Artist Focus | Jennifer Smith
last updated 03 March 2021
Jennifer Smith is a British illustrator who has worked for over a decade in the fashion industry. Jennifer has made her career in designing baby wear, creating for clients such as Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Mini Cuddles at John Lewis, and many more. She also enjoys creating illustrations for greetings cards and books.
Jennifer finds inspiration all over - from her tabby cat at home to travelling the world. Read on to discover more about Jennifer’s illustrations and inspirations…
Where do you find inspiration for your illustrations?
Usually I find inspiration from nature, mainly from animals! I like to take lots of photographs and I sketch a lot. I also follow both online and in-store trends (when possible!).
Who or what originally inspired you to become an illustrator?
I think my first inspiration was Shirley Hughes. Her artwork has always struck a chord with me emotionally, I think it’s because of the family life aspects of her picture books and the beautiful way she portrays the sky through the seasons. I have also always been a big Quentin Blake fan and love his sketchy style and humour. It was my passion for picture books that led me to choose Illustration for my degree.
Where did the creativity all begin?
When I was very little I was always running around and didn’t sit still much, but I always enjoyed crafty activities. When I got to secondary school, I enjoyed my art lessons and liked my teachers. I saw it as a bit of an escape and relished the chance to be creative.
Why, as an artist, is it important to have a creative community around you?
It is important to have a creative community around me because it is what I am used to! I worked as an in-house designer for ten years and we always bounced ideas off each other, I always liked our team mentality! As a freelancer it can be a little lonelier, so working with agency representatives and being in touch with other artists online is a great way to build relationships and keep myself commercially relevant.
How do you work through a creative block?
When I have a creative block I usually go for a walk and then come back and research around the subject. I find the main reason I can’t get into a brief is feeling like I don’t know what direction I should take it in.
What are you currently working on? Can you tell us what to expect next?
Currently I am working on a boyswear range for a large retailer for AW21.
Jennifer Smith is represented by Helen Biles — to work with Jennifer please get in touch. You can see more of Jennifer’s work in her portfolio here.