Your Work is You: Jennifer Orkin Lewis’ journey in painting
Have you ever wondered what illustrators eat while they draw or what kind of a food person they are? This month, talented illustrators will reveal their interesting eating habits and food choices. Let’s take a look!
As the saying goes, “Your work is a reflection of who you are”, the work of Jennifer Orkin Lewis has truly reflected her peaceful, positive state of mind and healthy lifestyle. The New York-based artist has been sketching daily sketchbook paintings for over 7 years now, and all that perseverance has set her on the path to success.
AWW: Which piece of work is your favourite of all your drawings? Could you share it with us?
Jennifer Orkin Lewis: That is such a hard choice to make. At this moment I will choose Dark Jungle. It is a painting I did while on a retreat in Tulum Mexico. The retreat was about personal growth and digging deep into where I want to be going forward. I did it while we were in an intimate group under the trees in the beautiful magical venue. It was later picked up by MOO to use as a journal cover and then was accepted into a show at the Society of Illustrators. That meant so much to me.
AWW: Could you explain the message behind your work?
Jennifer: My paintings are an intuitive reimagining of my surroundings that can transport to a magical, peaceful and different place. They are a time capsule that capture the essence of my day and my state of mind. I hope they bring a smile to you.
AWW: Your work is often full of colours, if you can only use one colour tone to draw, which colour tone would it be?
Jennifer: That is a hard question, I love so many colours but I think as I write this I would navigate to lots of variations of green.
AWW: Are you a “breakfast person”? What is your on-the-go breakfast for a busy day?
Jennifer: I eat a light breakfast, usually berries, plain yogurt with some chia and sunflower seeds or a bowl of oatmeal with berries. And always green tea and water.
AWW: Could you describe the routine of your typical working day? Maybe list out what you would do during the day.
Jennifer: My art business is full time so I am working all day. I am sure to make time each day to do some personal work to keep me fresh and excited.
I wake up at 6:30 and have a cup of hot green tea.
Lately I have been taking an hour walk every morning as soon as it gets light out. It is very rejuvenating and it sets the tone of the day early on.
After a little breakfast, more tea and the news (as much as I can handle) I head to the studio.
I usually look through my to do list and prioritise what needs to get done.
I work on my current commissions and my personal paintings.
I leave aside some time each day for the business side of things, Its the least interesting to me so I have to force myself to get that done.
A few times a week I take a yoga class and I also will take a big midday walk as well.
I’m finished for the day between 5 and 7:00. I really can’t work well at night.
AWW: Do you eat while drawing? What is your favourite snack?
Jennifer: I try not to eat anything while I’m working but I drink green tea and herbal tea all day. I’d honestly love to eat ice cream as a snack but I don’t! I usually stick to a handful of almonds or maybe a piece of fruit.
AWW: What inspired you to draw in this style? Do you find any artists or accounts that inspired you?
Jennifer: This is the style that comes naturally from me. But it did take a long time to get here. Over 7 years ago I started painting 30 minutes a day in my sketchbook. That commitment to creating was what helped me become very proficient and confident in my painting. I do try to vary my art though, leaving a path for experimentation and exploration. It's important to me to grow with my work and discover new directions.
AWW: Can you share a special meal you’ve had recently?
Jennifer: My brother is a chef, IvanRamen (www.
To find out more about Jennifer Orkin Lewis please visit the artist's IG account | @augustwren