In the latest edition of our Meet the Designer series, we discuss the creative process with Jennifer Carrasco (Jenoiserie), a painter from West Seattle, Washington with a very unique skill set and 25 years of design experience. Visit her Spoonflower shop and read on to learn how she brings lemurs and butterflies to life on canvas! 

Meet the Designer: Jennifer Carrasco aka Jenoiserie

Where do you currently live? 

I live in West Seattle, Washington. My studio, which my carpenter partner Phil  built for me is in the back garden (the Weedy Eden). The studio has a red door.  I lived in Tainan, Taiwan for two years, and my friends there recommended red doors. Keeps out demons.
Spoonflower designer Jenoiserie
Photos by Chris Landry
My day starts with…
I start with a snarling cup of black coffee which my partner fondly refers to as Tiger Bile.  I work from 7 pm to 2 or 3 am in the morning, so I need a resolute wake up.
Spoonflower designer Jenoiserie
Royal Owl and Company by Jenoiserie
I fell in love with design when…
I’ve been an artist since I was 7 years old….painting and drawing. After my Peace Corps experience in Southern Luzon, the Philippines, I had 12 one-woman exhibits of my paintings with a gallery, Sining Kamalig, in Manila. Design came later when back in the States I started doing murals and decorative painting for my business. Painting carrousel horses got me interested in decorative painting and design work.  In 1991 I decided that I needed to stop gallery work and shift into design, so I went back to community college to learn about design, the graphic printing industry and computers.
Spoonflower designer Jennifer Carrasco
Photos by Chris Landry
What’s in your toolbox?
Right now it’s mostly paint, canvas, brushes and paper.  When I returned to the States, I worked with watercolors and acrylics, and did ten years of NEA artists-in-residence in the schools in 5 different states, painting and teaching in those mediums.  Also a two month stint in Japan and Korea doing the same with Dept. of Defense schools.
Spoonflower designer Jennifer Carrasco
Photos by Chris Landry
When I am in my studio…
I am in another world.  I check out audio books from the library, listen to those voices speaking across space and time, crank up the heat (Seattle is wet and cold for a good part of the year), and surround myself with imaginary plants and animals. I still do personal paintings…they often inform my decorative work. Nature and water seem to be a constant theme.
Hoopoe2 by Jenoiserie
Hoopoe2 by Jenoiserie
Who or what influences or inspires your work and why?
Everything.  I LOVE research and range the internet and my personal library for images and historical styles.  Right now I am painting a 30’ x 7.5 foot mural for a young East Indian American family who want imagery from India culture. The overall concept is “nature is huge, the world of people is small.” Tigers, leopards and elephants and luscious, stylized tropical plants and trees. My clients just welcomed the birth of two adorable baby girls, and I told their parents I can imagine the girls, when they are older, on their stomachs in front of some part of the mural telling each other stories about the characters and animals in the mural.  There are always opportunities for stories in my work….a definite narrative element.
Jennifer Carrasco in infinity glasses
My favorite small business shops include…
CandP coffee shop in West Seattle, U-Frame-It in Jefferson Square in West Seattle, my cousin’s pizza place (Zeek’s) in West Seattle, and the Dearborne Seattle GoodWill.
Las Meninas by Velazquez
Las Meninas by Velazquez
If I could live in a painting…
Oh my….it’s like choosing one’s favorite color!  Hard to nail it down.  Velazquez…to stand in the dark lefthand corner, behind  Velazquez at his easel in his painting of Las Meninas. To frolic in Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch. To odalisk with Matisse. To dance with Degas. To wander in the patterns of William Wiley.
If I could only wear one fabric, it would have…
Velvet, satin, silk and taffeta shot with purple and blue with some judicious ribbons and a touch of lace at the cuffs and bodice.
My mantra is…
“Being scared didn’t stop her”

headshot of Jennifer Carrasco aka JenoiserieYou can visit Jennifer’s Spoonflower shop and view her entire collection of modern designs. Connect with her on the web via her Website, and on Vimeo, where you can find a video of Jennifer installing an amazing 300 linear feet of painted canvas. Jennifer’s photographer is Chris Landry.

Thanks Jennifer!