Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Interview With Artist Jennifer Davis Hastypearl

Interview With Artist Jennifer Davis

I'm pretty sure, that I first encountered Jennifer Davis through her Etsy shop
Jennifer Davis Paintings & Collages, and from there, her blog Jennifer Davis Art.

I was thinking about Jennifer one morning recently, and I had this funny thought...analogy...

Jennifer Davis's Art to your Eyes, is like Pop Rocks to your Mouth!
Do they even still Make Pop Rocks? 
I don't know...but it was a candy that I ate in my youth!

There are NO other Jennifer's!
If the world could LIVE in her mind, I'm pretty sure that all of our problems would be solved!
Do some house cleaning, Jennifer, because we are all "Moving In"! ;)

I first presented to Jennifer, the idea of an interview with a specific question in mind, and in the end we went another direction, so we go, sit back and enjoy !
I think you will be surprised by some of her answers :)


Laura: At what age, did you recognize that you had an ability to express yourself and what medium was it?

Jennifer: I guess I have always known that, because I was always encouraged to draw, "color", etc.
It was not until my FOURTH year of college, when I took an art class on a whim, that I realized my real passion for expressing myself in that way. From then on, I knew it would be a huge part of my life.

L: Were you encouraged?

J: Yes! I guess I answered that above!

L: What/Who inspires you?

J: A lot of people ask me about this. I had a pretty canned answer about animals, people, vintage magazines, vintage toys, found photos, etc. 
I have come to realize that inspiration is a huge mystery to me. 
Even if you took away all of the things that I think inspire my work, I'd still feel compelled to make art. 
I think it is something inside which I do not understand. 
I think it has more to do with the feelings I have while making art, than any external thing. 
It makes me happy!

L:What percent of the time do you like your finished product?

J: Almost 100% of the time only because I wouldn't consider it finished if I didn't like it. 
If something isn't working, I set it aside and maybe give it another go later. 
I try not to be too precious about any certain idea so that if it really isn't working, I can just paint over it.

L: Do you start and finish a piece, or do you work on multiple pieces at a time?

J: For the most part, one at a time. 
Lately, I have been working on a big series of large paintings, so I have been going back and forth a bit more as I am learning, but for the most part, I stick to one at a time with smaller paintings. 
The mood is fleeting, so it is hard for me to pick it back up later. 

L: What gives you the most satisfaction in your work? 
i.e. The idea? The process? The materials?
 Or none of these?

J: The process of doing-playing with color and composition, and the rush of satisfaction when something feels finished and really resonates. 
It is a very fleeting feeling, so I am always chasing it for more.

L: I hear people talk about running out of ideas? Does that ever concern you?

J: No. Ideas are a bottomless well. 
I think, I hope. (Knock on wood!) 
If I get stuck, I take a break or try something new- new colors, new materials. Vacation time. 
I don't panic or get down about a little "creative block", as I know inspiration will return. 
It always does!

L: How do you deal with challenges/obstacles, in your work?

J:Tantrums, crying. =0)
I'm only slightly kidding, but I try not to take myself too seriously. 
It is just painting and it isn't really work.   
If it is making me miserable, I know I need to move on to something different or take a break.

L: As a Jennifer Davis devotee, I first approached you about discussing in your blog, how you went about/found your way through the maze of retail, online sales, galleries, etc. 
I love sharing with my readers, that you were a bit shy/humbled about doing that, but in your generosity, you were very interested in"Giving Back". 
I know that people will be attracted to you for those qualities!

So, maybe it will be more comfortable in This setting, where I ask you to do a bit of "mentoring", to those of us who may be just starting down the road, that you have been on now for some years. 
What has your experience been like? 
Here is your chance to briefly, "Write the Handbook" :)

J: That is a big question. I have been working on all of that stuff everyday for 10 plus years and I am still clawing my way along. 
My biggest advice would be to make a lot of art (or whatever it is that you do) and to avoid waiting around for things to happen to/for you. 
I think it is important to put myself out there and always be seeking new opportunities that interest me. 
I am always working on something, never sitting around waiting and wishing. 

L: Since opening your JenniferDavis Etsy shop in 2006, your offerings have included, collage, illustrations and original paintings. 
What is next, for Jennifer Davis?

J: I have just completed a two year long grant road trip/travel/research project
I received "funding to research, create, and document a body of large-scale paintings based on vintage carousel animals and traditional carousel vignette paintings",
via Metropolitan Region Arts Council/McKnight Foundation "Next Step" grant. 
I made a blog to document my travels.

J: I also have a solo exhibition to display the fruits of my project, which opened March 22, 2014, 
at Public Functionary in Minneapolis, MN. 
I'm showing ten of my largest paintings to date (4 'x 4') based on vintage carousel animals and eight smaller carousel vignette paintings. 
Some other surprises, too.

After that...I have no idea! 
I am in the itty bitty baby-steps beginning process, of starting a new collaboration with Minneapolis  choreographer Chris Schlichting. 
Who knows where that will lead?!  

Wow! There is a lot to learn from that interview!

I appreciate her candid openness. I think, sometimes we can forget that Talented Artists, are real, breathing, and just as vulnerable as we are, and that Few wake up Celebrated by the world, 
but rather...WORKWORKWORK!

Please read the above mentioned link to Public Functionary, to see all of Jennifer's bio and if you are in the Minneapolis area....RUN to see her amazing exhibition! 
Also, her blog posting on the opening, looked like it was an absolute PARTY! 
I cant EVEN imagine what it must have been like! 

Jennifer, I wonder if your feet have touched back down to Earth, yet!
If making Art "makes you happy", please know that Viewing your Art makes us Very Happy!
And, thank you soooo much for doing this interview and sharing your images with us! xo

Well, Readers, I promised you that I had a neat surprise coming up...and I was RIGHT, wasn't I? :)
I hope that you enjoyed this visit with another Amazing Artist...

And, you  have to KNOW, that I have Other Wonderful Interview Surprises up my sleeve, so please keep checking back into my blog!

xoxo Laura 


  1. Wow, great interview, I love the sheep jumping through hoops xx

    1. Thanks, Marilyn! I cant choose! I like them all. Make sure that you check out her blog because the carousel paintings are incredible!!! Laura