Today we have the pleasure of giving you a behind-the-scenes look into the studio of our friend, Jennifer Vallez. Jennifer is the talented artist penning the illustrations featured on some of our new stationery and art prints. You may already know her from her brand Sophie & Lili, where she creates custom portraits in her unique and stylish aesthetic. Jennifer has been kind enough to give us an exclusive tour of her studio, and a glimpse of what life is like for her as an entrepreneur in our one-on-one interview.
Where are you located?
I live in Ellington, CT, Northern Connecticut near the Massachusetts border. I never imagined living in the country. We live near farms and a lake. I love the quiet country life and think it’s a beautiful place to raise a family.
Where do you do most of your work?
I have two workspaces. One at home and one about 20 minutes away. My home office is a mess of a room that is connected to the kids’ playroom. My office away from home, what you see here, is clean and quiet—very zen.
What inspires you?
I love Instagram. I find it very inspiring for fashion, art, food, etc.
I am in awe of Donald Robertson (@drawbertson)—definitely one to follow.
We love the chic black office.
I must have been feeling bold the day I decided on a paint color! The room is mostly windows so I knew there would be plenty of light. I love it. It doesn’t feel dark to me at all.
Are the doodles on the wall yours?
The fashion sketch on the wall is mine and the rest are my daughters. Sophie (13) & Lola (8).
What are your five most important items on your desk?
A planner (I’m a planner hoarder—I have 3), scissors, Mac, black brush pens, and sketch paper.
What are your mediums of choice?
I sketch with pencil and pens. My favorite pens are Pentel brush pens. I use watercolors for my portraits, and I even like to draw with wax crayons.
What keeps you at your desk these days?
Right now I am working on a lot of watercolor portrait commissions, and I just finished a project for a national retail chain that will be seen in print and TV. I also have a few exciting projects that will be announced in 2016!
Could you share with us three songs from your current playlist?
I used to care so much about keeping up with new music, but I’m an 80’s girl at heart. Madonna - Holiday, Wham - Everything She Wants, The Outfield - Your Love.
Are you reading anything good right now?
The Nightingale (by Kristin Hannah).
What would you like people to know about you?
That I am so very thankful that at 43, I am finally doing what I love.
I am a late-bloomer. I worked in advertising 16+ years doing web design. I loved it at first but going out on my own was a life-long dream. I worked 10 years of nights and weekends making this work. This August will be one year of full time self-employment!
Could you leave us with a favorite quote or meaningful personal motto?
So simple. I would love to frame this quote by Erin Hanson:
This is the first in an ongoing series dedicated to profiling the individuals and their workspaces that we find inspiring, compelling, and downright lovely. Check back for more!