Interview with Jen Collins

Meet charming Jen Collins on our little blog today: Living in Scotland, Jen loves to spend her time with a cup of tea and her sketchbook, enjoying the morning sun.

With her crayons, water-colours and pencils she creates sweet drawings of girls clad in long scarfs, dancing bears and grumpy cats that can be seen in her flickr account and bought in her etsy shop.

If you want to know more about Jen and her way of being creative, have a look at our interview!

Why and when did you start making art?
Like a lot of people, I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I would use the inside covers of colouring books to add my own line-work when I got bored of colouring in someone else’s. I can recall the awe I felt when I was first told you could be an artist for a living; this thing I found fun could be my job!

What kind of art do you make?
Illustration is a part-time thing for me, though I wish a larger chunk of my working time could be dedicated to drawing rather than doing a job that pays the bills. However, the good thing about the majority of my income coming from another source is that I can really indulge in making work for myself, creating things that I like & enjoy the process of rather than having to worry about a client’s opinion. Thankfully, other people seem to like what I do too, & that’s brilliant. I mainly work in pencil, ink and water-colours, and screen-prinitng.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
From the outside world, from my workspace, from films I watch, music I listen to, feelings, colours and seeing amazing work by other artists and makers. Due to not having a huge amount of time to spend on drawing I tend to work quite quickly, and kind of pressure myself to do as much as I can with a small amount of time whilst trying to produce high quality work. So sometimes, perhaps more often than not, I just go with what feels right, getting a hard copy of an image or idea that develops, before it disappears.

What does your usual workday look like?
I don’t really have something I can a “usual workday”. My best workdays seems to be Mondays (no day job!), where I can get a nice balance of sending off some orders on a post office run, then doing some drawing or perhaps some screen-printing whilst trying not to get too distracted by the internet. I can check a good few things off my to-do list on a Monday.

How do you spend a perfect sunday?
Not having to get up before 8.30 but not sleeping past 10. Some breakfast and a cup of tea whilst checking e-mails and things, before a shower and being properly ready to start the day. Maybe get some tea with a friend, or go for a wander in the sun or  have a mini-adventure with my boyfriend, or sit at my desk for a few hours and sort through some ideas and perhaps finishing a couple of drawings. Then my boyfriend & I can make a yummy homemade meal that involves lots of vegetables, eat & drink a couple of beers whilst watching a good film. Then take a good book & cup of tea to bed. Dreamy – I don’t ask for much!

What is your favourite taste of chocolate?
A few squares of Green & Black’s white chocolate is delicious. But not too much!

Show me your favourite artwork (from your own collection or another artist)
One of my current favourite pieces is this painting by Danna Ray. I was lucky enough to get a print of it for Christmas.

Whom should we interview next?
Tough question! But I’ll recommend Thereza Rowe as she’s ace, as is her beautiful work.

If you could have coffee with a famous artist – dead or alive – whom would you choose?
I love being able to meet up with people who’s work I admire. I was able to share some cups of tea and beers with a few creative minds last year, which was great. It’s hard to pick one person I’d have a coffee (tea) with, but I’ll narrow it down to Sarah Neuburger aka The Small Object. When I’m feeling particularly uninspired, browsing Sarah’s work for a little while has me itching to get some stuff done. I love the ideas she comes up with, and how simple they often are. From reading her blog, it seems that no corner of her life is left untouched by her creative mind.

What is your philosophy of life?
I’ve used the phrase ‘life is good’ in a few pieces lately. It’s not much of a philosophy, but I quite often find myself stepping back and realising that I’m a very lucky person, & really don’t have much to complain about – life IS good!