Posts

ART during the time of COVID

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Hello friends! Well, it is a strange time to be an artist. Frankly, it’s a strange time to be alive. Who knew when our kids were sent home from school in March, and we all hunkered down in our homes, this adventure would last this long. So here we are... I will be honest, I have been fortunate during this time. This lockdown has presented its challenges and it hasn't been easy for anyone. But as Helen Keller would say, "If you keep your face towards the sunshine you cannot see the shadow."  I'd love to share with you the work I've been able to do during this unprecedented time.  Work with Aurora Public Art COVID-19 PSA Signage Design My first opportunity came when I submitted a design for Aurora Public Art’s PSA Covid-19 Awareness Signs designed to bring encouragement to the community. I was so excited to get a chance to be involved with a local project here in Aurora. During the spring and summer you could see the 13 designs that were selected on election-size bo

New Beginnings

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It's hard to believe that 2018 has already whizzed by and here we are in 2019! The rest of the year was a whirlwind of change, challenges, and fun in our house. Alley Art Festival - Aurora, IL I decided to get out of the studio and into the public by trying my first series of artisan markets and events. I really enjoyed chatting with customers about my work and getting feedback. It was fascinating to see what people were drawn to and what they wanted to see. I don’t think I could have gotten such great insight to my clients in any other way. Heritage Prairie Farm Artisan Craft and Food Fair - Elburn, IL  During the summer, I participated in the Batavia Artisan Collective and The Alley Art Festival . Being in an outdoor venue is not without its challenges (wind, rain, extreme heat!) but each show my booth grew and changed. I loved figuring out the best way to feature my work. These shows were so much fun I continued throughout the fall and winter, partaking in

Moving on...

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Hello Friends! Last time I wrote it was a very difficult time. Thanks to everyone who contacted me and showed me so much support after losing my muse and best furry friend. We still miss her but as the expression goes "life goes on"... and so it does. Things have been quite busy over this last year. Since starting the role as Art Director at Fox River Academy of Music and Art last summer, I have done a real push in marketing and we have seen quite an increase in participation! I'm so proud to be a part of a facility that brings unique art education to kids and adults in the area. This past year my Manga and Comic workshops have been very popular as well as traditional drawing. All of the instructors have been doing great.  We have some really fun and exciting summer camps to offer this year as well! If you are interested please check out the upcoming schedule: Summer Camps and Workshops . Clever Student Sketchbook Covers I'm also happy to report that our sket

Goodbye Sweet Muse...

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My apologies... I seem to have let my blog slip by during the spring and summer months. It's been a very busy season including teaching many art workshops, summer camps, and being promoted to the Art Director at Fox River Academy. As far as my work is going I have been full steam ahead. "Tennis Ball!",  Mixed Media, 2006 However the month of July took my breath away. My beautiful, sweet, smart, and loyal muse, Mattie the Border Collie, crossed over the rainbow bridge after giving me 13 years of joy (I had adopted her when she was only one year old).  Many of you knew her personally and others of you felt like you knew her from my work. Starting with my first Spring Show at the Academy of Art to being the main character in my thesis, Mattie was not only a fixture in my life but the inspiration for countless works of art. There is really something special about drawing someone you love.  It is a way to get to know them in a whole different way. I have put together a

Goodbye 2016... Looking toward the future...

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Well, 2016 was quite a year for the record books on many levels.  For myself personally, it was a year of growth, change, and positive creative endeavors. (Oh yeah, and the CHICAGO CUBS WORLD SERIES WIN! You have got to give this girl from Chicago her silver lining...) I was so thrilled to have officially launched my nursery art line, Keller Kiddo Designs , both on my website and later on ETSY .  It took a long time of germinating and experimenting but once I made the decision it has been smooth sailing ever since. I find the ideas come easily and I have such a backlog of sketches that it is hard to keep up!   Most recently I launched two new pieces right before the year ended both featuring mama/papa animals with their babies.   Mama/Papa Wolf with Pup   First I have an adorable wolf with a pup.  Wolf conservation is a passion of mine, and I thought what better way to convey the family culture of these misunderstood creatures to future generations than makin

Getting Out There

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This past few months have been pretty busy, between my workshops, creating new work, and some personal fun (Go Cubs!)... It's been a busy fall! A few weeks ago I was lucky to participate in my first Artisan and Craft Show.  It was so much fun and I got to meet quite a few great local artists...including another mom from my daughter's preschool.  I received some wonderful feedback on my work and some lucky folks walked home with some Jen Keller Art Cards and Keller Kiddo Designs Prints . I need to give a special shout out to the Coordinators at the Trees and Treasures Craft Show at the Wesley UMC here in Aurora for running everything so smoothly and even providing childcare for my little one. It was really a fun day and I hope to participate in more shows in the future.  I also have a few fun new pieces in progress right now and I hope to launch them before the holidays. Here's a sneak preview --  Follow JenKellerArt on Instagram to see more pre

Fall Back into ART!

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Wow! Summer seemed to just fly by. With my daughter home from school we had a great time playing, traveling, and relaxing.  I'm so excited for the fall, however, and all of the new things that are happening... Labor Day weekend I kicked off a series of Illustration workshops being offered at The Fox River Academy of Music and Art.  We started with a basic Character Design workshop where the students learned how to create a character using basic visual storytelling techniques.  Since it was the first workshop I allowed the kids to work in any style they were comfortable with and let them design any character they wanted.  We ended up with some tough Manga/Anime girls and a nomadic canine. These kids did great! In future workshops we will focus on many different genres in the Character Design world, as well as doing some Creature Design, Children's Book Illustration, and Decorative/Greeting Card Artwork. Check out this great list of workshops in The Academy's most recen