Tuesday, July 12

New Projects on my new blog!

Just a reminder that I've integrated my blog with my new website and it can be found here:


I've had a pretty busy start to the summer with loads of fun new projects, so fell a bit behind on my blogging. But I've just posted some updates, so please be sure to stop by and check it out! Feel free, too, to share your thoughts about my new site!


Tuesday, May 24

New website, blog, and social media pages!

I've finally launched my new website! It's got a whole new look, includes tons of new illustration, fine art & design work—and the new format will be much easier for me to make regular updates. Plus, I've integrated my blog with the new site so you can find everything here: 

Please be sure to bookmark and subscribe to my feed there to continue to get updates on my blog. I'll no longer be posting to this blogspot page.

I'm hoping to tweak a few things about my new site design over the next few months—but do take a look and feel free to let me know your thoughts!

Also, I've recently (or more like finally!)  joined the social media world! :)
I've launched a Facebook page for my illustration work, and you can follow me on Twitter too, @jeaninehender.

In the meantime, I've just gotten 2 big, super exciting jobs that I'm diving into! I'm illustrating covers for a 3-book series for Penguin, and also hand-drawing type & designing an awesome lead title for Sourcebooks. So, I may be a bit sporadic with updates over the next few busy weeks, but can't wait until I'm able to share more details about these projects!

Thursday, May 19

Licensing workshop and Surtex/Stationary Show

Last weekend I took Cheryl Phelps' art licensing workshop in NYC. Cheryl is pretty much a guru in the world of licensing and greeting cards—and I had always heard that she was an incredible speaker. I'm so happy I took it; She shared an insane amount of helpful information about getting started in the industry and marketing your work for product/packaging usage, and I left feeling super inspired.

In the last few years—as I've listened to feedback on my work from art directors—I've begun to realize the potential life my style could have in the licensing world, but was kind of overwhelmed at the sheer idea of getting into it. Seems so vast and foreign—I didn't know where to even begin to look for more information about how to get started. So, this was a perfect intro for me. She shared info, tips, and even contacts—and all in such a clear, non-intimidating way. I definitely have some ideas now about how to gear my work toward this, and who I want to work with in this market.

The workshop also coincided with the Surtex and National Stationary Shows in NYC. I'd always heard that these are the shows to be in as a licensing artist, but I never actually fully understood how it all worked or what it was all about. So, the day after the workshop I stopped by the Javitz Center to check it out, and now really have a much fuller sense of the industry as a whole. I definitely would like to make a real plan to begin to persue the field over the course of the next year—and see if I can add licensing/product illustration & greeting cards/stationary to my resume in the near future!

Sunday, April 24

The Juggler, Take 2

Here's the digital version:

I've  tried to compliment the colors and textures I used in my previous Acrobat and Fire Eater pieces. I've gotten a nice response to this series, and plan to use it in self-promotion as well as creating a set of notecards that I could sell on Etsy. I may even add a 4th image to complete the set...Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 20

The Juggler

I was recently invite to contribute a piece of art for PS 39's upcoming 2nd Annual Spring Carnival. PS 39 is a small, public elementary school in Park Slope Brooklyn facing substantial budget cuts, which will result in the loss of their arts & music and physical educational programs. All money raised at the event—and from the silent auction of all art donated—will go towards sustaining these programs.  

Not only was this another great opportunity to contribute to a really good cause—but also super fun, as it was a totally open call to interpretation of a "circus" or "carnival" theme. (Any of you following me know this is one of my favorite subjects! :)  The only guidelines were to create the art on a provided piece of 16" x 16"- 1/4" plywood. I've always wanted to experiment with wood surfaces, and tried to experiment also a bit with mediums; I mixed acrylic washes and pen & ink and gold leaf accents, and worked in a fairly quick manner.  

I'm going to translate the drawing as a digital personal piece as well, to become a companion to the Acrobat and Fire Eater that I've recently added to my portfolio.

