We stumbled upon Jennifer’s work via social media and we were immediately hooked. She is an incredibly talented artist and, as we soon found out, equally as sweet. Her work is bold, full of life and color and we want to live in the world she paints. We are complete fans and were honored to be able to sit down with her for a little Q+A.
Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?
I always enjoyed being creative and to express myself visually. I’m not sure I saw myself as always being an artist, but knew I wanted to do something creative.
When did you decide to make painting your full time job?
I have been a hairstylist for the past 9 years and I am currently splitting my time equally as an artist and stylist. I really enjoy the balance between the two careers. Being a hairstylist is creative within limits, but I enjoy the social interaction and the special relationships I’ve built with my clients over the years. Creating art is complete creative freedom, but I usually paint alone which is great, but can get lonely. I am lucky enough to be self employed, so I’m in control of my weekly schedule at the salon. Having that flexibility makes it easy to make time for my commission paintings and my recent projects in textile design. So as of now, I am doing it all. Very busy, but I seem to work best having several projects going at the same time.
What inspires you and where do you seek inspiration?
Throughout the day I am inspired by all kinds of shapes, patterns and color palettes. Usually, I find myself writing down notes to refer to later. Anything from unique textiles, interior design magazines, favorite blogs to color and texture found in nature. I am always inspired by shapes found in architecture and furniture, especially in contemporary and midcentury modern designs.
How would you describe your work?
That question is always a challenge to answer. Mostly abstract, and a balance of organic and geometric shapes. My process is usually creating in layers using acrylic and watercolor. There are always similar patterns seen in my work. But I don’t want to be known as an artist with only one particular style. I am always trying new mediums and techniques to continually learn and grow as an artist. Expressing myself through my artwork depends on my state of mind within that moment. No matter what, I am always seeking the same end result. A painting that makes sense compositionally, but also has a unexpected element that makes it interesting and ultimately feels spontaneous.
What’s been your favorite piece or job so far and why?
The painting that I am most attached to is a large blue and white painting in my dining room I painted years ago. I love the organic shapes and the bold color contrast between the dark blues and white. It was the first large painting I ever did, and it makes me smile every time I enter that room. Sometimes you can’t explain why you are attracted to a particular painting, but if it brings you joy then it’s worth having in your home.
You live in Raleigh, NC. Any go to places or secret gems we should know about?
There are so many wonderful restaurants and places to shop in Raleigh. Gonza is one of my favorite spots for delicious Mexican food and the best mojitos ever. It is located in North Raleigh and dangerously close to my home! Another amazing place for dinner is Second Empire in downtown Raleigh. It’s a beautifully restored 120 year old home with an incredible menu and atmosphere. Food and service is exceptional. My husband and I had our wedding there and frequent as often as possible.
Definitely not a secret, but Furbish is a must go to place for unique home decor and gifts. Also, located in downtown Raleigh and owned by the well known blogger and interior designer Jamie Meares. Another special place is a family-owned art supply store called Askew-Taylor Paints on Glenwood Avenue. The very essence of a old fashioned art store that provides great customer service and helpful advice. They are always so friendly and really care about their customers. Always an enjoyable place to shop.
How would friends and family describe you?
Probably that I am really talkative, a planner, can’t sit still for very long, caring, nurturing, love to cook, and obsessed with my two Bengal cats.
Top 3 favorite artists of all time?
Clyfford Still, Gerard Richter, and Helen Frankenthaler.
I highly recommend the Clyfford Still museum to anyone visiting Denver Colorado. He is my all time favorite artist and I am continually inspired by his amazing compositions and large installations.
Fill in the blank. People don’t know that I can ____.
Sing along with just about any Grateful Dead and Metallica song. My husband and I have very different tastes in music, but I have gone with him to many of their concerts all over the country. Always an adventure on these trips with great stories to share with friends.
What album or artist is currently on replay?
Lana del Rey, absolutely love her voice and style.
Are you on a philosopher or a Broadway star in the shower?
Definitely a broadway star in my mind 🙂
We love how you followed your passion and turned it into a career. Any advice you have for anyone wanting to follow their dream or passion?
Don’t let criticism from yourself or others stop you from sharing your work. Usually, we are the only ones holding ourselves back. Be confident in what you do and put your work out there to be seen locally and online. Getting over the fear of rejection or what other people think is so powerful. That is when we truly experience the freedom of expression through our artwork.
See more of Jennifer’s work HERE
Visit her Etsy SHOP
all images via Jennifer Flannigan