Bee Brown had a very strong sense of color, even at that small age!

Our own Bee Brown answers your questions about creating art for surface design. We asked the artist to select three questions pertaining to her art career. These are her fascinating answers.


Q. How old were you when you knew you wanted to be an artist? Did you strive to get your art on the refrigerator as a child? Describe your earliest artwork. 

A. I can still remember my parents sketching things, and as a small child, always being entranced by what they drew. It was like watching them make magic on paper right before my eyes. That must have been the spark that lit the fuse. I can also clearly remember being in Kindergarten and just loving making big, messy painterly marks on the A3 paper that was clipped to our easels. My teacher remarked to my parents that I had a very strong sense of colour, even at that small age! Painting and drawing was very much encouraged in our household so it was never a struggle to get pictures “on the refrigerator.” Our artwork was always displayed on the walls at home. It was a very natural part of growing up. As I got older, friends would come over and we would sit making pictures. I have strong memories of at one time loving to draw people and making one particular picture of people dancing at a disco! I wonder if I still have it somewhere?


Q. Being an artist is so different from having a day job like most people. Do friends and family envy your career? Do they criticize your choice? How do you respond?

A. As mentioned previously, being creative and thinking for oneself was greatly encouraged in my home, so for me to go to Art School was accepted without question. I never thought that I was doing something that could be perceived as unusual or risky, especially as I was choosing a more commercial path in taking design-related subjects. As I became an adult it was an eye-opener to discover that some friends/acquaintances considered my path to be a brave choice, especially when I made the decision to go freelance. Some see my career path as bold and fearless because of the perceived uncertainty whereas others wish they’d had the support that I was lucky enough to receive to be able to go out into the world doing what you want and love. Now I am a mum to two brilliant boys, so if I ever need to defend my choice it’s always that I am fortunate enough to be able to combine both motherhood and working from home in a mostly happy balance.


Q. The computer has changed so many things in today’s world. Do you like to work digitally? Do you prefer to roll up your sleeves and use ink and paint?

A. I used to work all the time with paper, pen, brushes and ink/watercolour. Now I have to be honest and say that personally, I tired of working this way. About 4 years ago I decided to make a complete about-turn and embrace the digital world full-on! Everything I learned prior to working digitally very much informs my digital practice now. Traditional art media has definitely shaped the way I use the computer to evolve my working style today. From a practical way of working, it’s also easier and much more of a time-saver to ping a digital file off to a client and to make colour/design changes as a project progresses than when everything was done by hand. I’m sure there will come a time when I’ll need/want to shift my process again, but for the moment it’s a good way to make work.


Artsy Emojis by Bee Brown

Hi Everyone!

Earlier this year Jennifer contacted me with news of an interesting new project: Would I like to design some "Artsy Emojis" for a project being developed by the lovely Barbara Rucci and her design studio?

As a Graphic Designer by training I jumped at the chance. How cool! I've never had the opportunity to work on an App before and as a mum to two boys addicted to messaging on their iPhones and iPods, I was hoping to win a bit of credibility there too!

Barbara had a very clear idea of the kind of images she wanted to incorporate into her App so we rigged up a shared page on Pinterest where she could show me in quite specific detail the look she was after. This made my job much easier because I could see right from the outset the approach she desired: fun, quirky and colorful. I was excited to begin.

We started in the usual way with me responding to her list of subject matter with a series of simple black and white sketches. In total we worked on around 100 drawings for the App which we tackled in groups of 20 or so at a time. Once Barbara had approved these, the sketches went on to be made into vector shapes in Illustrator and then color was added. 

This is what Barbara has to say about the app and how it all came to be: "I started designing all of the emojis myself, but then realized I would never get this app done on my own. So I hired this crazy-talented illustrator named Bee Brown to draw about 100 of the emojis. I drew about 30 myself. Bee is really good at animals and faces, something that is not particularly my strength. I am very grateful to Bee for creating these drawings that are so whimsical and beguiling and F.U.N.! They are exactly what I was imagining."

