I have been excited and inspired by art for as long as I can remember, I was always interested in colouring in, painting, playdough, paper making, pressing flowers, collecting shells and always had treasured collections of badges, stickers, scraps of paper, fabric and figurines. I have many memories painting with my little brother and seeing the joy in his face.
This, combined with a complete obsession with street art and character design, has led to my artist style— vibrant colour, frantic sketches, quirky characters that jump off the page, and most recently, digitally designed graphics.
Excelling in Visual Arts in high school, yet not having the confidence to pursue it further, I undertook a Diploma of Hospitality Management. I had a successful career in the hospitality industry, yet the passion to create was always bubbling away just below the surface.
The fateful meeting with my now bestie Sandra Mason, at that very course sparked a true friendship. What began with elaborate, hand-made birthday gifts for each other spurred on a mutual love of art and we began creating together. In the years that followed, sadly Sandra moved to Melbourne but our friendship remained and grew into an artist partnership, IMOK was born in 2004.
Our collective journey saw IMOK transform our designs into diverse art forms, including a highly original range of clothing, canvases, prints and IMOK Lettering.
Living in two different states has been one of many challenges and IMOK slowed down in 2011 to allow Sandra and I to focus on other projects.
That very year in January 2011, I took over a small business established by Kirsty Shadiac in Sydney’s Paddington and realised a dream of teaching and sharing my love of art with children.
I have always had a great rapport with children and had done many art activities with my own nieces and nephews over the years and had been approached to teach through IMOK. So when the opportunity came up to start teaching on a permanent basis I was so excited and just knew that I was destined to do this. My concept is encouraging children to be creative as it helps them to relax and enhances their confidence.
I have continued to run exciting classes, workshops, events and birthday parties in Paddington under the name “Jen’s Kids Art”.
As the classes have grown, so too has the overall vision of inspiring more and more children, employing more creatives and branching out into different parts of Sydney, and so, Creative Kids Co was born.
I am also lucky enough to be the mumma of 2 gorgeous girls Amelie and Ivy, they have kept me on my toes and most definitely made my journey as a business owner much more of a juggle. Amelie is now 4, and lucky for me shares my love of creating, making it even more special.
I would love to hear your story as a business owner, as a mum or a creative wanting to branch out.