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The dreamscapes of Jennifer Davis…

Jennifer Davis found her passion for painting and drawing at the University of Minnesota where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. After graduating and working for a few years, she made the leap transitioning from being an office manager for a couple of agencies to being a full-time artist.

We love Jennifer’s whimsical yet nostalgic style that leaves lots of room for the imagination, so we wanted to get a chance to hear what she had to say about herself. Here’s how our conversation went:

Hi, Jennifer. Could you tell us about yourself without using the word artist, designer or illustrator.
I am a curious, introspective, dedicated dreamer who also enjoys getting loud and silly.

Three adjectives that together make Jennifer Davis.
…creative, excitable, high-strung…

What was your earliest memory of drawing?
I used to draw my toys- Cabbage Patch Kids, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake girls, etc. It is easy to trace my current work back to those strange characters. I’ve been asked to reinterpret one of my childhood artworks for an upcoming show at Subtext Gallery in San Diego. Luckily, my mom has saved some hilarious “early works” and some funny letters.

Your work often features animals and plants in vaguely humanoid situations, why?
I use animals, plants and other random objects as stand-ins for people, most often myself.

Ooh… in that case, could you tell us one of your favorite self-portraits?
Oh that is a tough one! Recently, maybe “Curious.” Also- Last year I made an actual self-portrait for a show in Minneapolis. It was my first real attempt to paint my own likeness and a real challenge for me. I look scary and haggard but I like it.

You’ve lived in Minneapolis for more than 35 years. What it’s like to live there?
Well, I’ve lived in Minnesota for my whole life, various suburbs of Minneapolis. I have lived in the city for 18 years. It is really beautiful here- in the summer!

We have zillions of lakes, bike trails, parks and wonderful arts organizations of all shapes and sizes. The winters are brutal but ideal for hunkering down in the studio for long stretches. It is a great place to make a living as an artist.

Could you tell us a bit about your wallet design for Poketo? What inspired it?
The wallet design is a detail of my painting, “Wish You Were Here.” It is a strange dreamscape full of made up symbols and situations. An invitation to join me in the Twilight Zone.

What would be your dream project?
I love to draw and paint my characters on clothing. I think it would be really fun to collaborate with a seamstress or fashion designer to bring some of my characters to life.

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