An artist through and through, Jenn Ski studied graphic design and typography. When she became unhappy with the corporate work she was doing, Jenn decided to make a change. With the help of a glicée printer, a website and an Etsy shop, she launched her business—and was quickly spotted by an agent.

“By just getting my work out there, I was noticed by Lilla Rogers, who became my agent,” Jenn says. “In the first year working with Lilla Rogers Studio I was already getting licensing work that I really enjoyed: a scrapbooking line, greeting cards, children’s art and so on. The rest, as they say, is history!”

“I take midcentury aesthetics and reinterpret them from a modern perspective.” Image courtesy of Jenn Ski.
“I take midcentury aesthetics and reinterpret them from a modern perspective.” Image courtesy of Jenn Ski.

Midcentury Magnetism

Jenn says, “… the style just speaks to me in ways that no other aesthetic does.” While researching in college she found herself drawn to retro advertisements. “I remember going into a large book store with a friend and found a big book of Paul Rand’s work. I was mesmerized with the way he used type and simple shapes.”

Jenn’s love for midcentury style runs so deep that she no longer thinks about how to reimagine the elements she loves from her mid-mod inspirations—they are simply an outpouring of her creativity. “I can’t really point to specific design elements and tell you where they came from, but the inspiration of midcentury artists is very clearly and very definitely there,” she says.

When corporate work wasn't doing it for her, Jenn Ski quit her job and applied her education in graphic design and typography to her real passion: art. Photo courtesy of Jenn Ski.
When corporate work wasn’t doing it for her, Jenn Ski quit her job and applied her education in graphic design and typography to her real passion: art. Photo courtesy of Jenn Ski.

Artist & Businesswoman

Jenn’s offerings are as varied as the shapes and colors in her artwork. Her unique designs don everything from paintings, prints, coloring books, pillows and placemats to notecards, shirts and bags—not to mention her line of abstract quilting fabric coming in spring of 2017.

While most of Jenn’s products sell through her Etsy shop, she also licenses her art for use on other products and takes on commission work. A highlight of her commissioned work is her inclusion at Universal Studios’ Cabana Bay Beach Resort in Orlando, Florida.

“At first I didn’t even know what I was making the art for, it was a bit top secret. I was sent a room sketch, fabric and carpet samples so I could incorporate all the colors of the room,” she says. While Jenn normally creates her work digitally, she was required to hand-paint the piece in the span of just a few weeks. “It was a little stressful, but the end result was worth it. I honestly love the piece, it complements the whole look of the hotel so well!”

Original artwork, prints, cards, wallpaper and accessories with Jenn's prints are available at her shop, jennski.com. Photo courtesy of Jenn Ski.
Original artwork, prints, cards, wallpaper and accessories with Jenn’s prints are available at her shop, jennski.com. Photo courtesy of Jenn Ski.

As an artist running her own business, Jenn has to ensure a positive balance so as to stay inspired and productive. “I always make sure to step away and do something that’s not work-related every once in a while, so I can come back recharged, maybe even with a new idea or perspective,” she says. Selling on Etsy has eased her experience as a business owner, allowing her to be a part of a creative community. She credits the site with allowing her to meet other artists as well as build a loyal customer base that “loves buying my work as much as I love making it.”

“Being a professional artist and trying to make a living at it is a little scary, especially at the beginning,” Jenn says. “I’m incredibly lucky to have found a niche that allows me to make work that I love and that other people love as well.”

Jenn Ski midcentury patterns
“I think there’s an innate need in some people to create … artists have to make art!” —Jenn Ski. Photo courtesy of Jenn Ski.

Atomic Ranch is Celebrating Women’s History Month!

March is Women’s History Month, and to celebrate, join us as we showcase some of the midcentury’s most beloved women designers as well as some modern makers inspired by their legacy. Click here to read more about the ladies behind your favorite designs, pieces and places.