelson Artists? Can you stand the excitement?

Yes, we’re proud as can be to announce that Kelly Angelovic is joining our little group! Wait till you see her lettering work, it’s angelic.

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Kelly is carrying on a family tradition. Her mother was a graphic designer, so she grew up in a household where artistic endeavors were encouraged. After attending school for business (Colorado) and graphic design (Seattle), Kelly established her studio in 2008. It wasn’t until her daughter was born in 2011, that she fell head over heels in love with the art of image making. Lucky for us!

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Specializing in surface pattern design, lettering and illustration, Kelly is grateful every day to have the opportunity to follow the whispers of her heart. Being an illustrator makes Kelly’s soul sparkle.

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When she isn’t in her studio, Kelly can be found with her family enjoying all that Colorado has to offer... and likely trick-or-treating this weekend!

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If you would like to see a custom gallery of Kelly's work, just ask! We have loads of her splendid work and I really, really love to share!  Oh - and one last thing, Happy Halloween! —Jennifer

It's a Jungle out there!

I am so proud to share these two fun books that I made with the UK publisher Campbell Books. "First Stories - The Jungle Book" is a fun Push & Pull book featuring the story of Mowgli and his friends Baloo the Bear and Bagheera the Black Panther.

I thoroughly enjoyed working on this colourful project. It was really great working on a book with mechanisms. This type of book is a little bit more of a challenge since you have to think and illustrate in different layers. [delete extra space]  It could be a puzzle at times to make it work right for both the editors and myself. But we are super happy with the results.

I am sharing an illustration of the front cover and also a short movie that I made.

The cardboard book is part of the First Stories series that also features books like "Alice in Wonderland" and "Peter Pan." They are aimed at toddlers and can be bought at Amazon, amongst others.

The First Stories book is accompanied by "The Jungle Book: First Sticker Activity Book." Mowgli and his friends are set off on a wild jungle adventure with over 300 stickers and a lot of puzzles and games to keep your toddler busy for a while. And of course they meet new friends along the way.

This book is available at Amazon as well. Both books have been translated to many languages, so it is possible you will find them in your local bookstore too. And here is another little video as a sneak peek. Enjoy - Miriam

It’s BIG Announcement time again!

We’re just bursting with joy to announce that we have added another amazingly talented artist to our roster. Please join me in welcoming Rae Ritchie to Jennifer Nelson Artists!

Rae started out just about 10 years ago, designing fashion accessories for women and kids. Although she liked doing creative work for major retailers, it was creating prints and graphics for her products that made her feel most alive.

Since Rae was always painting on the side anyway, she decided to take the next step and shift her focus to fabric design and illustration for greeting cards, stationery, gifts and apparel. And we’re glad she did!

These watercolor and gouache illustrations are created in a sunny little room in Rae’s home, at what must be the tiniest desk in Minneapolis. How can such big art come from such a small desk? That’s where Rae’s enormous talent comes in!

Inspired by the lushness of nature, classic children's books and old photographs, Rae lives with her husband and their cat Sméagol. 

To see some of Rae’s gorgeous illustration work, visit our site here.

Jennifer's Inspirational Retreat

My whole life I have wanted to live somewhere other than New York and Rhode Island. But it hasn't happened... yet. This summer I decided to just pack up my supplies, rent an Airbnb, get on a plane, stay for 3 weeks, and see what happens. It was a wonderful change of pace.

I spent my time on Vashon Island which is a ferry ride from Seattle. This was my view from the deck of my house and from the work table I set up in front of a big glass window. Different, yes!

The first day I was nervous. I had a stomach ache because of it, but as I adjusted to the situation I felt myself relaxing. It just so happened that a few jobs got delayed which meant I really had time to explore the island, see new things and play around with painting. I've been wandering the roads and the beach, collecting wildflowers and rocks and seeds... so many little bits that inspire me. My eyes are open wider.

