Artist Jen Ament On How Personal Growth + Failure Led To Finding Creative Magic

As we officially “relaunch” Glitter Guide, it means a lot to us to tell the stories of creatives we admire. What inspires them? What makes them tick? As we veer into a new lane of creative energy, we hope you will be inspired by these incredible creatives as well. Jen Ament is one of our favorite artists here at Glitter Guide. You’ve probably noticed her “Magic Hands” print in Taylor’s office. Jen creates abstract encaustic paintings, in which she uses a blowtorch like a paintbrush. If you’re unfamiliar with encaustic art, encaustic paint is a combination of beeswax, damar resin and colored pigment. The paint is melted on a warm pallet, and then applied in layers to a specially constructed wood panel using a blowtorch. Multiple layers are typically applied to create the finished artwork. We’re always amazed by how much soul can be felt in every single one of Jen’s pieces.

What does creative energy mean to you?

To me, it means getting up in the morning, and even though I have a million other things to do, forcing myself to just start working. It’s hard to start on a new idea, and just making the decision to get started is my first step. Sketching, searching for inspiration on the internet, taking the risk to start something that I haven’t done before, fighting through the idea of thinking I can’t do it. When I break through my fear, I find it. Just beginning SOMETHING art-related propels me forward in the world of creativity.

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Sending Magic

Your art is a favorite among Team GG. Where do you find inspiration for new pieces?

I find inspiration in my own personal growth and through my struggles and failures. Many of my ideas pop into my head as I am going to sleep. I put them into my notes as soon as I can. Phrases, old subcultures from New York to England, certain words, old photographs, band flyers, old magazines, practicing new techniques, those really inspire me.

Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve created?

My “Magic Hands” or any of my pieces that represent women or magic.

“[Creativity] means making work for yourself and no one else. Pleasing others takes all of the fun out of it.”

What’s your earliest memory of having a creative spark?

When I was 13, I won first place at a cheesy small town art fair for a sketch I did of myself in the awkward middle school phase.

Circle and Half Circles

Do you think creativity is learned or are we born with it? What advice would you give to someone who doesn’t feel innately creative?

Definitely learned. It comes from life experience, practice and failure. Just to start and keep at for at least a year to find out what form of art works for you. I went through five different forms of art before I figured out which one worked for me.

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Nude II

Who are some artists and creatives that inspire you?

David Shrigley, Raymond Pettibon, Dorothy Iannone, Marcel Dzama, Niki De Saint Phalle.

What’s the key to creating authentic work?

To me, it means making work for yourself and no one else. Pleasing others takes all of the fun out of it.

Favorite quote on creativity?

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” -Scott Adams

connect with Jen

Instagram | Website

You might also enjoy: These 6 Classic Thinking Styles Aren’t Doing You Any Good, Why Drag Queens Are Some Of The Biggest Beauty Standards Advocates Of Our Generation and Artist Lisa Congdon On Finding Her Passion and Business At Age 40

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Author: Samantha Welker

Samantha Welker is the business manager at Glitter Guide. She has an Master's in Corporate Finance & Sustainability from Harvard Business School but prefers working in the creative industry. She also hosts a weekly business podcast for creative women called Pretty Okay Podcast. She loves spending time with her husband and her son, Rocky, in sunny San Diego. Follow along on Instagram