This month, I’ve had the absolute pleasure to interview an artist I’ve been admiring for months. Jenn Smith is an abstract artist based in Chicago with a passion for printmaking, painting and collages:
Describe your art style in five words.
Colorful, abstract, awkward, funny, casual.
Who are your main influences?
Jessica Labatte, David Shrigley, Christina Ramberg (her sketchbooks), and Amy Sillman.
What mediums do you predominantly use in your works?
acrylic paint, gouache, block printmaking, colored pencils
Warm colours or cool colours?
Is there a main concept/focus that your works revolve around? If so, what is it/are they?
To be honest, my work is still pretty mysterious to me in a lot of ways. Sometimes it’s just me trying to be funny by exposing the awkwardness and failures that are essential to my artmaking process. I don’t know how funny an abstract painting can be, but I keep trying to find out. I hope to wake up some morning to discover I’m the David Shrigley of abstract painting.
Is your workspace usually clean or messy?
Usually messy, but I clean up if I’m about to begin a new project, or if I’m expecting visitors.
If I could swap lives for a day with someone, it would be… (it can be anyone, artist related or otherwise)
Kristen Wiig. Or a cheetah.
Any advice for prospective artists?
Failure is your friend, not your enemy. Once you lose your fear of failure, there’s nothing to stop you. I’m a recovering perfectionist, and I still struggle with it, but the only way I know how to make art is to fail over and over again, and then mash those failures together into something good. Challenge yourself to make a bad painting every day, and see what happens.
Any last words?
Thanks for the interview! It has been fun.
You can take a look at more of Jenn’s artwork on her website & blog. Also, don’t hesitate to check her out on Etsy!
If you want your artwork to be showcased in all its glory, check out our artist spotlight page and shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Furthermore, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us through our ask.
- Angel Nikijuluw