We have been looking for a funny, storytelling card range for a while and a few months ago we came across a lovely artist named Jenni Murphy. After seeing her wonderful, contemporary, hilarious artwork we contacted her to ask if she might be interested in collaborating with us. As you can imagine, we were really pleased when she said yes!
Jenni was born in London as one of seven children. Her early years were spent enjoying the free things in this world. Camping trips in leaky tents, foraging for mushrooms in the woods, sharing fish and chips in the howling British weather etc. She describes her early life as simple and beautiful. After graduating from Loughborough University with a degree in Visual Communication, she took a year to go travelling the world with her backpack, taking in all its wonders. When she returned to London, she moved into her old bedroom with three of her sisters and got herself a job in an office to be able to afford a place of her own.
At school she was always told that you can’t make a living as an artist so she carried on with her office career for a few years. When the company needed a Christmas card designed at short notice, Jenni offered to do it. The next day when she returned with the design, her manager asked in the nicest possible way what she was doing working there! Inspired by this incident and supported by her family and her future husband, she decided to leave her job and move to Norwich where she quickly begun proving those teachers wrong.
Jenni works in acrylic on panel, building up the layers of colour gradually. The scale is often distorted and the viewpoint is from above, almost like she is looking down into little worlds. Her inspiration comes from her happy childhood and from the magic in the everyday – little moments of humour, kindness, romance and happiness.
“Sometimes I sit in the studio and think ‘Where would I like to be today?’, and then I paint it. It’s a bit of escapism. Often I call upon my social media followers who give me the best scenarios for the scenes I’m painting. It helps keep my paintings wonderfully varied and some of the stories my followers share are hilarious and so heartfelt. It is a privilege to paint them!”
Asking her followers to share their experiences is unique and exciting, a wonderful way of interacting with those who love her art. And it means that Jenni’s work is full of real people, pets and situations. In her early work she often featured a brown haired woman and a blonde, tall man - Jenni herself and her husband! Since having her cheeky daughter she now finds most of her pieces are based around all sorts of funny family situations and antics. She also often thinks back to the rich material her happy childhood provided.
Her limited editions prints are published by Collier & Dobson and can be found across the country. She has worked with Woodmansterne, Camden Graphics, Breathe Magazine and now with Dry Red Press. She is represented by Prince & Pilgrim Gallery in London and has exhibited at the Affordable Art Fairs in Battersea and Hampstead.