Tuesday, April 12

Illustrations for feature article in Cleveland Magazine

I recently had a super fun opportunity to illustrate a feature article for Cleveland Magazine. The April issue highlights the favorite hangouts of 5 local Cleveland celebrities. Everything from the hottest nightclubs, to the trendiest shops, to the city's best eats are included in "The City List". So it was also a unique opportunity for me to get the inside scoop on this cool town!

The art director, Kristen Miller, was really great to work with and had a very cool vision for the format. They photoshot each celebrity, and I created "mind maps" of all the attractions mentioned in the article. These "mind maps" were made up of icons representing the attractions and hand-lettered quotes offering up fun tidbits about what these celebrities love most about their city. So, I got to really dive into researching—which is always a part of the process I love—and was able to use a combination of drawing, lettering, and design to make these images work together, while also integrating with the photographs, to create an informative visual for the article. 

I had a lot of creative freedom with this, which always makes a project extra fun. And with 5 full-page spreads to fill, I got to draw so many different, cool things! Plus, really feel like I got to know Cleveland on a personal level—now I might just have to plan a visit! :)

You can also check out the full article & spreads in the online magazine.

Thursday, March 31

Art Love Japan

The recent disasters in Japan have touched all of us; As humans we can only feel an overwhelming feeling of sympathy and heartbreak for all the people who have lost loved ones, homes, livelihoods...everything they had and knew. Yet, as a single being on the other side of the world there's also a sense of helplessness about what we can really do to make a difference. But, I think every little bit counts, and I've been inspired by some friends who have responded by using their talents to create art for sale and offering up the proceeds to relief efforts.

Manjari Sharma—a dear friend and amazing photographer—just created a gorgeous limited edition print entitiled "Hope" that was sold through Wall Space Gallery and benefited 2 charities aiding the Japanese in need.  Tara Jacoby—a friend and super talented emerging illustrator—created a really beautiful piece that she's selling prints of and donating all proceeds to the Red Cross. So, when I saw the call for entries for Art Love Japan, I was super excited to have my own chance to create something for the cause.

Art Love Japan is a charity art show/event at In Rivers Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. Anyone can participate by sending in a small 5"x8" work of art inspired by the theme of love, hope and happiness. All original works will be sold for $20 and buyers will have the choice of 3 charities to donate the proceeds to. 

The exhibit opens Friday April 8 and will only show for 3 days at In Rivers Art Gallery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Full details about the project and exhibit can be found on the website or facebook page.

Every April, my street becomes a beautiful promenade of pink petals and the air becomes filled with a sweet, delicious smell as the Japanese cherry trees lining the perimeter of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden begin to blossom. I love this time and these trees, and so I felt inspired to use such a beautiful cultural symbol to convey my sense of love and hope for Japan in my piece. As I was researching, I learned exactly what the cherry blossoms symbolize to the Japanese people: The fragility and ephemeral nature of life. That fragility has been exemplified in Japan more than ever over this last month—so it seemed the perfect subject matter to base an image off of. Here's the piece I created and am donating to the exhibit:

I really enjoyed creating this. There wasn't much time from the call for submissions to deadline for this project, so I tried to keep it simple and experimented a bit with style and medium. I found a cool paper laying around my studio—almost like an oak tag stock—and used ink and water color & liquid acrylic washes to just add minimal color. It was a fun, fresh way for me to work a bit differently from both my heavily textured paintings and my flat, digital art.

I'll be at the exhibit next Friday—if you are in the NYC area come check it out, buy some affordable art—and support a great cause!

Monday, March 28


I just sent off my submission for the Photomobile—it's Art House Co-op's current project, where participants choose a theme, receive a disposable camera, interpret their theme in the 27-exposures on the camera, and send in the outcome. Similar to the Sketchbook Project, the Co-op will curate a traveling exhibit out of all photos they receive and take the show across the country—but this time, they'll be traveling in an airstream trailer that the library of images is housed in!