"The emojis cover all types of categories, not just art supplies. There are flower and feather emojis, nature and beach emojis, food and dessert emojis, transportation and holiday emojis, and party emojis. They really are all so beautiful, I can’t wait for you to see them!"

Artsy Emoji's can now be downloaded from the Apple App Store
I hope you enjoy using them as much as we enjoyed creating them! - Bee


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.

Nearly 2 years of Greeting Cards from Jennifer Nelson Artlsts!

In January, we will celebrate two years in the business - these are the cards we currently have out in the marketplace. Enjoy!

It is time to celebrate!

It’s our half-birthday and we’re doubly excited! Even though Jennifer Nelson Artists is just six months old, so much as happened in that time it seems like two years. We’ve worked with so many wonderful clients, worked on so many terrific projects, and met so many delightful people – it’s hard to believe we just opened the business in January. 

Artwork courtesy of Bee Brown.

Artwork courtesy of Bee Brown.

With six months under our collective belt, it’s time to celebrate! And how do we celebrate the company’s half-birthday? By kicking our heels up and committing to another six months of dazzling illustration and design from our awesomely talented artists. In other words, it’s business as usual. But even though we’re calmly going about our day-to-day activities we’re secretly jumping for joy on the inside. If this is how our first half-year went, we’re positively giddy imagining how great the next half will be!

Thanks to all the artists, clients and friends who have been with us for this incredible six-month journey. You’ve read our blog, licensed our art, posted on our social media sites and supported our efforts all the way. Happy half-birthday to you too! - Jennifer

Meditative Mind - roughs and process

Hi!...Bee here!...just thought I'd share a little glimpse into part of my creative process today. Whenever I start a piece of artwork I always like to get my ideas down by making some drawings on large pieces of paper. I generally like to use loose sheets as I find working in a sketchbook (something I tend to reserve for when I'm out and about) too restrictive. I also love to use soft graphite sketching pencils.

Once I'm happy with how things are coming along, I'll then move onto finishing my drawings digitally." - Bee

Fractured Finds

Hi!...a little something from Bee today...we braved the winds at the weekend, togged up the wellies and went off in search of somewhere to stretch our legs! Not too far from our home is a great arts centre which has a lovely big pond in the park surrounding it. There are super-wide paths for the boys to scoot their scooters, and fun places to play in with little nooks and crannies to hide in!...We were so surprised to also find hiding in a cranny these incredible mosaic people...if only they could have shared with us their tales of how they came to be there, but what a wonderful find? Bee x

Bee buzzes into SURTEX 2015!

This week, I am counting down the (6!) days until SURTEX by featuring sneak peeks of each artist's work.

We start with Bee, her delightful wit and innate design sense. Clients are eating up her yummy color palettes., with licenses and commissions for wall art, stationery, books, little girl's dresses and *maybe* even fabrics! Once again, I am counting my lucky stars! This girl is on fire! I am thinking product development is next! Here's some eye candy for you! Visit Bee's updated portfolio today!  - Jennifer

Folky Fish

A few weekends ago we visited an exhibition of British folk art at a gallery not too far from where we live, and happened upon some amazing pieces of incredible folk art. I just LOVE folk art. There was so much to see and enjoy. I would have loved to have been able to show you some of the things we saw in more detail but sadly we weren't allowed to take photos. I was really inspired by some 3D wooden carvings of fish that used to hang over shop doors (before proper signage was invented) to let passers by know that particular establishment was the fishmonger's. There were huge boots for the cobblers, an enormous padlock and keys for the locksmiths and a beautiful golden teapot for the tea shop. Here's a quick sketch of some of my fish... watch this space because I'm sure they'll be featured in a pattern pretty soon! Enjoy - Bee

Although the exhibition is closed now, you can still find out more here

Inspiring Tiles

Hi There!...I came across these beautiful tiles on a trip to our local art centre over the weekend. I love how they have all been placed side by side to create this stunning mural...the colours and the geometric shapes really inspiring. Enjoy! - Bee