Artist of the Month: Jennifer R. Cook

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

You know the drill - scroll through social media sites, see what pops up. I don't really like the cat and dog photos, the gifs of people doing the same thing over and over again every half second. I look for beauty, creativity, originality. And each day, I am rewarded by artist Jennifer R. Cook. She inspires, she motivates, and she shares color, humor, and coffee every day with her readers. When I see her art, I smile. I also then head to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, a mug of tea, a quart jar of iced mocha. Jennifer shares the joy of such beverages in her art - and we are the better for seeing it, for bringing her creativity and whimsy into our lives. We caught up with Jennifer, a Montreal-based artist, and asked her to share her thoughts and art with us. Here's what she had to say...

 

Liquid sunshine in my cup. What my coffee says to me

Liquid sunshine in my cup - January 22,2012

 

Heart on Sleeve - What my Coffee Says to Me

Heart on Sleeve November 18, 2013

 

Only an open heart - What my coffee says to me

Only an open heart - September 29, 2013

 

Sometimes the smallest things. What my coffee says to me

Sometimes the smallest things - September 7, 2012

 

What happens when your coffee talks to you...

 

It all began on a fresh new day and a crisp winter morning, January 1, 2012. I had just finished reading an article that was close to my heart about coffee and its effect on women with depression. You see, at the time I was depressed. A series of events which started in 2011 threw me for a loop and tossed me slowly into mild depression, which crippled my ability to work as a strategic graphic designer and illustrator. Stress and depression shut my ability to create down - and creativity is my livelihood, it pays the bills. As a strategic graphic designer and illustrator I went from making $80,000.00 a year to $10,000.00. To this day, I am still hanging on a financial thread, but so blessed to have my creativity back.

 

Oh Dear Sunday - what my coffee says to me

Oh dear Sunday - September 15, 2013

 

Visualize pretend prepare - what my coffee says to me

Visualize pretend prepare - July 26, 2013

 

For the night Owl 'tis the love of coffee. What my coffee says to me

For the night Owl 'tis the love of coffee - July 2, 2012

 

On that first new day of the year, I decided to drink coffee and force myself to be creative. I stared into that delicious brown elixir and saw small coffee bubbles form into the shape of a heart. My coffee talked to me. Words are visual fuel for me, I searched the internet for positive quotes to get me into a creative mood, something to soothe my soul and make my pen dance on paper. What my Coffee says to me was born. It was not easy at first to create; I did my best to find words that would improve how I felt while inspiring me. Gradually I became excited about being creative. I would wake up early in the morning wondering what I would create. Sometimes a song would be in my head in the morning and I would use it as inspiration, sometimes it was little, fat birds. I made the decision to create an illustrated cup of coffee every day for 2012, which happened to be a leap year; the goal: 366 coffee infused illustrations.

 

It's a new dawn - Micheal Buble. What my coffee says to me

It's a new dawn - Micheal Buble June 19, 2013

 

La Mariee Les Lapins cafe - tribute Marc Chagal. What my coffee says to me

La Mariee Les Lapins cafe - tribute Marc Chagal March 31, 2013

 

Dwell in possibility. What my coffee says to me

Dwell in Possibility June 10, 2012

 

As the days passed in early 2012, I became more and more excited to make my coffee, be inspired, and create! I am so blessed to have my creativity back. I post my caffeinated creativity throughout social media to a small group of followers, which grow slowly and steadily.

I received beautiful, heartwarming comments from followers, like:
"You make my day!"
"Your creativity is so full of joy and colour, thank you"
"Even if I have a bad day, your creativity brightens my day."

 

It's going to be Okay. What my coffee says to me

It's going to be Okay - March 4, 2013

 

Find your purpose. What my coffee says to me

Find your purpose February 23, 2013

 

The wind and the waves. What my coffee says to me

The wind and the waves - January 27, 2013

 

I will often collaborate with indie musicians and with writers, because the lyrics, music, or words blend with my cup of coffee and create visuals that dance from my head to my paper! This magic happens at any time, mostly first thing in the morning with some fun, inspiring words in my bright kitchen, while sitting at the island, which is a old oak door. This is my zen place. I have an old cork board, my black pilot pen, and some photocopy paper. The idea flows onto the paper, most of the time I hand letter the quote, I play between sips of coffee. I love creating coffee, tea, and sometimes wine and whisky, my personal favorite coffee and tea.

 

Love stretches your heart. What my coffee says to me

Love stretches your heart January 22, 2013

 

Hope is the companion of power. What my coffee says to me

Hope is the companion of power - December 31, 2012  366th illustration

 

Wherever you go, go with all your heart

Wherever you go, go with all your heart - November 26, 2012

 

Some even ask me what kind of coffee I drink that makes to make me creative. The illustrations give so many people the boost they need for their day. On July 13, 2012 my caffeinated followers requested that I start another series What my #Tea says to me. So now I create two illustrations a day. While all of this creativity is so great for me and I love that they help others, it does not pay the bills. While people love to see the illustrations, a handful have the money to buy the offerings on Zazzle and Redbubble. I look forward to the day I can generate revenue to get me out of my financial black hole and would allow me to continue lovingly creating coffee and tea illustrations.

http://www.redbubble.com/people/catsinthebag
http://www.zazzle.ca/gifts?ch=whatmycoffeesays

 

We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails. What my coffee says to me

We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails November 5, 2012

 

Friday's cup. What my coffee says t ome

Friday's cup October 5, 2012

 

Life is for deep kisses, strange adventures. What my coffee says to me

Life is for deep kisses, strange adventures September 23, 2012

 

Today, I am doing well, depression under control, I am passionate and excited to create these daily coffee and tea illustrations. Having fun with some authors Josh Stern and Jarod Kintz for October Monster Coffee love; Josh Stern and I want to collaborate on a book - we are currently ironing out the details and searching for investors. Who knows that might all come to fruition. I am trying very hard to make a living again. Grateful for what I have, and for coffee because it saved my life and my creativity :)

 

Under Pressure. What my coffee says to me

Under Pressure - May 17, 2012

 

Faith. What my coffee says to me

Faith - April 27,2012

 

Flouncy, bouncy Good Friday. What my coffee says to me

Flouncy, bouncy Good Friday - April 6 2012

 

I welcome all followers in social media, the more joy I can spread and to help someone else in some small way through my creativity, the better  :)

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JenniferRCook/posts
Twitter: @catsinthebagpur
Facebook: facebook.com/jennifer.r.cook.50
Pinterest: hpinterest.com/catsmeo/boards/

Cheers, keep smiling and drinking YOUR life in!

 

Dreams are part reality. What my coffee says to me

Dreams are part reality - March 7, 2012

 

Think of your fellowman. What my coffee says to me

Think of your fellow man - February 11, 2012

 

 

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Jennifer R. Cook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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