Interview with Jenny MacKendrick

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?

I am Jenny MacKendrick of stitch-ink and I'm an illustrator and maker.  I did the Drawing and Applied Arts Degree at UWE many years ago and as an applied artist I am always on the look out for different ways to transform my drawings into something else - 2d or 3d.  I tend to make nursery illustration for sale and lots of other images just for me.

To see more of Jenny's work visit her Drawn in Bristol portfolio

Apart from creating illustrations what else do you do?

As well as drawing I have a range of shop ready products, which started out life as drawings.  I tend to use the term 'drawing' very loosely, I sew, cut, stick or whatever seems appropriate at the time.  My products range from laser cut jewellery to DIY felt brooch kits with illustrated instruction leaflets.
I'm trying to get to grips with Adobe Illustrator at the moment, which is throwing out some interesting results!

When did you know you were an illustrator?

I guess I've always wanted to be an illustrator or maker; I've always made strange creations as far back as I can remember. 

What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline?

I like the fact that I don't restrict myself to anything in particular.  I do what I feel like doing each day and see what's happened at the end.  Most of it ends up in shoeboxes under my desk! 

Where does your inspiration come from?

I have a particular interest in line quality. I've always admired the work of Eva Hesse and Quentin Blake (not 2 names you'd normally hear in the same sentence). I take my inspiration from lots of things, it could be a line, a shape or a colour that gets me started.  I have quite a collection of kid’s books that are all amazing for different reasons and I’m quite into hand drawn fonts at the moment too.

Describe your studio or workspace?

I have two studio spaces, one at home for sewing and making and one in the Drawn in Bristol studio in Hamilton House.  Both are pretty messy (I tidied up for the photo!). I like having the different spaces for different things.  That way I plan my day around where I'm going to be.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who
would it be?

I have a book called Artist to Artist that has lots of interviews with illustrators and pictures of their studios, Eric Carle's looks really exciting!

How would you describe your creative process?

Random! I sometimes start with an image or object I like and try to use the best things from it - recreating it in my own way and I spend far too much time gazing at the Internet....

What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut?

I walk a lot with my dog, but I have so many amazing artist and illustrator friends that I'm never stuck for long, a short cup of tea and a chat and I'm raring to go again.  Although having said that sometimes it's better to just do nothing for a while and go back to it when the mood takes me.

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