08 December 2015

Entrepreneurial Spirit: JennyJen 42

Last year Jennifer McBrien was voted the Art Teacher of the year. Not a small feat for someone in a public school system that has whittled down art offerings and budgets to make getting stuff done tougher and tougher for educators. Jen joined us for our holiday dinner party and we see her and husband several times a year.

On a recent visit to their art studio, my eye was drawn to mini tapestry, drawn freehand on Jen’s sewing machine. This is the art that she makes when not in front of a classroom. After wine, conversation, and several visitors coming through the open studio tour hubby and I had to buy this piece—as a Christmas present to ourselves.

Dedication and Development

As an artist, Jen is completely responsible for her production, self-promotion, event scheduling and planning. It 's a second a full time job—in addition to the teaching gig. As we talked I was surprised by the dedication and self- control that it takes for one to be ones own production staff., marketing and design team, event planner, social media director, and roadie.
What I love is seeing her development through the years. She creates birdy-birds, from the cartoon-like abstractions to advanced ornithological accurate sewing machine drawings.

The piece we purchased took something like 7 hours(over days) to create—from idea, to sketches, to inception, to finishing. It’s amazing. But Jen also takes evenings and weekends to produce wares and art for craft shows, fares and juried online exhibitions

Shameless Self Promotion

Jen’s blog is regularly shared on social media, her Etsy Store is another stream of content that appears in my facebook feed. She applies and for and attends sales events around the country and enters online juried exhibits on a regular basis. Since we’ve met I’ve visited Jens booth at the east coast’s largest arts festival every year. Hubby and I have purchased four of her unique and beautiful pieces so far.

We’re still looking for the perfect home for our Christmas present