I’m not really able to pick my favorite from Alena Hennessey’s goodies. I just can’t decide if I like her prints more or her totes more. Or her screenprinted wall art or scarves more…or her tees or her pillows. Just visit her site and you will see what I mean. Alena’s only been around the Internet since 2005, but in that time many other people besides myself have fallen in love with her whimsical simple nature-inspired illustrations and all the different goods she adds them to.
I’m really pleased to be able to share my interview with Alena for today’s Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx.
1. What’s the name of your business and what do create and sell?
My business name is my name! Alena Hennessy. I create prints, apparel, textiles and more.
2. When did you get your start and what made you decide to take the plunge?
I started planning my business ideas summer of 2005 and officially launched the look of my new website in November of that year.
3. What are your inspirations in your art and in life?
Nature is my constant inspiration, along with Scandinavian and Asian design. I like line and color, those are the strongest elements I focus on.
I am inspired by too many things to list really! Lately, overseas fashion rags, Japanese prints, the everyday views outside my mountain bungalow, zen haikus, it goes on and on.
4. Were you an artsy craftsy kid? If so, what kinds of things did you do?
Unbelievably so. I drew ants a lot actually! My best friend and I would create stories, we drew a lot of women and girls and horses. They each were their own characters with specific personality traits, etc. We were obsessed with it actually. I had stacks and stacks of illustrations.
5. Tell us one funny/goofy/silly thing about yourself.
I like to sing in my car, mostly off tune I have to say.
6. What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst?
I work for myself! I love mornings where I can take time to get ready. That’s a huge gift. The worst is that I can get kinda obsessed about little things and can be a little scattered at times when trying to juggle a lot of things at once (my intern can attest to this I am sure!)
7. What blogs and mags do you read and what shops do you shop at? List as many as you want.
I like design*sponge, I just posted a guest blog there and I loved it. I like all the art & design blogs really! I’m a fan of each one. I like a variety of magazines. I read everything from W to Dwell to Art in America to, gosh, like Good or Craft…. so many really.
8. What three things can’t you live without?
Mimi Simone, my dog. My mango kombucha, green tea in the morning and Project Runway. Oops that four things.
9. What does indie mean to you? You can give a literal definition, choose to be a little esoteric or a combination of both. 😉
Indie means to me an individual, or independent art/craft/design as in non-corporate, art unfiltered directly from one’s soul, pure in inspiration, working to support a better world or more socially conscious way of doing business.
10. What are you reading, watching and listening to?
Just finished Loving Frank (very good). I watch MSNBC to keep in touch with politics and Bravo television. I listen to anything my Ipod shuffles to like Iron&Wine or Emmylou Harris or Cat Power.
11. What’s new? Any new plans or products that you want to share?
I have some pen and inks I am working on that are inspired by old fashion photographs and Japanese prints…this is a completely new direction for me artistically.