us a bit about your background -- what led you into art and what drives
I grew up in a house with lots of art and craft supplies all around me,
thanks to a mom who loved to sew. She and my dad always encouraged my
creative pursuits ... although drawing our family portrait in permanent
marker on the basement floor, dumping glue on boxes of fabric scraps,
and writing my name and age all over the wall was probably not what she
had in mind. Still, they didn't try too hard to talk me out of going to
Years of working as a graphic designer made me miss drawing. After going
fully freelance about 10 years ago, I tried to combine my early
indoctrination into the world of sewing and crafts with my fine art
background. Discovering Spoonflower really set me on the path to fabric
design and art licensing, which seems like a perfect fit -- it draws on
(ha ha) a bit of everything I love -- and that's where I'm at now.
inspires your designs?
Little bits of lots of diverse influences: midcentury design; botanical
illustration; kitsch; Van Gogh; fabric; graffiti; Renaissance art;
illustration for, and by, children; toys; bright color palettes;
interior design; kids' clothes; abstract expressionism; Degas; and folk
art -- to name a few.
Tell us a bit about your design and the story behind it.
The same week I was working on a squid-themed fabric design, we turned
on NOVA (PBS's science show) after the kids went to bed, and that
particular program happened to be about giant squid. The whole time I
was watching it, I was thinking how eerily similar to a B-movie it all
seemed, and I kept imagining giant squids attacking various innocent
bystanders in the style of a 1950s horror movie poster. The next day, I
drew the squid character and an entire bad horror flick/comic book style
fabric design in a couple hours, all while holding our sleeping baby in
one arm (who possibly unconsciously inspired the whole design ... who
your studio/workspace like?
It's a small computer desk in the family room. If I want to draw or
paint, I need to clear the kids' art stuff off the island in the
kitchen, locate my boxes of art supplies in the basement and open them
all up (since they're all labeled with a very generic "ART") to find the
tiny little watercolor set I'm looking for. I have a sewing machine in a
cabinet in the living room. And that's about it! Some day when the kids
are older and our house is not on the market, I hope to have a real art
your favorite handmade craft you’ve ever made? (This can by anything,
from a school project to the knitting you may or may not do on the
I think each project I've just completed is my favorite, honestly!
Lately I've been really into making 3D paper die-cutting patterns (which
I license to Silhouette America which they then sell in their online
store). I was pretty proud of the doorway puppet theater I made for my
daughters for Christmas (made from a fat quarter of Patty Young's "Playdate"
fabric, complete with curtains, a clock with moveable hands, comedy and
tragedy masks, and "PUPPET THEATRE" in felt letters). I also love my
robot one-yard skirt pattern and fabric (for sale on Spoonflower) --
robots and monster designs for girls are rare, but why?? I think they're
Finally, if you were a Crayola crayon, what color would you be?
Periwinkle. Because I like the name and because it reminds me of the
color of the sky at my favorite time of day, twilight.
See more of Jennifer's work on her
check out her fabrics on
Spoonflower, and follow her creations on