Your Work is You: Jennifer Orkin Lewis’ journey in painting

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. 

1. Which piece of work is your favourite of all your drawings? Could you share it with us? 

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.

2. Could you explain the message behind your work?
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.
3. Your work is often full of colours, if you can only use one colour tone to draw, which colour tone would it be?
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.
4. 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.
5. 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.

6. Do you eat while drawing? What is your favourite snack?

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.

7. What inspired you to draw in this style? Do you find any artists or accounts that inspired you? 

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.

8. Can you share a special meal you’ve had recently?
My brother is a chef, IvanRamen ( 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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