Artist Jennifer Smith presents delightfully colorful whimsical art which she sells as a variety of products under her Visual Lifesavers brand.
ABI: What is the inspiration and concept behind the art you create?
JS: My creative process often starts with an inner need to paint a specific subject. I gather reference photos from various sources and compile them together to create my image, using my own bright colors but also using the proportions of the animal or object.
Other times I cover the canvas with paint of all colors and blend them together. Then I look at the painting from a few feet away, as if it were a Rorschach test, looking for images in the swirling, bright colors, searching for what the painting wants to be. Sometimes it wants to be an animal, sometimes a forest. I truly enjoy the spontaneity of painting in this manner and that it brings me to a place of calm relaxation, happiness and a feeling of being connected to higher forces. This connection helps me to notice and imagine different types of imagery, creating happy, lovely paintings full of warmth and hope and healing.
I have worked to create my own painting style; something different that expresses me as an individual that I hope connects to others in an intriguing and whimsical way. I am very drawn to warm, inviting colors and swirling compositions. It is my hope that my artwork gives viewers a feeling that anything is possible, hope is here and your life is what you make it.
ABI: What types of products do you offer using your art images?
JS: Visual Lifesavers Art has a diversified art product line. Art can and should be enjoyed by everyone, however, not everyone can afford an original oil painting. Having various price points allows people to take home the item that fits into their budget.
My work has been made into prints, greeting cards, calendars, pendants, magnets and other useful and fun items. The smaller price point also allows spontaneous buying and gifting to themselves and others that would not always be able to happen.
ABI: Tell us about your teaching experience and your future plans.
JS: I was encouraged, from a young age by my family, to draw and create. As a result, art, self-expression and creation have always been a part of my life. Showing and encouraging others to express themselves and learn to create their own ideas has also been a part of my life for the last fifteen years as a Middle School Art Teacher.
I have branched out in the last eighteen months to teach adults painting through community education classes and through Vino and Van Gogh, the paint night portion of my business. Vino and Van Gogh incorporates a relaxing evening with wine and friends while learning to paint one of my simpler original paintings in acrylic.
I plan to continue growing Visual Lifesavers Art through future endeavors that include a shop that involves a studio, classroom space, and gallery. I will also continue to paint original oil paintings that are whimsical, fun and spiritual. It is my hope that my work helps people to feel connected, happy and hopeful and that my artistic reach continues to grow and have a positive effect on the people who view it.