Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx with Jen Pepper

wednesday indie artist fixx interview

I’m a fan of Peppersprouts, having featured their designs plenty of times before + I own one of their deer pendants.  So, I’m very pleased to share my interview with Jen Pepper, the pep behind the pepper, for today’s edition of Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx.

What’s the name of your business, what do create and sell and how did you get your start?
I started Peppersprouts as a way to do something a little different. I didn’t set out with a goal to create anything in particular, but I did want to do something aside from graphic design which keeps my bills paid. I started out with a few illustrated prints and a couple stuffed animals, and then I discovered lasercutting. I started out with one coaster design and now the ideas for more home goods and accessories just keep coming.
Share some of your inspirations.
I actually get this question a lot, especially since my work unintentionally seems to focus around animals more than anything else. I’m inspired by simplicity. Whether it’s found in nature or the city, it’s really the streamlined things that standout to me. I tend to get new ideas in those 15 minutes or so I spend lying in bed just before I fall asleep, or those couple minutes in the morning before the city comes awake. There is something really inspiring about silence to me.

Do you cook? If so, what is your favorite thing to cook? Have a recipe?
Hahaha. Do you count sandwiches? I’m a really bad cook. Seriously. I have no patience for it. Don’t get me wrong I love food but there are so many more things I could do with my time than cook. Luckily I have a wonderful boyfriend who loves it. Baking though…. that’s another story. I have a huge sweet tooth.
What blogs and mags do you read and what shops do you shop at?
Okay here we go with the fun questions…
Scott C.’s Great Showdowns – If you don’t know Scott’s work you are missing out. We have one of his original watercolors above our couch and it has to be my favorite piece in the house.
Ryan Gile Trademark Attorney – It’s like Law and Order for Big Business. In my next life I will be a trademark Attorney.
OMG Posters – I love prints and posters and fun awesome things so I love seeing whats new from so many great illustrators and poster artists. I wish I had more wallspace.
twig and thistle – She always manages to find things no one else has discovered yet.
I don’t read magazines as much as I used to anymore but when I do pick one up it’s normally Marie Claire Idees ( I wish we had this magazine in English) The regional design annuals from Print, and Adbusters ( My advertising professor made us read this in college and I still occasionally pick up an issue when I see it).
As far as shopping goes… It all depends on what I’m shopping for. Of course I love crate and barrel when it comes to homegoods. Reading material, either e-books from amazon or comics from Midtown Comics. I also love browsing through Pearl River mart in NYC for odds and ends or Brooklyn Kitchen for awesome new kitchen goodies (for a girl who doesn’t cook I do love kitchen gadgets though)

What’s something you’ve learned as an adult that you wish you knew as a kid?
It’s okay to draw from a picture. I seriously thought that it was “cheating” if you looked at a picture while you were drawing. I thought all the famous artists all drew from their memory or imagination. Turns out I was wrong.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Einstein, the corgi, wakes me up at 7 and waits until Matt wakes up to go for a walk in the park. Grab an iced coffee from the coffee shop and I head back home to get started on the day. Check my email, package orders and place any orders I need to for supplies. Then I put on my graphic designer hat and work on any freelance design projects I have going. In the afternoon I will work on any new designs or ideas I have for peppersprouts before Matt comes home from work. Of course, we walk Einstein again before dinner, which doesn’t normally happen until around 8. A movie or TV while we discuss any ideas we have for our various projects with each other. Then I typically fall asleep well before Matt. What he and Einstein are up to while I’m sleeping is a mystery.

Share something silly about yourself.
I am 100% afraid of the dark. When home alone I even sleep with a light on.
Were you an arty craftsy kid?
Of course. I took the art classes at the art league. I always made the poster or the diorama instead of writing the 200 word essay on that book that we were forced to read. In highchool they ran out of art classes so I took ART4 twice. And of course I was voted most artistic my senior year.

What’s been your biggest accomplishment so far?
I look at the small things and just get so proud. I mean I’m so happy to have my work in people’s homes. I love the idea that people use my items, not just look at them. I always get a big smile on my face when people come up to me at craft shows and mention that they’ve seen my work in a magazine or on a blog, to be recognized by people is a huge compliment.
What’s new or in works?
I have been busy this summer. I’ve been working on a line of silhouette brooches that I always have at shows but haven’t sold online until now. I’ve also been working on branching out into some tea towels and have just finished the first design of those. I also just finished a new animal snowflake design for the 2010 holidays so this year there will be 5 designs to choose from.