Meet the Business Owner introduces Jenna Scottow to you this week. Jenna is a graphic designer and illustrator.
Jenna is a stay at home mummy to her son, Eric, who's two years old and soon to be new mum in July. Before having Eric, Jenna had a career in print and digital media as a graphic designer; working for many different news and media outlets across the country. Jenna got to design many things, from small in-paper advertisements to huge campaigns across all sectors.
“I loved my job, but it did lack the opportunity to create hand drawn pieces, as it was mainly computer based and very fast paced.”
After maternity leave Jenna didn't return to her position, because it was based in Manchester and she's not; as her son grew older Jenna really started to miss designing and being creative; she kept thinking she should be working, but she just didn't want to leave Eric, plus the fact that childcare is so expensive deterred her.
A friend suggested that Jenna should start illustrating people and then sell them. She'd seen Jenna’s paintings and drawings and said she'd love one, herself. Jenna sat down and started doodling characters and made a portrait of her best friend and her family. Jenna then created a page on FB and Etsy and posted that picture and people started messaging her asking how they could get their own illustration commissioned. “After a few drawings for friends, I received interest from friends of friends and then from total strangers. Within weeks my business was booming!! I was getting so much interest I am usually creating at least one or more commissions a day!” And the interest in Jenna's work has continued, as has the scope and range of her creative work.
How it Works
After a customer messages me, I ask them how many characters they would like, this then defines the size of paper I will need to work on. I do A4 and A3 sizes and will include pets or special objects, like favourite toys or a bike etc. I use photos to design each character and these can be everyone together or each on separate photographs. We discuss any defining attributes they'd like and the wording and then I sketch it up before penning the design in black and grey ink.
I've had great feedback from my customers so far. Some have even purchased several drawings to give as gifts for Christmas (some got too excited and gave them early!) or birthdays after receiving their first illustration. One woman bought four!
"I've been totally overwhelmed with the interest and I'm so grateful for the support and excited to keep my business growing. It feels great to be designing and the best thing about all of this is that I'm finally getting to create unique one-off artwork by hand again. Not only that, but I'm lucky enough to stay at home with my little boy every day and not miss a thing."
Jenna also has a number of other ranges, from portraits to beautiful illustrations for nurseries and children's rooms to Christmas decorations, cards etc.
Jenna will be taking a couple of months off work when the new baby arrives, her last commission date is 30th June 2020. So if you want a commission, get in there quick.
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