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?

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.

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 (https://www.ivanramen.com/) and on New Years he made a traditional New Years feast. It was so good and so much fun.

 


To find out more about Jennifer, go visit: 
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