Meet Jenna Rainey: artist, author, teacher and entrepreneur. Based in Southern California, Jenna is one of those people you meet and wonder "is there anything you're NOT good at?!". She not only is an insanely talented artist and creator, she also sings AND plays the piano, wrote a couple of books (and is in the process of writing more) and owns her own business. That's pretty impressive if you ask me!
One of the most inspiring things about Jenna? Amidst all that she has going on, she is still one of the kindest, most genuine people I've had the pleasure of meeting. After reading Jenna's interview below, you'll see that she finds trusting and staying true to yourself is one of the most important things she's learned on her journey.
Read on for the next installment in our Follow Your Gut series to learn more about artist and creator, Jenna Rainey!
Explain who you are and what you do!
My name is Jenna Rainey, I’m an artist, author and teacher and founder of a design agency based in southern California.
How did you get here? Did you always know this was your life’s mission?
I never knew art would be my career path. I went to school to be a music therapist or do something similar in that field, and between school, working as a server, then at a desk job and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, I started playing around with art supplies, doodling, and eventually posting working on my instagram six years ago. Just after fourish months of posting my work, I started getting a steady amount of inquiries for commissions and custom stationery jobs, so I quit my day job and founded Mon Voir! It was a crazy time.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different, and every day is packed. I love the variety of work we get to do because it always keeps me on my toes. Most days I start with a workout or a long walk and some breakfast before getting to the office. Once there, I always reserve my first hour or two for emails and prepping for the day. Getting emails out of the way first for me helps clear my head and stay creative for the day. Then it’s time to get to client work. Currently my workload consists mostly of writing and painting for my second book with Ten Speed Press. Writing a book is a huge undertaking, but I need time throughout each day that’s dedicated to client work as well, which is either painting or editing and designing work in Adobe programs. It really is such a fun job. Somedays I’m pumping out artwork for beer labels, other days it’s for health food brands, individuals, online classes...it makes the days and week go by super fast!
Tips for those looking to start their career in illustration or design?
Stay true to yourself! Your style, your aesthetic. A lot of newbies get caught up in recreating other people’s work and become stuck in a rut where they’re unable to grow and challenge themselves because of it. Oh! And get a mentor. Navigating business and all the grit it takes to grow a viable business can be isolating and damaging if you don’t have someone helping you along with the process!
Who or what inspires you?
I absolutely love traveling. The textures in the crumbly architecture in Europe and tile patterns in cafes, the vivid colors of fall in the PNW...it’s the most inspiring thing to me.
Describe the “happiest and healthiest” version of yourself.
When I’m completely in my flow state creating. Not compromised by comparison, insecurities or doubt. Just creating for the pure joy of it!
Best advice you ever received?
As an artist, anything color theory related. As a person, don’t fear the fire!
One thing on your bucket list?
Japan in the spring when the cherry blossom trees are blooming.
Do you prefer to paint objects? People? Calligraphy?
I love painting people. I’ve always been a doodler and when I was younger I used to draw/sketch eyeballs over and over, so I have a weird obsession with them! And since I paint flowers all the time, they provide a nice break between work!
What’s up next for you? Any exciting projects or trips we can look out for?
Book three and four! I’m currently writing my second book and just got an offer for book three and four. Every single opportunity that’s come about in my business has always been a surprise for me and I’m so grateful!
What does “Follow Your Gut” mean to you?
Trust yourself. Have opinions and share them in a loving and honest way, and do what’s right for your mind, body and spirit.