I am so excited to share this month's Local Spotlight, Jennifer Sherman! I am a firm believer that success comes from community not competition, so I love getting to meet fellow bloggers, artists, and creatives. Needless to say, I was thrilled to get coffee with Jennifer several months ago to talk a lot about art, blogging, and life. And so grateful that social media connected us as transplants to the Pee Dee area. Jennifer is such a talented painter and has such a kind heart, with a God filled story that I was so happy that she said yes to answering all these questions last minute Wednesday night!
Tell us a little bit about yourself! Where are you from and what brought you to the Pee Dee area? All the details!
I am a follower of Jesus, Ryan’s wife, Mother of two, Stepmom to 1, empath and enthusiast. I was born and raised in the low country in the small town of Yemassee, South Carolina. I developed a love for art as far back as I can remember. I would often hang out with my grandfather who would sketch funny pictures on sticky notes or a piece of yellow paper from his legal pad, and carve wooden airplanes with me out of scrap wood from projects my father had finished up as a carpenter. My mother instilled a love for creativity by writing fictional short stories with me as a child- She always made everything a magical adventure. After the sudden and tragic death’s of two of my family members and a particular personal trauma during my high school years, painting became a way to speak when the words wouldn’t come. I attended Anderson University in Anderson, SC where I briefly studied Architectural Drawing and Graphic Design as an Interior Design major but decided it was not my passion. Painting was... and still is. Much of my talent in painting is self-taught and handed down from my great-grandfather who was a gifted artist. I moved to the Pee Dee area in 2013 after my ex-husband took a promotion here in Florence. That season of life quickly turned into a season of letting go; but what I found is that when we let go of the things not meant for us, God in all his graciousness will restore us and fill our lives with the purpose he created us for. I started painting again during that season as an outlet. I never anticipated or imagined that it would turn into a full-time job which would allow me to establish roots here in the Pee Dee area where I met my husband and biggest supporter, Ryan.
So like myself your studio is in your home, how do you find balance when working from home?
Give yourself a little grace every now and then, set several reminders and timers. I feel like this one is still a struggle for me sometimes because I’m sooo easily distracted and I often rebel against using force over the natural flow of things. In fact, the idea of having an agenda with a set schedule still makes me cringe. That said, I have to schedule out my day and keep an agenda! Trying to juggle a career as an artist, three school-aged children, being a wife, and a friend without one is a recipe for disaster, and nothing gets accomplished. I’m reminded of that every time I think I can wing it but instead end up just burning the candle at both ends.
How would you describe your personal style in three words?
Laid-back West coast vibes with a feminine flair. (Wait was that more than three words? Haha)
What would you consider your favorite media for creating?
My favorite media is acrylic on canvas.
Where do you find inspirations? And what has inspired you recently?
I find inspiration in so many things: emotion, my native roots, light, pattern, the human mind in its relationship to nature, and visualizing beyond the naked human eye. Lately, If I had to pin one thing down, I’m ultimately inspired by the life stories of others. There’s this deeply ingrained, innate necessity in us (especially for an artist), to connect with and understand humanity. It’s a beautiful thing I believe when we are able to tell a story that connects us to one another without using words- Each stroke of my brush allows me to do that.
What advice would you give other artists and creatives?
Never stop creating, even if what you create is not that great. Find your voice. Surround yourself with other creatives. Be authentic. Also, read ‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield. It’ll change your creative life!
What do you enjoy to do in your free time?
There’s nothing I enjoy more than quality time with my family and curling up with a cup of warm tea and a good book, or binge-watching my favorite tv show on Netflix while writing a new blog post. I also enjoy being outdoors, so it’s not out of the ordinary for me to skip town and explore a new hiking trail.
Do you have a favorite place to shop locally?
Absolutely! Shopping local is something really important to me on so many levels. Pieces Boutique is hands down my favorite place to find unique pieces for my wardrobe and home! I also love SC real foods! They have such an awesome selection of foods fresh from local farms.
Thank you Jennifer for sharing so much! If you are interested in her art and want to buy a print OR commission her please Direct Messgae her on Instagram, Facebook or email her firstname.lastname@example.org And don't forget to follow her on Instagram @jenniferashleysherman.fineart
Blessings from Hartsville,