After 15 years working in graphic design artist Jen Sievers has returned to her true love of painting. She paints obsessively in her home studio in the foothills of the Waitakeres and recently took some time out to answer some of our questions and shared these beautiful images of her working in her studio.
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What do you do?
I paint joy. Well, I paint things that I hope bring people as much joy as possible. I aim to lift people’s spirits and make them feel good. Sometimes that comes out as portraits on Perspex, sometimes its tiny minimal abstracts on paper or silk scarves, sometimes I splash a lot of paint on a huge canvas. My work is varied but it all comes from the same joyful place. I also blog on joy https://www.jensievers.com/on-joy/ and am really interested in passing methods, such as mindfulness, onto as many people as possible. I’ve even written a (yet to be published) storybook about mindfulness for children.
I also have a day job – marketing for an incredible Early Childhood Education company, and an educational toys company – which brings me heaps of joy in my day job! AND I’m a mum, the greatest joy of all.
What did you have for breakfast?
The same thing I have pretty much every morning – a bowl of oats with a little bit of homemade fig jam and cinnamon. On Friday mornings it’s homemade banana pancakes with my daughter.
What’s currently on your walls at home?
I’m starting to build a small collection of art. I currently have a beautiful Hannah Jensen laser engraving over my bed, a small Fleur Woods and a gorgeous little abstract landscape by Selena Kitchen. I also have two Pete Cromer resin budgies (my newest addition to the collection – I try to get art each Christmas). I have a huge aerial photo of the sea, one of my 4-year-old daughter’s paintings, a print of a Gordon Walters and a few of my own unsold works. I’m dying to get a wall hanging from Indi & Wild to go in my guest bedroom!
If you weren’t making art/doing what you do what would you be doing?
I would have to make something. And It would have to have paint involved. There have been times when I’ve stopped for a few years and it’s felt wrong – I’ve always ended up finding reasons to put paint onto something – for a while I upcycled old furniture with colourful chalk paint, I also hand painted a lot of the decorations for my wedding. I’ve obviously got paintings in my hands that need to come out!
I obsessively listen to podcasts, usually about joy, understanding humanity, or the nature of being. I’m on a real seeking path at the moment – which probably reflects in my art too, because I’m trying a lot of new things and constantly trying to evolve. I’m also recently back into being obsessed with yoga and my crystals – yup, becoming a fully-fledged hippy and loving it.
Career highlight so far?
It has to be my solo show at Endemicworld last year. It was such an incredible buzz to see 4 months worth of intense work all in one room – and see people reacting to it!
Dream project or collab or both?
Funny you should ask because I’m busy working on my dream collab right now! It’s not public yet, but it’s a collab with one of my absolute favourite homewares brands. Still absolutely pinching myself that it’s happening.
Plans for the future?
My main aim at the moment is to create work that feels authentic and feeds my soul – and the soul of the people who see it. I think if I get that right, the rest will come.
Build your dream concert, 3 acts you wanna see live. Living or dead.
Bon Iver, The National and Shovels and Rope. Probably in that order – start off quiet and end up on the dancefloor. Also, I would like it to be at Bethells Beach – they have small outdoor gigs there on Friday nights and they’re the absolute best.