Meet the Maker | Jen Hudson
At P+P, supporting talented creatives is a huge passion of ours. A few months ago, Jen and I decided that sharing the stories of our suppliers was not only a way of getting their names out there, but also an opportunity to inspire other future entrepreneurs to have some faith in themselves to pursue their career and lifestyle goals.
So, as our Meet the Maker blog series comes to an end, it is only fitting that we feature my ridiculously talented business partner, Jennifer Hudson. The last 12 months have been a transitional period for Jen to say the least, from building a small business, launching an online store, and more recently departing from her full time role as an interior designer to fulfil her dreams of being an artist. From even a quick glance at her work, I'm sure you will agree that this was a very good call, considering the massive amount of natural talent that's in play here ! I can't wait to see what 2017 brings for this inspiring up and coming local talent !
Tell us about yourself and how you came to be a maker / owner of your creative business. What inspired you to be where you are now?I've wanted to be an artist for as long as I can remember. But somewhere along the way I became distracted, or afraid probably, and followed many other paths. The longest was that of being an Interior Designer, where I met my Peddle + Potter co-founder, the beautiful Sally Bostock. My experience as a designer was amazing but the urge to paint was always there. So, this year I finally took the plunge, as well as a pretty big leap of faith, and left my profession to go to art school. Now I'm painting daily and have more time to pursue my other creative endeavours, like the beloved P+P!
How long have you been working in this role and what do you love about it?I started my Fine Art degree at the beginning of last year, while also working 4 days a week at HASSELL and starting up P+P. But, I found that I wasn't able to fully immerse myself in my painting while still working as a professional. So at the beginning of 2017 I began focussing more on the painting. I love my new routine. Every day is different and quite relaxed which is great for getting the creative juices flowing.
Jen in her studio in Hamilton, Brisbane with the Monstera oil painting (work in progress), prints available soon online at Peddle + Potter
Tell us about your daily routine i.e. where is your business based, do you work within a team or individually, within an office or studio space?
My routine varies a lot depending on the day. Generally I will get up early and take my little dog for a walk or go to yoga or for a run. When I come home I'll shower, make myself a coffee and go into my art studio to reflect on what I've been working on. I have uni 2 days per week and on those days I'll paint either before or after class, or both.
Since stopping full time work I've had to fill the financial gap, so have taken on a few casual jobs to keep myself going. I tutor Interior Design at the Queensland University of Technology for a few hours a week, which is a great way to stay connected to the Industry and I find teaching quite satisfying. I also work a couple days a week at a designer furniture showroom, which is fun and the most consistent part of my week. I do some private design work as well as working on Peddle + Potter whenever I have a moment, usually in the evenings. I fill all the gaps with painting and I find that this new flexible routine is very supportive of creativity.
I'm based in Brisbane and work at home by myself when I'm painting, usually with my little dog Fuji sitting on my lap keeping me company.
Banksia Pod - Finished painting - watercolour on Arches paper - prints available online at Peddle + Potter
What is the inspiration for your product range and what would be your favourite item in the collection?
I feel very connected to nature and have a passion for plants and the environment, so this subject matter has always interested me. I'm constantly inspired by interesting natural objects that have a kind of imperfect perfection about them. The awesome shapes and forms and colours that have evolved over time to perform a specific function for a plant or animal is so incredible and something to be treasured and admired. I like to draw attention to the amazing qualities of these natural objects by painting them at an oversized scale and with intensified colour. I use a lot of detail and the process of doing this is kind of like my ode to the object, as if to say "You deserve all of my attention, because you're amazing!'. That makes me sound like a crazy lady. But its true.
My favourite painting so far is my Banksia painting. Banksia pods have so much character and personality and are so uniquely Australian. There's a bit of nostalgia there too I think, harking back to playing outside as a kid. I've also recently completed an oil painting of some of my indoor pot plants (Monstera Deliciosa & Monstera Obliqua) and I'm quite happy with it too. I've only just started using oils, as have only really used ink and watercolour previously, but I think its the beginning of a long and happy relationship.
Gum-nuts watercolour on Arches paper - prints available at P+P
At P+P we feel very passionate about supporting other local designers and makers in all aspects of their business. What is one piece of advice you would give other creatives when considering their own start up?
Do what makes you happy and be kind to yourself. I spent a long time putting a lot of pressure on myself and living with a lot of daily stress. Its just not worth it and isn't helpful, especially if you're trying to be creative.
What was the biggest challenge that you came across when starting your creative business and how did you overcome this hurdle?
Well if we're talking about Peddle + Potter, the biggest challenge was definitely the business plan! Sally and I spent a very long time labouring over this document, but it was definitely worth it in the end. We overcame the hurdle with lots of red wine, take-away food and each other's company.Regarding my art, I'd say the biggest challenge was taking the first step and choosing to leave my profession. I left before I found any other work so I really did take a leap of faith, but deep down I knew that I'd be ok. I had some savings as a little safety net, which I haven't needed, but it was comforting knowing that it was there in case the situation became desperate.
There are so many beautiful Australian made products being released at the moment. Are there any particular designers, product collections or bloggers that you love and why?
All of our amazing suppliers for Peddle + Potter of course!!
What exciting things are you working on at the moment and what are your aspirations for 2017?
I'm working on a landscape painting of Mount Ossa in Tasmania right now, from a photo that I took when hiking the Overland Trek a few years ago. I'm trying to mix up my style a little bit by using looser brushwork and going a little more abstract. We shall see how it goes!