Today is the final post of my interview with Jenni. Please visit her blog and her Etsy shop, where she sells her beautiful paintings.
I met you online when we were both taking an e-course taught by Kelly Rae Roberts. What was your motivation for taking that course?
I took her class quite honestly because I am enamored with her success. A part of me thought that the class would by osmosis transfer a teensy part of her success into my life. I am sure it will in due time. I think each step we take to nurture our creative process only helps reveal a true opportunity when we are ready to accept it.
You have a beautiful website and blog. Which came first? Did you develop them both on your own?
I spent a trillion hours on a website for my art and products several years back, only to have it poof into thin air last year. My blog, however, has been a wonderful way for me to express myself in the internet world. It has opened doors for my journey that I never would have gained had I not shared my most authentic self. I know that my honesty and consistent postings are what keep people returning. Sharing my thoughts is an integral part of my creative process. Sometimes I cannot wait to share things on the blog with readers; its like they’ve been my friends forever and share in my triumphs and downfalls right along with me. I cherish the feedback and thoughtfulness of strangers. I mean, where else but through the words of my own voice can I share so much joy and such sadness and yet never feel alone?
You seem to have worked hard to cultivate an online presence as an artist: you write blog posts quite often, you sell on Etsy, you’re on Facebook. Is there anything I’ve missed?
I realize now how HUGE having an online presence is. When I first started blogging it was a little journal of my thoughts, ideas and art I was making. When I started to gain a reader following my posts got meatier, more meaningful, and more inspired. Now it is an important part of the day I look forward to. Being online helps to keep me grounded and focused on what lies ahead.
What do you think each of these connections do for your artistic business?
I know for a fact that without my online presence I would have nothing. I have my local shows and galleries yes, but my readers are what keep me motivated to be more, do more. They keep me connected to the outside world as well. Being an artist in an in-home studio -- well let’s just say it’s really easy to let yourself become isolated. I find days go by without my actually speaking to any friends outside of my family. It’s nothing personal, I just get really focused and driven. Being online gives me a connection to an outside world and reminds me to come up for air every once in awhile.
It seems like you are selling your art online, in galleries, and in shows. Which type of venue has been the most successful for you?Oh boy, well I have to say of all the venues I sell I love outdoor shows the most. The energy from the visitors, the other artisans and my own creative mojo is like an amazing high! I absolutely love getting ready for shows, creating timelines, developing products, getting paintings completed, and of course creating the little vignettes in the tent. It makes the work all worth it when the visitors are engaged in my booth and eager to learn my thoughts behind paintings, and of course when they buy! I have a full show schedule this fall so please check my blog under show on the road to see where I’ll be next. In 2011, I'll have a solo Art Exhibit entitled “Coming Home” at The Naked Art Gallery in Birmingham, Alabama, March 4th-April 2nd.
One more thing: check out Somerset's publication: Holidays and Celebrations, due out very soon, featuring Jenni's felted bird sculpture.
Thank you Jenni, for this inspiring interview. If you would like more of Jenni you can visit her here:
Facebook: Jenni Adkins Horne