We had the good fortune of connecting with Adrian Jennings and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Adrian, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I chose a creative path in 2018. I was dealing with postpartum depression. I used meditation, yoga, and sketching in my sketchbook as a creative outlet. I had so many sketches that one night I told my husband that I was wondering if I could paint one of the images. But of course, I talked myself out of it in the same breath. The next day, he took me to the craft store. I didn’t know why we were there. But we went straight for the canvases and paint. There I got my first brushes. My first canvas. And the rest is “her-story.” My creative expression has given me so much joy and purpose. Even through the most trying times, I have an outlet and my own way of communicating my thoughts and sharing my gift with others.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve drawn cartoon characters all my life. When I was a little girl, I used to love all things Disney and I could see an image and draw the exact image just from staring at it. But growing up I didn’t want to be a “starving artist” and focused on trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. So after high school, I abandoned my creative gift for over 15 years. When I started painting, most people were so shocked and amazed that I had been hiding who I was for all that time. My art is me being vulnerable and my authentic self. It’s me sharing my heart and soul with sometimes complete strangers. That’s the part that makes me anxious and also brings me the most joy. I’m a private person and not much of a conversationalist. So my art is that discussion only my audience can hear. Most of my work is created on canvas or wood using acrylic paint. I like to say that my art is me acknowledging my reality and taking ownership of my experiences as a black woman. A majority of my work is a reflection of black men and women and their work/experiences. My work also has a lot of influence from history, literature, and music, from blues to hip hop. I want my audience, which mostly includes minorities, to see themselves in all their greatness. I like to experiment using different styles and techniques with influences from graffiti and street art to realism and abstract expressionism. I use vibrant colors and textures to communicate and evoke emotions. When I create a piece my intentions are to convey my feelings about the subjects portrayed. I’m early in my career so my technique and experiences continue to expand and evolve. And as that evolution occurs, my message of “representation matters” will continue to show in my work.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Even though I’m naturally shy. I’m also a Leo (go figure). So I secretly love being social and surrounding myself with good vibes and good people. Huntsville is growing quickly and I think it’s due to a large creative population. I love the fact that Huntsville is working on promoting black and minority creatives. One of my favorite spots is a Black-owned winery called Robyn’s Garden. I have a piece hanging in the establishment but I love the ambiance and friendly staff. Another favorite is attending any events thrown by R&B Vibes Live here in Huntsville. They always have amazing hosts and the best live performances like Mil Music or CC Watson (just to name a few). Not to mention the CEO Ryan Felton gave me my first gig as a live painter! So you’ll also get to see me and my easel at some of the events as well! I also like to be involved with my new community and a part of the All African People’s Development & Empowerment Project (AAPDEP). Zenzele Consignment is a source of funding for that project and even though the brick and mortar is closed, the website is an available way to support. They also have community initiatives like community gardens and youth programs that you can volunteer and support. You can see how you can get involved at developmentforafrica.org.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a huge shoutout to my family and my supporters. Anyone that has liked or shared a post, purchased original art or a print from my site, or given me encouragement to keep growing in this new journey. I have been able to grow so much thanks to you all! But my family is my WHY! They are my biggest support. They are the ones sitting up with me all night as I paint. They help me pack my car for showcases and events. They are my cashiers and marketing team on the road. They are EVERYTHING to me and I appreciate their love and patience.

Website: Society6.com/ajoriginals

Instagram: @created_by_aj

Linkedin: LinkedIn.com/in/adrian-Jennings-mba-ab5b3988

Facebook: Facebook.com/100028875412726

Image Credits
Headshot: Tiavalya Photography

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