This project just sounded way too cool to pass up, and the timing was just perfect—I signed up and received my camera right before my trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras—and one of the themes is "Neighborhood Characters"—what could be more fitting!

I had a lot of fun capturing colorful images of interesting people down there to tell my story and submit to the project. Here's a few of my favorite shots:

I especially love the last shot; I love the white and black—even in the background awnings and windows—and the quietness of the street behind the couple. Almost feels like a small town in France or something...which is actually a quality that many places in the French Quarter have.

I have to admit, there was an interesting challenge to this project that hadn't really occurred to me until I got the pictures developed. We've become completely accustomed to digital photography—you can instantly zoom, crop, and view your shots unlike on these disposable 35mm point-and-shoots. We've also become used to looking at photos on screen, rather than getting the dingy drug-store developed prints of the past. So I felt much less in control with these, which I think is a big part of the point of this project. But, as fun it was to be surprised by what came out on my camera, there were a lot of shots that just didn't feel dynamic enough to include in my submission. But, I've still submitted most of the pics and will have to wait and see what they choose to include in the exhibit!

There's still time to sign up if you're interested—anyone can participate. Registration is open until March 31st, and you don't need to postmark your entry until June 15. The touring exhibit will kick off in Brooklyn in Fall 2011—you can find out all the details on Art-House Co-ops website.

Friday, March 25

March Madness

March has been such an exciting, wonderful month!  Right after wrapping up a super cool job for Cleveland Magazine (which I be posting samples of as soon as I get the final layouts) I took off for two back-to-back super fun adventures: my very first Mardi Gras in New Orleans, then my very first time to the SXSW music festival in Austin, TX!

Anyone that knows my work (or me personally) knows how much I love music....and food. Both these towns and events are completely about music and food and celebration—so I felt right at home and extremely inspired!

This was my 4th visit to New Orleans, but my first for Mardi Gras. A huge fan of costumes, parading, and all-around shenanigans,  Mardi Gras has been on the very top of my bucket list for awhile. I also have fallen quite deeply in love with the city of New Orleans from my annual visits over the past 3 years—I love absolutely everything about it. From the incredible food to the colorful culture; from the warm, fun people to the pretty sights and funky sounds; I truly cannot get my fill of that wonderful, amazing city!!

And Mardi Gras is one of the oldest, all-encompassing cultural celebrations the city holds annually. I'd been told by locals that it's truly a representation of what the culture is all about, and something that I just have to experience at least once in my life—especially if I really love the city. This year was just the year! After having gotten familiar with the city the past few years, I felt prepared to have a true (i.e. NON-frat boy) experience of this amazing celebration.

My best friend—New Orleans travel companion extraordinaire and costume-parading cohort, Kristin Smith—and I created some of the best costumes we've conjured up to date. Playing off the traditions of the Mardi Gras spirit, we designed something bright, beautiful and feathery, and made quite a splash! We were definitely a big hit and fit right in with the locals on Mardi Gras Day!! The amount of fun had in three days of dancing, parading, laughing, eating (and of course bead-catching!) is really hard to sum up or capture in pictures....but here's an attempt.  It really was one of the most fun, colorful, exciting things I've had the chance to experience!

Exactly one week after returning from New Orleans (meaning just one week of much needed recovery!) I was off to Austin for the SXSW music festival. My first time to Austin, I fell in love! It's such a cool city--It actually, in ways, reminded me of the spirit of New Orleans and Nashville—it's another city with music everywhere, every hour of the day, and some of the nicest local people I could imagine! I also really love the sort of "weird" eccentric, retro feel that the whole city has—there's was all this super cool signage all over the place. And I has some of the most interesting and most delicious food there—"artisan" hot dogs at Franks, the best BBQ I've ever had at Stubbs and Iron Works, Guiness ice cream at Amy's, fried avocados, breakfast burritos, bacon bloody marys and of course the Triple Lindy: Makers Mark, pickle juice, and beer shots (yes, each one chasing the previous! Yum!!)

