Introducing our December Designer of the Month: Jen of Jen Maddocks Designs. Jen joined our team over five years ago and quickly became a crowd favorite. Her art journal style begs us to play with her designs. The eclectic mix of elements, the intriguing blend of 2D & 3D elements, the appeal of mixed media, draws us in. What will we be able to create with the magical bits & pieces in each of her bundles? It is irresistible. It is no wonder Jen is consistently at the top of our must-have new releases.

Sadly, Jen & I are a planet apart. We had to make do with an email question/answer interview. One day, I know I keep promising, but one day I will meet our entire team face-to-face. I would love to meet Jen. Especially after our interview. Read on, I bet you come to love her as much as I do.

Tell us a little more about yourself. Where did you grow up?

I am a 46 years old artist, wife, and mother.  I was born and raised in Maine.  It was a very small town in a rural area.  I spent a lot of time in the woods.  My mother and grandmother are both artists and I very early on followed suit.  I remember drawing all the time when I was a girl.

 How did you meet your husband?

I met my husband when I was 15 years old at summer camp.  We liked each other right away!  We “dated” for a year via writing letters.  We broke up for 2 years and then got back together when I was 18. 

What led you to move halfway across the country to Colorado?

When our girls were really little my husband got a job offer in Colorado and we thought the opportunity was good for our family.  Our girls weren’t in school yet so we headed across the country!

How did you find designing? Art?

I remember loving art from a very young age.  My favorite thing to do was draw and my favorite subject in school was art.  I went to college for art/graphic design but I dropped out.  Years later after we moved to Colorado a friend introduced me to paper scrapbooking.  After getting in to that for a couple of years I discovered digital scrapbooking.  I taught myself Photoshop during this time.  I was frustrated that none of the digital supplies out there reflected my individual style so I decided to throw my hat into the ring of designing. 

Did you always see yourself as an Artist? Did you imagine this would become your career?

I have always seen myself as an artist, yes.  After I dropped out of college I never thought art would be my career as I had hoped for.  It doesn’t look exactly like I thought and the path to get there was very different than I imagined but I have dreamed of doing art all my life.

What tool is unmissable when you are in your creative zone?

Photoshop, Illustrator, Wacom tablet, ACDSee, pens, papers, ink, paint, textiles, photographs, scanned images

What do you struggle with the most when creating a collection?

I don’t really struggle too much with creating a collection.  What I most struggle with is my body not cooperating with how many things I need or want to accomplish.  Migraines, fatigue, and other issues keep me from working as much as I imagine for the things I’d like to accomplish.

What colors speak to you the most?

Lately red and blue but mostly earth tones…things that are reflected in nature.

What collection is you on a plate, as they say in the foodie world?

Me on a plate would be Bricolage Monthly June 2020.

What is your favorite thing to design? Walk us through the process.

My favorite thing to design would be brushes.  I love the grungy look and that comes out quite a bit in the brushes I create.  I like taking images and changing them to black and white then creating a brush with that image.  I usually go beyond that and use masks to show or hide different parts of the image I’m working with.  It’s really fun when I do something I wasn’t planning on…like erasing something…and it ends up being something I really love and ends up in the collection.

What makes a kit complete? When do you say “it’s done”?

I do follow a formula of a certain amount of elements in a kit however some of the pieces end up following more in line with however this kit is feeling for me.  Say I create 3 artsy bits for all kits but sometimes if I’m feeling a particular way I create 2 or maybe 5.  Once start hitting the number of elements I’m shooting for I look thru what I’ve created to see what might be missing or what feels like it should be included in that kit.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I get up early…before the sun.  I get my coffee and head to my office.  I do meditation and reading the Bible.  Then I start my work day.  I usually work 8 hours.  Then in the afternoon I relax with my family.

What do you love about the Studio? Why the Studio?

I mentioned this before but the main reason I love the Studio is the “family first” philosophy.  It’s not just putting your own family first…which is super important…but also that it feels like a family environment at The Studio.  If someone is in need there is usually someone else who steps in to start a fundraiser collab for that person in need.  Toiny is amazing in her understanding of us being people first.  She is very open with her life and it makes her really relatable.  I can be myself at work and when that happens being creative just flows naturally out of me.  And when I can create freely I am so very happy in life.

What hopes do you have for the future?

I’d love to explore more of the textile art world and grow that part of my creative side.

What is your biggest interest outside of scrapbook design?

Family.  Being in nature.  Textile art.

Where is the one place in the world you most want to visit?

I would LOVE to visit Italy someday!!

It turns out, Germany is right next door to Italy. Just maybe, one day, Jen will get to visit Italy & if she doesn’t swing by here… I can join her in Italy. I will never, ever, say no to a good plate of pasta & an amazing glass of red wine.

Jen shared some of her favorite photo’s with me, you can see both her doggo’s and family are her entire world. Me too Jen, me too.

Jen’s store is on sale for 30% Off, including her gorgeous new release Holly Jolly!

A fabulous Christmas collection to help remind you of the magic of Christmas filled with realistic elements, vintage images and other various mixed media to create a Holly Jolly Christmas for your pages and artwork. Great for traditional scrapbooking, artsy pages and art journal!

Jen has a fabulous FREE Holly Jolly Sampler in our store for you. Kick off the holiday season with a smile & a gift for you. Don’t forget to pick up our Daily Advent Gift for you, and come back on the 21st of December for Jen’s very own Advent Gift. Merry Christmas!