I'm so happy to have had Jen of Red Parka Diaries be my featured sponsor this month! Jen is a super talented illustrator from Tasmania, and I love her whimsical style. Her shop even features her cute illustrations on jewelry!
1. Your store is filled with such cute illustrations - do you have any tips for aspiring illustrators?
My biggest tip is to just keep on drawing! I really believe it's like a muscle - the more you do it, the stronger it gets. I know my own work has developed so much since I started working at being an illustrator more seriously. I give myself regular challenges, like doing a drawing everyday for a month, to keep growing and strengthening that drawing muscle. It really doesn't matter if some of these drawings are terrible (and some of mine certainly are!) but doing it anyway is key to improving.
2. What is your favorite illustration you've done?
This always changes and is generally the most recent one! Right now, I love the wolf I drew last week.
3. You live in Tasmania - can you tell us what you love about living there? Anything you recommend doing/visiting?
Tasmania is the most amazing place! I really love living here, although it can feel a little isolated at times because it's so small and an island and far away from everything. The best thing about Tasmania would have to be the wilderness.... there is so much natural beauty here - mountains, beaches, ancient forests, dramatic coastlines, lots of little islands and heaps of wildlife. There is also a small but vibrant art community here.
There are a few 'must do' things if you ever visit Tasmania - Salamanca Market is great (and you can visit the Red Parka Stall while you're there), MONA is an amazing new gallery/museum, and Port Arthur is a beautifully preserved historic convict settlement. If you're a nature lover, places like Freycinet Peninsular and Cradle Mountain are incredibly beautiful. There are so many other places too... like I said, I love Tasmania! You should visit me one day!
4. You say you're a big believer in Creative Living - can you tell us a bit about what that means to you?
By creative living I mean living in a way that is unique and fulfilling to you, not adhering to societal norms and being creative in how to make this work. I spent many years working jobs that made me unhappy because I felt like I had to. I needed money to live, buy a house, pay my insurance and all that boring stuff.
But eventually, I realised I was so unhappy things had to change. This is where I needed to get creative (and not just by drawing, but in my whole lifestyle) and figure out how to find my happiness while still being a contributing member of my community. And I'm still figuring it out! But it is an adventure and I believe that life should be an adventure - a big experiment in a way!
I honestly believe there is no right or wrong way to do anything. For me, the so-called 'normal' way wasn't working so I'm seeking alternatives.
5. And lastly - what is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Um.... being lactose intolerant I don't eat a lot of icecream but for the occasional indulgence I could not go past Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough Icecream. So good!
Thanks so much Jen for being my sponsor this month! Don't forget to check out Jen's blog and shop :)