Gosh, I first met Jen over 7 years ago at the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center when she was running her own stationery and greeting card company. At the time I was really impressed with her strong business sense and her darling feminine illustration style. So you can imagine my delight when we reconnected at my first LIDL (Ladies Independent Design League) meeting. I’m so glad to call Jen my friend, and am luck to get to meet with her, alongside the other LIDL ladies, on weekly basis!! Jen still has a very strong business sense and although her style has evolved and changed she still possess that feminine flair that any girl could fall in love with. You may have seen her slik screen work featured on decor8, Indie Fixx, Art Wall, When I Grow Up, Inhabitots and Lolalina to name a few.
Here is Jen’s Sketchbook Story :
JH: I can’t say exactly where the inspiration for the illustration on this calendar came from; I’ve been drawing birds in one form or another for at least ten years.
JH: I went through my sketchbook and found an early prototype of the bird. But this bird looks way too serious – most of my work is happy and playful – so I kept drawing until I settled on these guys. The floral motif surrounding them also got tweaked and included in the calendar.
JH: Once I had a general direction, I started to layout the calendar on a sheet of paper the same size as the final, printed calendar. Although it can be more labor intensive, I prefer to do my layouts by hand rather than in Illustrator. I like the layout process – erasing and re-drawing, playing with line weights and exact placement. I also get a better sense of how a finished piece will look when I have it on paper in front of me, instead of on a computer monitor. Perhaps I’m a bit of a Luddite, but my work has a hand-drawn look to it that I’m not always able to maintain in the conversion to Illustrator.
JH: After I finalized the sketch, I created two transparencies – one for each color. I traced the layout using a Rapidograph onto a large sheet of acetate. This is the first step in the screenprinting process.
JH: When the transparencies are placed against a coated screen and exposed to very bright light, the image will be transferred to the screen and will become a type of stencil. Screenprinting ink will only flow through the image areas. Here is the flip side of one of my screens.
JH: I started by printing the first color – the green – then let them dry before printing the second color.
JH: When that was dry, I printed the second color – the blue.
JH: I heat set them with a hot iron, hemmed and stitched them, and hung one up for product photos! I’m sold out of the calendars (yippee!), but my work can be viewed here. I also write a blog about my creative process and inspiration (with the occasional photo of my assistant/dog, Jake) here.
Here’s where you can find Jen ::
blog :: http://jenhewett.blogspot.com/