We’ve been a long time fan of artist and instructor Amy Felske’s gorgeous soft sculptures…and heard her drop the name Jen Carson more than once or twice talking about dragons…so we were thrilled to see that Jennifer decide to offer a class to Fiber College students. This year we were only able to squeeze in a short class but if the reception is all that we expect, we hope that Jennifer will decide to teach more classes here as the years go by…check out her Etsy shop.
We sent Jen a list of interview questions and this is what she wrote back to us…
I am a self-taught artist for the most part, with a Bachelor’s degree in creative writing. My parents were very crafty, and so creating has been part of my lifestyle since I was very young.
To develop my own unique style, I draw. A LOT. When I draw something that makes me so excited that I MUST get up and start working on it right away, I know I’ve hit something that is unique to me. Usually it reflects my personality, something my subconscious has been chewing on, or a piece of art that I particularly liked last week. You never know what will inspire you!
My friends would describe my work as whimsical, fun and imaginative.
There are many contemporary artists who inspire me everyday. But Jim Henson, Brian Froud and Wendy Froud have been huge influences on my art for my whole life. I was and still am a huge Muppet fan and it was my biggest dream as a child to work with Jim Henson. Unfortunately he died when I was still in high school. You can see these influences particularly in my monsters and fairies and in the children’s stories that I write. Brian Froud’s loose and energetic drawings of faeries capture my imagination, and Wendy’s dolls and faerie critters speak to my soul like no other creations have before. It’s in their expression and the imagination that goes into creating her unique characters.
My early work was very simple and direct, a lot of my work still is, especially when I am designing something to be a sewing pattern. I want to increase the chances of success and decrease the chances of frustration. My personal work is currently going through flux right now, bouncing from very complex to very simple and primitive. I’m trying to find that emotion spot for myself, a style that doesn’t feel same-old-thing to me. It is a time of experimentation!
My studio is one, packed to the gills, 13’x13’ room in my house—it’s small but it’s all mine, and it currently needs to be cleaned and reorganized. It gets very cold in there during the winter months so I spend a lot of time at the dining room table, despite my husband’s grumbles. In five years I would like to have a real studio where people can come visit me, take classes and make magic! I’d also love to bring in other artist teachers and host creative getaways.
My dream project would be to work on a movie that is based on one of my children’s books… but I’d settle for working on ANY project with the Henson Company.
There are many things I think I couldn’t live without, but I really can’t imagine my life without my dogs. They are my constant companions, always right where I am. I will have a dog until the die I pass into the nether.
I don’t have a lot of routines or rituals to spark creativity. I snatch time when I can. Writers have a saying that I basically apply to almost everything—butt in chair. It means, get to work. I don’t wait around for inspiration, I just start working and it comes. I do, however, love taking a walk in the woods with the dogs and my friend (and her dogs!) and having a Pinterest lunch break for inspiring images.