Jennifer Darr is an Australian illustrator based in London. Fun and original, many of her ink and watercolour illustrations draw from her experiences working in fashion. She shares her insights on her career, artistic process, and her favourite pieces from the Great Plains AW18 collection.
Jennifer wears Luxe Top £55
How did Jen and Jennifer come to be?
I was born and raised in Australia, I've always been very arty and was painting and drawing from a young age. I went on to study degrees in both graphic design and fashion design, and after university worked as a fashion designer until our move to the UK in 2014. My husband and I spent 4 months travelling Europe during which time I started my Instagram account @jenandjennifer. While working for an online fashion boutique, I started to illustrate bits and pieces for the store. From there I steadily got more and more requests for custom illustrations and the rest is history!
What does a typical working day look like?
One of the things I love most about my "job" is that each day can be very different, although for the most part you can find me sketching away in my home studio with a cup of tea and a good playlist on. Over the years I've discovered I create best in the afternoons, so I like to get all of my invoicing, emails, research or client calls/meetings out of the way in morning.
Most days I set aside time to sketch for myself too, and try to post on social media once a day. I also try and get out of the flat every day, it doesn't always happen, but I find a wander around my neighbourhood with my camera, or a quick trip to the post office or art store can clear my head and spark off inspiration.
Where else do you look for inspiration?
Working from home means I'm online a lot; Pinterest, Instagram and blogs are always a go-to. I also love old movies, photography, magazines and travelling with my husband; even just getting out and about in London - it truly is a magic city and never ceases to inspire me.
Do you have a career highlight?
When I was able to start full time freelancing! Working for myself has afforded me an amazing creative freedom. I'm very lucky to get to do what I love full time.
What's the biggest difference you've found between living and working in London vs Australia?
Work-wise I've found London to be a wonderful melting pot of fellow creatives, I constantly meet people doing interesting things with their lives and there is a lot of opportunity here for artists. Whereas the creative industries can feel quite small in Australia, I feel creativity and unique skills are valued more highly here.
My favourite thing about living in London (how long do you have? I love London!) besides the history and the fact I think every inch is beautiful, is not having to drive a car. A lot of things can be very spread out and hard to reach in Oz but here everything you need is just a stroll or tube ride away. Being on the doorstep to all the travel in Europe certainly helps too!
What's next for 2018?
I've just launched my online store, and have some exciting new product ideas in the works. I'm also focussing on working with more UK based clients and brands.
Lastly, what are your favourite pieces from the Great Plains AW18 collection?
I love the colour palette this season, and as always I'm crazy over stripes! But the frill trousers caught my eye along with the luxe top and luxe jumpsuit.