In this episode Alicia Puig guest hosts an interview with artist, printmaker, textile designer, and author Jen Hewett.
Depending on how you look at it, artist is either Jen Hewett’s second or fifth career. With a degree in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, she started her working life in education and educational nonprofits. She then briefly ran her own stationery business, took a few detours through business operations, human resources and consulting before becoming a full-time working artist (again). She partly credits the success of her experience running her own creative business to her non-linear (but always interesting) career path.
Even though she’s now decidedly a professional artist, Jen still keeps things interesting by engaging in many different types of projects. She works on personal projects just because she wants to. She runs a successful online shop through which she sells directly to her customers. She writes books. She licenses work to large and small manufacturers and retailers. She sometimes creates illustrations for very large companies.
Jen’s first book, Print, Pattern, Sew: Block Printing Basics + Simple Sewing Projects for an Inspired Wardrobe, was published by Roost Books in May 2018. Her second book, This Long Thread: Women of Color on Craft, Community and Connection, was published by Roost Books in November 2021. Her clients include Anthropologie, Cost Plus World Market, Moda Fabrics, Unilever, and Yelp. Her work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Uppercase, and MSNBC. She also loves talking on podcasts about the very practical business aspects of being an artist, and the challenges (and opportunities) of being an artist of color in fairly undiverse industries.
Jen lives in the Hudson Valley with her rescue dog, Franny.
Follow Jen on Instagram.
Alicia Puig has been a contributing writer for Create! Magazine since 2017. Find more of her work on her website.