Jen Cushman is a natural storyteller who found mixed media art 17 years ago and never looked back. She’s drawn to the imperfect, the funky, the quirky, the artsy and the authentic: be it people or objects or art. Author of two books, her work has also been widely published in national art and jewelry magazines. She travels and teaches collage, assemblage and jewelry making techniques. An inspiring speaker, Jen’s been invited to share her knowledge of women in business and living a creative life at industry conferences and art events.
ARTIST STATEMENT: As cliché as it sounds, I’ve been an artist since birth. I knew it as a child and never questioned it. I doodled, sketched and imagined stories as naturally and easily as I played dolls and dress up. Somewhere during my teen years, I lost this important piece of me. My art-making abilities lay dormant for most of my early adulthood as I pursued a career in journalism.
I’ve always had this need to create. Even in a non-art related career, I was still being true to my nature as I crafted my words in an artistic way. Not an easy thing to do sitting in a small office cubicle located within a big building devoted to gathering and producing daily news.
I went looking for my artistic self when I turned 31 and, luckily, I found her again. Or at least that part of me that needs to create in the same way I need to breathe, eat, hydrate and hug my children on a daily basis.
My work is about the creative process, rather than the end result. What I make is not as important as being in my studio and surrendering to the blissful moments where my full focus is on nothing but what my mind, heart and hands can generate.
My self-imposed task as an artist is to challenge my edges by asking myself “what if?” I aspire to continually hone my skills so I can physically birth what I see in my mind’s eye; recreate and re-imagine the colors, textures, shapes, emotions and stories my psyche has dreamt; and last, but never least: To be true to myself and ensure authenticity in my work and in my life.
For many years I lived an existence where I had to look at the world and find the news of the day, which was mostly filled with fear and strife. The sadness of it wore on me like the moving water of a river that slowly erodes rock and stone.
Re-discovering my natural creativity allowed me to look inward, enabling me to filter my world through my emotions and perceptions. This is who I am now. This is what my work is about: Curiosity, Truth, Beauty, Love.