There are really nice houses there, cute cottages, gardens that are out of this world, and amazing views. I took lots of pictures so I can refer to them later for reference. I also have done a lot of plein air painting which I don't get to do very often.

I  painted many loose, slightly abstracted watercolors in a cheap sketchbook just to get going. For me, if I work in a very quick way, without regard for the final outcome, I can find new ideas and directions. Even here I still have times where I have no idea what I want to paint, what is inspiring me. But I took a walk along the beach, or a hike in the woods. Or go to a cute cafe and sit for tea. These small mindful things are so necessary to the creative process and sometimes in the business of everyday life I forget to take time for myself.

Also, I've met the most wonderful, warm, kind people here! And been invited over to so many incredible homes. With all the stuff going on in the world right now it's such a pleasure to turn off the news and just enjoy simple, beautiful, generous humanity. Best, Jennifer

Lauren Lowen’s Tokyo Adventure

Hello everyone! I just got back from Tokyo and had an AMAZING time. This was my third time visiting Japan and my husband’s second.  Read on to see some of my favorite photos and hear what we did!

First of all, Japan has all sorts of fun packaging, products and graphics. Here’s just a sampling of some of the uber cute things we saw.

 

One of the places I really wanted to visit was the Ghibli Museum, a wonderful space dedicated to the studio famous for their films by Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro , Spirited Away) . You have to get tickets way in advance, so acquiring them was extremely stressful. Just imagine me stalking my computer for the very second the next batch of tickets were available online! They have a pretty strict “no photo” policy, but you are able to get a picture of yourself and Totoro at the museum entrance.

Another adventure was visiting an onsen (traditional hot spring bathhouse). It was pure coincidence that we went to the same onsen I visited about ten years ago on my last trip. There is a communal area where you can get food, buy souvenirs, and even play games.  After a quick bite to eat and some browsing, Keith and I said bye for a while and went to relax in our designated bathing areas. By then we were very tired after a few days of intense walking, so we really needed it!

The wackiest destination was probably The Robot Restaurant. Keith was very excited to do this, and I can only describe it as part live theatre, part crazy parade, and all the insane stuff you imagine in Japanese pop culture.

One of the things I had never done during my previous visits was explore a department store. They are known for having large food halls below (delicious!) and I was lucky enough to stumble upon some beautiful house goods, stationery, and other products. Check out these photos of the kimono section in one store. (You are looking at a $15,000 garment; the obis on display range from $3000-$5000 if you’re wondering! Absolutely beautiful.)

All the experiences were so incredible. In the end I picked up a few items for myself, with lots more being purchased for friends and family.  Keith and I had a great time, but have to admit we were ready to go home by the last day…only because our feet couldn’t take it anymore!

The trip was relaxing and inspiring. After taking all those beautiful photographs I can't wait to create some images with my paints! - Lauren

Miriam's delightful work for Auzou!

Last year I was so fortunate to work on a super lovely project with French publisher Auzou. I got to illustrate a card game with cats and dogs, called "Mistigri, de chats et chiens."

I has been such a cute project to work on, and it was a great pleasure and experience to be working with this client too. In English the game is also known as "Old Maid" and in the Netherlands it used to be called "Zwarte Piet." The game contains playing cards with pairs of dogs and cats.

This is how it works: The cards are equally distributed to each player. The moment a player makes a pair in their hands, they discard them immediately onto the table. Each player is trying to get rid of his or her cards as fast as possible. In the end there is only one player left, holding the unmatched card (the Old Maid). That player has lost the game and is the "old maid."

Of course you can also turn the rules around, making the one who ends up with the odd card the winner. The whole experience of the game will change that way.

I am a cat lover, rather than a dog lover. But if I would ever have a dog I think it would be a long curly haired dachshund. I've always loved these little pretty doggies. They are my favorite. A childhood friend of mine used to have two (one of them long haired), and I was crazy about them. I really couldn't leave this doggy out of the game, so the dachshund became part of the card deck, and I gave her a pencil and sketchbook to draw butterflies with.

