Wrappr: Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Jenna: I have always known I wanted to lead a creative life. Growing up, I considered myself to be an introvert and would often seek out creative outlets to find my voice. With a lot of exploration, I found an expressive outlet in surface pattern design. Through design, I found that my voice can be as loud or quiet as I choose. Whether it is a bold bright pattern or something that slips into the background, I think design has an amazing breadth of possibilities that truly excite me.
W: Tell us a bit about your background, and how you got to where you are now
J: Although I feel like I have been on my creative journey for a while, it has not always been straightforward to me, and even where I am today, I know I have just begun. I actually started my creative journey as early as 12 years old when I painted backdrops for the school play. I then pursued a specialty arts program in high school where I was first exposed to printmaking and patterns. I recently completed my degree in Textile Design and I am looking forward to working as a freelance, licensing artist.
W: What type of work do you enjoy most right now?
J: In my most recent work, I explored surface pattern design as a way to explore materiality. I had the opportunity to investigate handmade and outsourced applications of fabric, paper products, risograph printing as well as laser cutting. I really love the way surface pattern design has such a range in applications and I enjoy the exploratory nature of understanding how material and applications can change the way a design is received.
W: What type of work do you do for your own enjoyment?
J: I love to spend my time dreaming up projects! I believe that with enough imagination you can create your reality and one of my favourite things to do is to design with possible end uses in mind, and maybe they will exist in the real world eventually. Whether it is pattern collections or complementary illustrations, I like to envision how my designs will be used and be best enjoyed in someone’s life.
W: What work of yours would you like to be remembered for? Or is it something you are working on?
J: As a new textile and surface pattern designer, I am definitely still working on this. I am passionate about bringing beauty into everyday life by creating a connection between the contemporary client and their lifestyle, through a joyful exploration of illustrative and abstract surface designs.
W: What is your creative process?
J: My creative process typically entails research, sketching, and design drafts, but it really depends on the project. Some of my projects are concept-driven, so a lot of preparation goes into the project before the design is started, while other projects are heavily driven by materials and exploration.
W: What are you planning to create next?
J: As a recent grad, I have this new sense of freedom. There is an openness to my work that hasn’t been there in a while because of the pressure of marks and design briefs. I look forward to exploring this freedom and seeing where it can take me.
W: What is your biggest indulgence?
J: My current indulgence is collecting plants! It is such a fun process to watch things grow right in front of your eyes. One of my favourite things to do is thrift second-hand pots and planters to give all my plant buddies new homes when they outgrow their current pot. Also, I love to propagate plants and give the newly grown plants as gifts to friends and family, maybe even wrapped in a Wrappr!
W: Where do you find inspiration?
J: I am passionate about finding and creating joy. I get excited when I walk through my neighbourhood and see things like the wildflowers growing in spring and dogs being walked in the park. It makes me smile to watch the birds dance in the sky and hear them sing. I enjoy searching for the perfect find at the thrift store to give an object a new sense of life.
These are just some things that inspire me in life and in my design work and drive my passion to create. As a surface pattern designer, I am passionate about reintegrating beauty into everyday life through a joyful exploration of illustrative and abstract surface designs.
W: How do you feel about being involved with Wrappr?
J: I am so excited for my work to be part of Wrappr’s renewable initiative in the gift-giving industry. I think the concept of using a reusable wrapping material that incorporates art is a very refreshing way to reinvent a traditional idea!
W: What are your thoughts on the climate crisis, zero-waste products, things you’re doing to be environmentally friendly, etc.
J: Sustainability is very important to me because I think there is a responsibility when producing anything, as a designer, to do your best to take into account how the product or production affects not only us but our environment.
Although it can be hard to live a fully sustainable lifestyle, I think it is everyone’s collective responsibility to be conscious of the decisions they are making and choose to support sustainable options as much as possible.