“I think the worst thing that you can do as a creative is stay at home”
Freelance illustrator and animator, Jennifer Denty, shares her graduate work with AVA…
AVA: Where did you study?
JD: I studied at Coventry University, in the West Midlands.
AVA: What would you say was the most interesting or enjoyable part of the course you studied?
JD: The variety and choice of subjects to study within the course. Alongside the illustration side of the course, we were given a taster of traditional and 3D animation, of which you can choose which to study further. We had a very eclectic range of people and work produce within the course, which gave a real diversity within feedback between each other and opened up different perspectives.
AVA: What was your most interesting or memorable experience during your course?
JD: The team effort within the group of people I studied alongside with and the collaborative work we completed together. As a group we set up fundraising events and created zines together.
AVA: What inspires your work?
JD: Everything and anything can inspire my work, a random thought walking down the street, overheard conversations, the people I meet or interact with in everyday life. Life stories, jokes, puns, behaviours and habits.
I think the worst thing, as a creative, that you can do, is stay at home.
AVA: Who is the biggest influence on your work and why?
JD: I’m not sure the influences on my work are the most conventional, or that obvious, I’ve always really enjoyed Disney artists, such as Mary Blair, Glen Keane, Lou Romano, and Studio Ghibli animation and artwork. But thinking back on everything, my Nan is the most artistic influence on me, she’s where it all started. Since a child, she has always encouraged the use of traditional media, pen and ink, watercolours, calligraphy.
AVA: Which piece out of all of your work best represents you as a designer?
JD: I’m not sure I’ve found that piece yet, as all my pieces have a little bit of me in them, my own experiences or little experiences of others I’ve been told. But the three pieces I’ve submitted alongside this Q&A I feel best represent me as both an illustrator and an animator.
AVA: Have you worked with any clients or on any previous projects? If so which clients and what kind of project?
JD: Not as of yet, but, I have an internship within a magazine based in London coming up.
AVA: What kind of medium do you use in your work and why?
JD: The medium used within my work is a mixture of pen and ink, textures, and digital media. Giving each piece a slightly different outcome.
AVA: If you could describe your design style in five words what would they be?
JD: Mixed media, playful, story telling, line art, observational.
AVA: What kind of advice would you offer to someone interested in design?
JD: Research what you’re interested in, see if it’s for you, and if you enjoy it, just go for it.
AVA: What are you currently working on now you have graduated?
JD: Currently, I am working on adding pieces to my animation portfolio, as well as my illustrative portfolio.
AVA: What are your hopes for your future career?
JD: To work as a freelance illustrator and animator.
“This image is also the first out of a series of three. The series is based around the structure of a ghost story, that might be told around a camp fire. The little boy in the image is at a party, playing hide and seek. He thinks he has discovered the perfect hiding place, a forgotten room. Until something cold grabs his ankle from behind. When he whirls round, no one is there. But the papers are shuffled as a breeze has hit them. The boy thinks someone has hidden here before him and is playing a trick, so, taking a peek under the bed all he finds are missing posters with the image of a young girl about his age and a ribbon matching that of the girl’s in the picture. A ghost? (The complete series can be seen on my website under ‘illustration – shorts’.)”
“This image is the second out of a series of three, based around a childrens’ tale. An ogre, obvious to its surroundings, tramples the crops of a farmers field. The young girl, stubborn and furious that all the hard work her and her family have put into the field has gone to ruin, chases after the ogre, finally getting his attention he picks her up. She points her finger at him, scolding him, saying that he must help replace the crops he has trodden on. The little girl has the giant ogre following her around the field re-planting crops. The moral being mind over brawn. (The complete series can be seen on my website under ‘illustration – shorts’.)”
“This is the first image out of a series of three, based around the idea and story structure of a fable. It’s bath time, and the young female protagonist of the story runs out of her cottage into the forest, running from her grandmother. She runs so hard and fast, afraid her grandmother is hot on her heels, she runs into a heavy tree branch rendering herself unconscious until morning. Meanwhile, during the night, wandering hedgehogs discover her long curly hair makes the perfect nesting place. When the young girl returns home the next morning, they discover the only way the prickly little hissing balls can be removed is by cutting chunks of her hair out leaving them fiercely wrapped up in the hair rolling out the door, into the forest. The moral of the story circulating around hygiene and listening to your elders. (The complete series can be seen on my website under ‘illustration – shorts’.)”
See Jennifer’s webiste for more work, info and animations.