God and Art Series: Artist seeks to bring positive message

Today we are talking with Jen Morrison from Aloquin, a shop on Etsy. You can also find Jennifer on her blog aloquin.

Tell us a little about yourself and your artwork. When and how did you start developing your artistic-self?

I believe artistic development is an ongoing process. We are always inspired by different things we see, and bits and pieces inevitably work their way into our art.

As far as beginning, I was drawing ever since I can remember. It was just something I always loved to do, and even got in trouble in school for doodles all over my desk and inside my math book. It seemed only natural to follow my passion.

Have you received any awards or other achievements? Where can people find your work? What teams do you belong to and how did you come up with the name for your shop?

How I came up with my shop name is rather funny. The first job I ever had was at 16, when I worked in the snack shack of the local animal farm petting zoo. I was bored waiting for customers, so I'd brought along paper to write or doodle on, and I was trying to think of interesting words for a pen name for myself. Somehow I got to looking at the back of the packages of food items in the snack shack, and I came across either the word "Aloquin" or a created it from a combination of ingredients on something. Either way, I liked how it sounded, and it's stuck with me ever since.

I've won some awards, yes. In High School I won the LILCO - the Energy Wise on Long Island Poster Contest- that was very big for me. It was amazing because everyone was making a huge deal, and I was ecstatic because they were paying such attention to my art. I really felt I could do something in the world from that point on.

This past month of October my entry was chosen for inclusion in the Embracing Our Differences Art Exhibition 2012. This was a very humbling experience because I realized what an important event I was honored to be a part of. All the artists who were chosen got to attend and be recognized at an appreciation celebration, and I earned a beautiful plaque, but more importantly, I was able to use my art to help spread a positive message.

What attracts you to drawing illustrations, work with paper (have I missed anything)? How do you gain inspiration for your work?

I suppose the most significant inspiration for my work is the emotion evoked by music. I will listen to songs, and the lyrics will just MOVE me, and I must create in that moment. I will immediately have to start drawing or externalizing my creativeness onto some substrate. My work doesn't become a physical representation of the lyrics I hear, but is more a result of how I feel while listening to the song. I have been creating a lot in Mixed Media lately... it is a freeing and wonderful form of expression.

How have the events of your life affected your art? How has art affected your life?

I have always been drawn (no pun intended) to illustrative work. I enjoy creating ACEOs (Art Cards, Editions, and Originals), working in my art journal, and, more recently, larger canvases/backgrounds. It has simply always been something I've loved to do ... even now, if I go somewhere, I must have a book or paper with me to doodle/create upon if I end up waiting. I can't imagine what my life might have been like if I'd not had my art ...

Art has affected my life in the fact that it IS me. I am never not working on something or other. It's as me as eating or breathing ... seriously. I am so grateful to God for giving me this gift. I am inspired by such stories as that of Joni Eareckson [Tada], that I heard of when I was little ... she was paralyzed but still created paintings with the paintbrush manipulated by her mouth. I think that's beautiful!

When did you begin your relationship with God and how? How has your relationship with God affected your art? How has art affected your relationship to God?

I am happy to say that, growing up, in a family of born-again believers, I've always had a relationship with God. I remember being passionate about God's love even at age five. I was in the backyard, intent on digging a hole down to the devil so I could witness to him! I was convinced that if he only knew how much God loved him, then he would stop being bad! LOL ... rather naive in retrospect, but not really ... the ideal was sincere, and very real. So many people are caught up in their sinful lifestyles because they just don't know the love of God. I understood at only five years old that we are called to be his light and be used by him to show his love.

How has art affected my relationship with God and vice versa leads into your next question:

Any future goals you'd like to share? Any encouragement for other artists?

My future goals? I believe that God has given me my talent for a reason, and I am open to direction from him for any way that I can use my art to glorify him. I feel my art will one day be used in a big way. I am not saying I'm exceptionally good as compared to others at art, I just feel that I am meant to do something for him with my art, and I am eager to find out what :)

We are eager to find out too, Jennifer. Thank you for visiting with us!