is that art?
creative mind on a mission
Written by: Marielle Joy
Photography by: Klarisse Tagorda
With her cool tones and chill vibes that have taken Ontario by storm, we sat down with Jennie Coulson to find out the other colors that make up the artist she has become.
Who is Jennie Coulson, the person?
Let’s see … I’m from Hamilton, Ontario. I grew up in the country. I’m very independent because that’s how I grew up, but a lot of my career and who I am is from my dad’s side of the family. They have a lot of art in their backgrounds, from music to art. So for me to be an artist, it was very natural.
When did you start painting?
I had no interest in sports. I was never into soccer or anything like that. After always being in art classes and drawing and painting as a kid, my dad finally put me into an art school. So I was in art school from the age of 7 until I was 16.
Did you always know that you were going to make a career out of art? Or were there other factors that convinced you that this is what you’re meant to do?
When I was younger, I would see the way my family would respond to any type of art -- the way that the art spoke to them and how passionate they were about it. It was very inspiring to where I wanted that for myself. The minute I jumped into creating something, it felt completely comfortable. It was natural in the way that this was just meant to be.
What are some of your inspirations?
A lot of inspiration for pieces come from the experiences and trips that I took with my dad growing up. I grew up close to the water because we had family near the coast. So it’s a lot of landscapes, sceneries, sea scenes, and waves. Also, when I went to college to study art, that’s the time I traveled a lot. Traveling really helped me learn a lot of different styles, like Australian art or Celtic art.
Do any classical or modern day artists inspire your style?
Classically, it would be Picasso. But a lot of my inspiration now is more music based because the songs represent what I do. The feelings from the music translates into how crazy or calm I’m feeling while painting.
What would you say your style is?
I feel like it depends on my day. Definitely the type of material I’m using reflects on how I am as a person, more specifically my patience because I think I have low patience. So with my acrylic art, it’s when I don’t have time and I just hammer through it because it’s a fast drying medium. When I use oils, it’s when I’m more down to earth and take more time with it. The piece I’m working on will show that because the texture and flow of it.
With so many of your pieces out already, do you have a favorite one?
The Jimi Hendrix piece, not just because it was the first one that I did. My favorite music is very old school rock, like Elvis, The Beatles, Rolling Stones. With Jimi, his fashion and music is very inspirational. The denim he wears or the amount of color he has in his music --- the whole style about him is electric and fun. So I wanted his music to reflect in the painting, which is why it’s very graffiti looking with lines and dots and a lot of color. I wanted to do that instead of a typical version of pop art. Plus, the piece came very naturally. I didn’t study too hard into the style that I wanted to make it into.
Do you normally study hard for your pieces? What’s your creative process like?
Normally, I take my time deciding how I want the piece to go and study the specific style I want it to be. But honestly, it really just flows out of me. I’ll look at something as simple as street art or graffiti and all the colors and crazy designs downtown and it just really gets [to] me.
Final question - What are your hopes and future goals, not just as an artist, but as yourself?
I definitely want to travel more. I also just opened an art studio back in Hamilton and I hope to give art lessons to kids in the future because that’s what helped me find my path when I was younger.
After talking to Jennie and admiring her many pieces, it’s evident that she has a specific style that is easy to separate from other artists. From the crazy and psychedelic colors of Hendrix, to her depictions of calm blue seas and rugged waters, Jennie’s passion, drive, and talent will definitely make bigger and bigger waves -- and we can’t wait to see what happens when she does.