Art, Fashion, Featured

Ignite Your Spark: Interview with Jennifer Darr of Jen and Jennifer

February 17, 2017
Inner Circle Magazine

Illustrator Jennifer Darr, worked within the Australian fashion industry for over ten years before a stint in London. Jen has recently settled into Melbourne and is the illustrator behind Jen and Jennifer. We sat down with Jen to find out more.

Inner Circle: How did you start as a artist? What mediums do you like to work with?

Jennifer Darr: Growing up I’d always been creative; I was that kid in the corner drawing. After school I went on to study degrees in Fashion Design and then Graphic Design. I was working as a Fashion Designer in Brisbane before we moved to London a few years ago and I decided I needed a break from the industry. Jen and JenniferThat was the point where I started doing freelance illustration and I haven’t looked back.

My main body of work is pen and ink fashion illustrations, but I’m working with a lot with watercolour at the moment which is actually quite new to me! Its a medium that almost has a mind of its own and I love not knowing quite how something will turn out

IC: Tell us a little bit about Jen and Jennifer?

JD: Born out of starting again in a new country and wanting to escape the “9-5 rut”, Jen and Jennifer was the first time I was putting all of my self into something. The creative side and the serious side (the “Jen” and the “Jennifer”)

I do a range of creative work, focusing mainly on Fashion illustration and content creation. My clients vary all the time, from large companies to small brands or personal commissions and blogger portraits

IC: Talk us through a normal day at Jen and Jennifer HQ

JD: I’m terrible at routine and schedules make me cringe so every day looks different for me. In the morning I commute through the lounge room to my home studio- often still in my pyjamas- unless I have early client meetings. I tend to get any emails and admin done early so I can block out a few hours for drawing and painting undisturbed. In between talking to clients & sketching, I shoot snaps for my social media and often take a walk around the neighbourhood or head to the gym to clear my mind and recharge my creative batteries.

IC: What brand/ person would you most like to collaborate with?

Jen and JenniferJD: I’ve just started a “client bucket list” this year and it’s getting longer each day! But I’d really love to work with a couture house like Chanel or Dior. Closer to home it would be lovely to collaborate with some big Australian names like Myer, Zimmermann or Harpers Bazaar as I grew up being so inspired by them.

IC: What advice do you have for anyone looking to get into the field?

JD: Try to walk your own path and stop comparing yourself to everyone else. Draw every single day and find the mediums and subjects that ignite your spark. Learn persistence and patience.

IC: You were born in Brisbane, worked in London and settle in Melbourne. Why Melbourne?

JD: My husband and I returned from London last year and immediately craved a new adventure, we had seen so much of Europe that we wanted to check out a bit of our own backyard. So we created a shortlist of the main cities and Melbourne came out on top.

This was mainly due to lifestyle and the range of things on offer here as well as the art scene (and food scene), and we wanted to keep up our city lifestyle that we’d fallen in love with while living overseas.

IC: Finally- What’s your favourite thing about Melbourne’s inner north?

JD: I’m a big fan of how laid back and welcoming everyone is on this side of town. It’s a real melting pot with great food, beautiful hidden gems of architecture and green spaces. We’ve landed in such a great spot for easy transport links to the city and everything we need is almost always a short walk away

You can check out Jen’s website here; with her online store launching soon. Our pick- the Gucci leather jacket.

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