One of my highlights was a double dose of Dancing Man 504 in both New Orleans and Austin! Dancing Man—or Darryl Young—is this amazing guy...a staple of New Orleans who's devoted himself to 2nd line dancing and sharing it with others—especially children. He's founded a program, Heal 2 Toe, where he teaches second line dance and culture to kids. He's all around an amazing guy with a ton of talent and personality, and I was able to meet and hang out with him for a bit in NOLA, then able to jump in his 2nd line parade down 6th St in Austin! If you are in NYC, he'll be doing A Jazz Funeral for Coney Island on April 3rd—I absolutely recommend checking it out!

And as far as the music festival—it was just awesome. Music everywhere!! Almost overwhelming to navigate, so we just kind of winged it, popping in cool little places for free shows as we walked around rather than buying a badge or rsvp'ing to get into the bigger shows. But I loved it that way. Got to see and hear a ton, found a few new bands that I super love—like the Orbans—and really just got to soak in the city as a whole. I can't wait to go back again sometime!

Just had to share these little tidbits....feeling really creatively inspired from weeks of celebrating life with great music, food, art and people! Ready to translate that into some good new work ...then on to the next adventure! :)

Wednesday, March 23

Spring snow showers?!

One of the most disheartening things I can think of is waking up to sleet and snow in March, after a weekend of warm weather fooling me into thinking spring had finally arrived! Unfortunately, that's exactly how the first official days of spring have begun this year in NYC!

What else can you do but make the best of it by using it as an excuse to make a wintery piece of art! I've had this little gal inked and hanging around my studio for quite awhile, so felt inspired to finally give her a little color.

I have lots of exciting things to post soon....just wrapped up a super cool editorial illustration project, have recently had some crazy fun travels, and have my new website in the works and close to launching. So stay posted...this busyness has made for pretty sporadic blogging lately, but I'll be sharing lots soon!

Tuesday, February 22

Sketchbook Project on tour!

This past weekend was the kick-off for the Art House Co-op's Sketchbook Project traveling exhibit with an opening reception at The Brooklyn art Library. I had a chance to stop by, but unfortunately it was close to the end of the night, and by that time they were trying to wrap things up and not allowing anymore check-outs. So, I didn't actually get to browse through any of the books, but it was a cool space with over 10,000 sketchbooks lining the shelves—I can't wait to get back there to peruse the stacks and take a look at how everyone interpreted their themes!

The exhibit will be at the Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg until February 27 when it'll pack up to hit the road on it's national tour. I'll coincidentally be in Austin, TX in March when it hits there—so hoping to check it out on the road too! The full schedule/tour dates are on the Art house Co-op's website.

Checking out the Sketchbook Project at Brooklyn Art Library

Opening reception, Saturday February 19

With Kristin Smith-my dear friend and also a participating artist in the Sketchbook Project

I also had a very cool opportunity to share a little piece about my experience with the project on Starving Talent—a resource site and online community for artists, by artists. It's a brand new website featuring all kinds of cool and inspiring articles and resources for creatives in all fields—illustration, design, photography, music, film. Sarah McGinnis—the organizer for the Tilsbury Publishing  project I participated in last May—now works on Starving Talent and and invited me to contribute. I hope to submit more to the site in the future. It's a really cool place for artists—check it out if you have a chance, and be sure to read more about the Sketchbook Project opening there! Thanks Sarah!

Sunday, February 20

Recent commission

I've been juggling several project recently—which has kept me from blogging the last few weeks... Definitely one of the difficult things about balancing a full-time design job in addition to freelance assignments!

But that means I've been busy which is great; I'll be updating my website soon with some of the new book cover designs I've recently worked on, and in the meantime wanted to share my latest piece.

