This week I am featuring the creative and lovely Jenny Kersting. Jenny was my childhood best friend, and I have so many wonderful memories of us painting, creating outlandish stories, and inventing games with our vivid imaginations. It has been so much fun to reconnect again on social media over our shared love of creating, painting, and being mamas to young kids. Thank you so much for sharing with us, Jenny. I’m so proud of all you are doing!
Hi, my name is Jenny Kersting. I’m a painter mainly these days, although I also love knitting and making just about anything. I also work digitally sometimes and I’m super interested in pattern, fabric and wallpaper design, interiors and graphics.
I have two young girls: Gigi who is 2 and Ellie who is 4. I stay home with my girls right now (full-time).
- Website/Blog: https://jenniferjacksonkersting.wordpress.com
- Etsy Shop: JennyKerstingArt
- Instagram: @jennyjkersting
- Pinterest: @jennyjkersting
- Facebook: Jenny Jackson Kersting
Yes! I have always loved making stuff (almost anything), but I have much less time and personal space as a mother of young children. I try to paint and craft as often as possible with them to make the most of the time I have to be creative and to introduce them to something I love to do so much. I’ve also become more open to different mediums that work better in small time frames and with minimal mess, like digital art and watercolor.
Is it easy or difficult for you to find/make time to create? Did you have to give anything up? Do you have advice on what works for you?
So hard. I’m not great at being super organized, but I realized that if I wanted to find the time to myself to be creative, I HAD to make myself a schedule and get help with childcare AND that it was crucial for me to have an area separate from my kids to work in. I got lucky last year and had a friend offer me a room in her studio to use at my convenience. That was really a turning point for me in realizing how important my art is to my well-being and how worthwhile it is to spend my energy carving out time and resources to continue making it a priority. My advice to anyone else in my situation would definitely be to sit down and look at your schedule really closely and see where you could fit in a few hours here and there. Honestly, I probably only have 5 hours a week or so to paint, but that’s five hours I didn’t have last year, so I’ll take it and hopefully grow with it!How does being an artist make you a better mother to your children? What do you hope they take away from seeing you as an artist doing something that fulfills you?
You kind of already answered for me. I love that my kids get to see me doing something I love and that they see its important for me to have my own interests and space. I want them to always know not to neglect themselves, that its really important to make time for yourself, especially if you are lucky enough to know what you love doing.
I used to paint with a friend in her studio and I’d really like to be in that type of situation again. It was so awesome to have a really comfortable spot to make things and someone you trust that loves you to bounce ideas off of and get inspiration from. The space itself was a room in an office building. It had big window with natural light and that was definitely helpful. I had two easels set up and I use TV tables to move around for my supplies. I also LOVED having an inspiration board there.
My current space is in a gallery where I hang my art, but the artists can also store their materials and work there. Its really good for now (and affordable), but I do have to put away everything aside from the painting as its. For me, it’s much easier to organize your materials when you can keep them all out in your work area. One day…
Do you have any tips to streamline/delegate/outsource household and childcare activities so that you can focus more time on your art? Has your lifestyle changed in any major ways?
I think if you can, it’s so awesome to look at things in your regular day that you really enjoy and that you really DON’T enjoy. I would say to keep as many as the things you do enjoy and try to outsource as much as you can of the rest, considering your priorities of course. I do get a babysitter or my mom at least two mornings a week and one night.
I would LOVE to design wallpaper and fabric and get into licensing my art. I’m going to take a class in the fall to learn more about that.
Thanks, Jenny! I’m so excited to see what this next year brings.