Meet Jennifer Ackerman

Jennifer is sharing drawing tips and demo videos with Sktchy subscribers throughout August. Learn more

 
 

What's your background?

I grew up in rural New Jersey, and I was lucky enough to go into New York City and immerse myself in art from a really young age. I always loved to draw and paint (I remember entering endless art contests as a child), and when it came time to head to college, I chose Savannah College of Art and Design.

 
 

What's your medium of choice when you're creating art?

I have always loved to paint in acrylics, but I am terribly fickle about my drawing media, and I go through phases. I love using Rapidograph pens and Copic markers, but I am currently deeply into ballpoint pens. I use a variety of point sizes in the same color to build up the tone. And I've lately become extremely enthusiastic about Procreate, though I am no expert. I just really like the portability and ease of it.

 
 

How did you build your creative habit?

I like to set challenges for myself to keep things interesting and keep myself motivated. For example, last year I decided I wanted to strengthen my pet-portrait ability, so I asked people on Twitter to submit their dogs and picked one to draw every day for two months. Making even that informal commitment kept me focused and gave me something to work towards. Without a tangible goal in mind, I tend to flounder aimlessly...

 
 

When you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get out of it?

The most dependable way to shake myself out of a slump is to switch things up. I either decide to change media ("This month, nothing but ballpoints!") or give myself a new challenge to conquer ("I'm going to pick the most intimidating head of hair I can find").

 
 

Which of your recent Sktchy artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?

There is a digital portrait of a muse called Anna that I feel incorporates everything that I'm excited about at the moment: strong, confrontational poses, unexpected color combinations and expressive, exuberant lines. I'm trying hard to take what works in that portrait forward.

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