Another friend commissioned me to paint their wedding venue; they'll be creating prints of this to give to their guests at the reception. The venue is at the Breakers hotel in Florida—the architecture of the place is really interesting and it was fun to paint something tropical in the dreary middle of NYC winter! I'm pretty happy with the final piece and it's always fun to do something special for a friend.

As great as it was to have the opportunity to do this project, I'll likely not take any more commissions of this sort for awhile. I'm trying to churn out some new personal work to build my commercial/illustration and graphic design portfolios, and these kinds of projects are hindering me from moving along with that.  I'll eventually return to being open to commissioned landscapes and portraits—but have to keep my focus on other things for a bit...

Thursday, January 27

Inspiration from life

I usually keep from blogging about personal and/or non-work related things—but sometimes life just intersects with work, when something so lovely or beautiful or exciting or interesting happens, that my creative mind just begins to explode with possibilities! The 10-day adventure I took over the holidays—first to Colorado, then Hawaii—was just that for me; and just way too amazing to not share a few tidbits!

I feel like most of the pics I took on the trip are disappointing...I must be the world's worst photographer. (Guess I didn't have enough interest in my art school photo classes to retain much! Or, I could blame my little point and shoot camera....) Anyway-clearly, my natural abilities lie in a pen or pencil and not a lens. But it's also partly just because there is no way for anyone to fully capture the beauty of experiencing things so majestic and amazing as the snow covered mountain tops of the Rockies, the black sand beaches of Maui, or the sun rising above the clouds at 10,000 feet on a volcanic crater. These are absolutely some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen; I also experienced so many fun, adventurous things—like snowboarding for the first time, hiking through a bamboo forest, climbing waterfalls, cliff jumping and surfing! (and yes, all in the same week!)

The trip was incredibly rejuvenating for me. As much as I love living in New York City, I can't believe how refreshing it can be to leave and be out in such big, open, fresh-aired spaces! I haven't had the opportunity to travel as much as I would like, and so for me, this was seeing a world I didn't know existed; It made me feel like I walked through a door to a whole other side of life, just waiting for me to begin to experience it. I find inspiration for my work in so many places—other cultures, other artists, music; But, I feel like the best inspiration comes from personal experiences like these and I'm really excited to digest and translate some of this into some new work.

Boulder/Nederland CO

Took some amazing hikes—beautiful views!


Everyday started and ended with a beautiful sky

Stopped for a hike on the Road to Hana to climb some waterfalls

Black and red sand beaches on the way to Hana

Stopped at this tidepool on the way to Hana—one of my favorite spots of the trip! Did my first cliff-jumping here!

Watching the sunrise at the Haleakalā Crater

10,000 ft elevation—above the clouds!

"House of the Sun"

Such an amazing morning

Yay 2011!

Happy New Year to all!
I'm a little late catching up with my blogging—2011 has already been off to a very fast-paced, busy start!

I'm full of inspiration and exciting new ideas for this year including some plans to begin to sell some products and prints featuring my art, as well as branch out to some new markets with both my design and illustration work. But—first project in the works: relaunching my website with a brand-new look! Keep an eye out for that soon.

In the meantime, I've been working with some new publishing clients on some book cover projects. I can't share those for awhile, but it's been great to start the year with some new relationships.

I also finished up my sketchbook for the Arthouse Co-op's The Sketchbook Project. The touring national exhibit begins next month at The Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg, with a reception on February 19th. From there, the sketchbook collection will exhibit in 9 different US cities through July of this year, including stops in Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and more! Over 28,000 artist participated in this project so definitely keep an eye out for the exhibit in a city near you! (Schedule is on the Arthouse Co-op website)

Here are a few of my last pages from "Great hopes and Massive Failures" (a.k.a. a visual diary of my years as a single woman in New York City's sometimes vicious, sometimes hilarious, dating scene!)  I had a blast with this project, and even found myself inspired to keep some other ongoing theme-based sketchbooks...which I'll share some of soon!