Later when the art director was naming the animals, she asked me if she had permission to name the dachshund after me, because she thought it would suit the character. I felt very flattered and agreed. So now the dachshund is called Miriam.

Here are some photos that I made of the game. The quality is so nice. And the box itself is really special too. I was thrilled when I opened the package. You can pull out the inside box from the lid if you pull the ribbon. And the colors of the cards are vibrant and pretty.

If you'd like to see more illustrations you can also visit my portfolio page.

The game is available on French Amazon . Please note that the instructions will be French. Enjoy! Miriam

BLUE PRINT is just around the corner!

Jennifer Nelson Artists, will be exhibiting at the upcoming Blue Print Surface Design and Print Show in New York City on August 8-10th, 2016. 

Artwork left to right: Bee Brown, Anisa Makhoul, Miriam Bos, Jennifer Orkin Lewis, Jill McDonald, Jill Howarth and Lauren Lowen.

Artwork left to right: Bee Brown, Anisa Makhoul, Miriam Bos, Jennifer Orkin Lewis, Jill McDonald, Jill Howarth and Lauren Lowen.

“Blue Print is a very important show for us, since it focuses exactly on what we do,” said Jennifer Nelson from her Boston-area office. “Meeting with companies in these industries is essential to our business.”

Creating, licensing and selling art for surface design and print products is at the core of their operation at Jennifer Nelson Artists. Representing seven top illustrators, JNA specializes in a quirky, feminine look that is popular on all sorts of goods from greeting cards to dish towels. “We know that our customers will be at Blue Print and we look forward to seeing them again and showing off some of our artists’ latest work.” 

Launched in January of 2015, Jennifer Nelson Artists already boasts a roster of top illustrators: Anisa MakhoulBee BrownJennifer Orkin Lewis,Jill HowarthJill McDonaldLauren Lowen, and introducing Miriam Bos

Jennifer Nelson Artists is a Boston-based illustration agency representing talented artists whose work is available for licensing, purchasing as well as commissions. JNA can be reached at (781) 643-2002, on Instagram or by email.

 

SHOW DATES:
August 8-10, 2016

SHOW TIMES:
Monday, August 8th - 9:00-6:00
Tuesday, August 9th- 9:00-6:00
Wednesday, August 10th- 9:00-6:00

LOCATION: 
404 Tenth Avenue
(between 32nd and 33rd Streets)
New York, NY 10001

 

 

Welcome Miriam Bos!

I love my job for many reasons: The fun of seeing fresh new artwork come in, the sense of pride when we meet a new client who wants to work with us, the satisfaction of a job well done.

But the absolute best-est part of the job is welcoming a new artist to the fold! Today I would like to introduce – Ta-daa!Miriam Bos!

If ever there was an artist who fit right in with our talent group it’s Miriam. Take a look at these samples of her work and see if you don’t agree.

Come see Miriam and all the JNA artists' fantastic work at BLUE PRINT! 8-10 AUGUST in NYC!

Come see Miriam and all the JNA artists' fantastic work at BLUE PRINT!
8-10 AUGUST in NYC!

Miriam lives in The Netherlands where I was lucky enough to live a long time ago. Her last name “Bos,” pronounced close to our english "boss," and is Dutch for “forest.” She and her husband love the woods and take bicycle trips to explore the area around their city of Apeldoorn. You can sense her love of nature when you see her gorgeous renderings of plants and animals.

Starting out as a children’s illustrator, Miriam jumped into surface and pattern design a few years ago and hasn’t looked back. She already has two fabric design collections to her name with many more to come, I’m sure.

Miriam has a quirky style mixing both traditional and digital techniques. The result is sheer delight! Please join me in welcoming Miriam Bos to Jennifer Nelson Artists!

As always, if you would like us to put together a custom gallery request, just ask! Send an email, or follow our daily posts on Instagram. Kindly, Jennifer