"Draw Every Day Draw Every Way" heART Journal Magazine review

The heART Journal Magazine, a print and digital magazine dedicated to mixed media techniques for art journals, mentioned Jennifer's Draw Every Day Draw Every Way in their Sept/Oct "Things We Like" column. 

Jennifer Orkin Lewis is a Smart Creative Woman!

I am so happy to share Jennifer's interview with the multi-talented and infinitely fascinating, Monica Lee this week on her podcast, Smart Creative Women.

Jennifer Orkin Lewis (aka August Wren) at work in her studio.

Jennifer Orkin Lewis (aka August Wren) at work in her studio.

Here is how Monica sums up the interview: 
"Jennifer is a hot new artist that has been around for some time.  After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design as a textile stylist designing prints for children’s clothing and lingerie, she raised her family, designed textiles and worked away. Fast forward several years she started a daily sketch book project that reignited her career in a huge way! I love her story and how she is such a hot ticket after working as an artist for the last 20 years (that’s pretty much the best kind of story).  Tune in and listen to  her journey,  it’s a refreshing one! Her  work is inspired by the everyday small things,  a bird in a tree, a garden, crowds of people, a beautiful table with luscious food and her clients (like Kate Spade home and Abrams Books!)  are eating up her style, her voice and her point of view. Can’t wait to see what she does next!"

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. You can find August Wren at her widely-followed Instagram, 30 minute painting a day. Enjoy! - (the other) Jennifer

Going with my Gut

I started this years sketchbook with the grand plan to use a much bigger sketchbook. 9x11".  I thought it would give me the chance to experiment with new techniques and I would have to loosen up more to fit a painting in more space in 30 minutes. It did do those things.. But I felt stressed and that isn't the point of this project at all. After a month and a half I finally gave myself permission to go back to a smaller book, 5x8". 

I could have increased my time limit, it is my project after all. But I have lots of other work,  paid work, other personal projects, getting ready for Surtex, living my life. It's hard to admit I can't handle what I set out to do but life is about making the compromises that make me happy. I am so much happier painting the sketchbook at this size. I can do larger paintings at other times. My moral is to go with your gut and do what makes you happy! - Jennifer

Stepping away from the computer - for a little while.

I've been using a sketchbook recently.  For many years I've worked straight onto the screen rather than sketching before hand.  And that's great - it's fast, efficient, good for flat, vector designs in Illustrator and also painterly, loose work in PS.  I'm very much looking forward to investing in a huge Cintiq tablet to continue doing just that.  But I've been DYING to get back to painting and drawing in REAL life too. 

So I bought myself a massive pile of sketchbooks and pens and started.  There's something different about the way your brain works when you're drawing on screen versus when you're creating something in the 'real' world.  A different bit is being used.  

I can chat, watch telly, be simultaneously engaged in something else when I'm drawing, painting or sewing.  When I'm at the computer I need to be almost silent.  I think it's a right brain/left brain phenomenon.  I love the fact that I can be present with my children while fiddling around with bits of paper, scissors and pens during the evening.

I started my career before computers were in general use for design and now I'm remembering the problem-solving aspect of not being able to edit everything.  If a blob of paint accidentally landed in the center of something, it became a flower!  And suddenly the picture became something else.  With sketching and doodling this can be particularly interesting because no-one needs to see what goes into a sketchbook and mistakes can lead you down an unexpected path.  

Now that I can design digitally, I'm finding that combining these spontaneous, flawed, 'real' life experiments with the possibility of limitless editing is making exploring particularly exciting!!!  I'm definitely enjoying heading down a new route.  Here's a pic of a very casually-slung-together collage I did - while watching telly (might have been Italian X-factor - very inspiring!!!).  Lots of elements from it (and others) have since found their way into my work!! - Victoria