Creative Thursday Interview: Jen Collins
JC: I divide my freelance time between working on illustrations for other people & on personal work, which often includes creating illustrated items that I sell through my online shop (http://hellojenuine.etsy.com) & a couple of bricks-&-mortar shops.
SSH: Where did you study?
JC: I studied Illustration at Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee, & lived/worked in Dundee for a few years before moving to Glasgow. I was determined to continue practicing illustration and not burn out after leaving uni, & have pushed myself to keep making & working. I also work in arts marketing (previously at Dundee Contemporary Arts & currently at the Centre for Contemporary Arts) which is a great balance for me as I enjoy working with people & sharing ways for people to get involved with the arts, & it takes off the pressure when it comes to paying the bills!
SSH: Tell us about your favourite piece of your work?
JC: I'm going to cheat & say two: one being my Botanic I & II drawings, of two ladies quietly sitting amidst some greenery. I'd been in a bit of a rut before drawing these; in short it was the first time in a long time I'd drawn something that I really liked - that, if someone else had drawn them, I'd have wished I'd drawn them. The other is some notebooks I recently made - I don't really do very much abstract/non-figurative work, but with this design I just switched off & drew circles in as many different ways as I could without thinking about it too much. I then made a pattern & screen-printed some notebooks. I find (though maybe others wouldn't agree) that a lot of my work tends to be quite bold & colourful, but that I'm not drawn to very colourful work by other people. These notebooks, like the Botanic prints, ended up being just the kind of thing I like.
JC: I’m currently selling a selection of my work at a stall in Edinburgh for the Fringe, plus working on some illustrations for a cookbook. I’m also taking a class at Glasgow Ceramics Studio which is great - applying my style to ceramics and creating tangible objects has been a really enjoyable process.
SSH: What is your favourite creative blog/ website or other source of inspiration?
JC: I'm not really sure I have one that I go to for inspiration as such. I enjoy browsing Gems (www.lookatthesegems.com) & I like Pinterest - it came along at a time when I had a very cluttered desktop folder full of images I'd collected. I don't really follow many people on it, I prefer it for gathering illustration/art/objects/ideas that I like. It's kind of a satisfying way to store things.
SSH: Any advise for other illustrators starting out?
JC: I recently made a set of Nice Advice postcards (https://www.etsy.com/listing/158084262/brand-new-nice-advice-postcard-set) featuring simple advice to follow. I think I made them for myself as much as anyone else.
JC: I don’t want to pick just one as the Southside’s got lots to offer. I love Tapa for coffee (I didn’t even like coffee before drinking Tapa’s), The Glad Café for beers & chat, Locavore for local grub & Queen’s Park for hanging out & watching ducklings. I love being a short walk from a post office, greengrocers, Co-op & library too.
SSH: Name another Southside creative whose work you admire?
JC: I love illustrator David Galletly’s work (http://davidgalletly.com) – I actually liked it before either of us were Southsiders, but now I can love it from a close range (creep).
SSH: If money was no option what would you change about the Southside?
JC: Open a small arts centre that I could work in so I don't have to travel to the city centre. One with a print studio & art house cinema so I don't have to travel very far to make work & watch films. :)
SSH: Tell us one other interesting fact about you?
JC: I'm pretty good at dog breeds. I have a terrible memory but I was obsessed with dogs when I was younger & seem to have retained that information.
Labels: Creative Thursday