Jen Hewett is a printmaker, surface designer, textile artist and teacher. A lifelong Californian, Jen combines her love of loud prints and saturated colors with the textures and light of the landscapes she grew up with to create printed textiles that are both highly tactile and visually layered.
When she’s not creating in her tiny (54 square feet!) San Francisco studio or teaching her popular block printing on fabric classes, she can be found cycling around San Francisco on her pink bike, chatting with her neighbors at the local wine bar, walking her tiny rescue dog Gus, gossiping with her friends, redecorating her apartment or noodling on her couch. And she is going to be one of our featured speakers at Midwest Craft Con 2017.
How would you describe your work to someone who isn’t familiar with it?
I create hand-printed textiles and textile art that are both highly tactile and visually layered.
What inspires you?
Aside from six months in Paris when I was in college, I’ve lived in California my entire life, and this place has been my biggest influence. It’s a state of great contrasts — a dry, desert landscape next to the ocean, suburban sprawl two hours away from pristine national parks, industrialized farms nestled among mountain preserves.
What one thing in your life could you absolutely get rid of?
The impulse to constantly check social media.
What is your favorite thing about the Midwest?
I don’t have one yet — the Midwest is the one part of the country I’ve never been to!
What are your pro tips for people going to a creative conference?
Know what you want to get out of the conference, but also go with an open mind.
What would you be if you weren’t an artist?
Miserable. (Or, maybe, a landscape architect.)
What will you talk about in your keynote?
Making mistakes, feeling like an outsider, being an artist on your own terms.
What three things would you recommend to fellow makers?
- Reading the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown, especially if you constantly feel overworked.
- Keeping a notebook with you at all times.
- Going for long walks as often as possible.
You can meet Jen and many other creative entrepreneurs at Midwest Craft Con in February 2017 — tickets are on sale now!