Our Q&A with January speaker, Jennifer Ament, who will be talking on the topic of Anxiety.

🎟 You can get tickets for her upcoming CreativeMornings talk here. 🎟

Jennifer Ament is a printmaker and painter. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in New York at The National Arts Club, and on the West Coast in Out of Sight, the Frye Art Museum, the Gage Academy of Art, and The Vera Project.

Her commercial clients include Starbucks, The Derschang Group, Frankie & Jos, JuiceBox, and The Runaway. She has been commissioned for large-scale public murals by Urban Artworks and Starbucks.

Her work has been featured in numerous art and style publications, including Architectural Digest, Huffington Post, Elle Décor, The Jealous Curator, Sunset Magazine, House Beautiful, Seattle Met Magazine, Seattle Magazine, GRAY Magazine, Seattle Homes & Lifestyles Magazine, and Luxe Magazine.

She received a BFA from the San Francisco Academy of Art in 1995, and has since studied at the Gage Academy of Arts and the Pratt Fine Arts Center. She is the founder of Artists For Progress. She lives and works in Seattle, WA.

Jennifer Ament: www.jenniferament.com.

[CreativeMornings (CM)] How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?
[Jennifer Ament (JA)] An ability to think outside the box and push the boundaries of normalcy can be one form of creativity, or getting unstuck from thinking one way about yourself and your pursuits. The creatives I admire have humor in their work and push through their fear. It is constant evolution, to push through stagnancy, beyond how you have limited yourself in your mind.  

[CM] Where do you find your best creative inspiration?  
[JA] My reactions…to everything. Mainly societal movements, cosmic energies, and the natural world. My process isn’t always linear. The encaustics are an exploration in feeling.

[CM] What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
[JAI wish that I had believed that I was good enough to make the leap to create earlier in my life. I would start something, and not feel good at it right away, and so I would stop doing it. We tell ourselves we need to feel good at something right away to keep doing it, and the reality is most of us suck at most things until we do them over and over again. 

[CM] Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?
[JA] Louise Bourgeois, Kim Gordon, Winston Churchill, Maxine Watters, Henry Rollins

[CM] What myths about creativity would you like to set straight?
[JA] For some reason we have been taught that there are only a few paths to creativity, and that you have to be born an artist or born creative. That you have to get a BFA or go to a certain school, or even been traumatized to be creative. But it is your work ethic and how often you do the work that keeps propelling you forward in your creativity. You can suck for years but there is no way your work can’t evolve and get better if you remain committed to trying. If you trick yourself into believing you are not good enough, you will lose hope. The “I Have No Creative Bone in my Body” excuse is all bullshit. If it feels creative to you, it is fucking creative. If you envision a career based on milestones and money, that is different. Career path and creativity are two separate things. Success is being happy with doing what you love. It was a year into my creative process, after having committed the time and space to create my work, that lead me to feel capable after many years of not feeling capable. It took a while. It is not automatic. Making the time forces you to be better. 

[CM] What’s the most recent thing you learned (big or small)?
[JA] Restraint. Restraint with imagery. Restraint with words. Restraint with my own thoughts. The failure in my lack of restraint has taught me restraint.