There’s no telling what will inspire local artist Jeanine Thiel, but whenever she finds it she makes it her own.
“I really like contrast, that usually inspires me, but I never really know when something will catch my eye,” said Jeanine.
Art may be in her blood, but being the daughter of an artist doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re encouraged to lead the life of a starving artist.
“(Art) was always something I wanted to do, but that wasn’t really allowed back when I was a kid. I was more encouraged to go to university and get a ‘real’ job, that sort of thing.”
Gaining a lot of inspiration from mom, Jeanine always had art in the back of her mind, but it wasn’t until she was 19 that it really hit her that this could be a career. She had designed a tattoo for a friend, and got quite a surprise when they went into a tattoo parlour to inquire about cost.
“When they saw my drawing they said ‘wow, do you want a job?’ I said ‘OK.’ The idea of being a tattoo artist is probably the first thing I wanted to do.”
It all grew from there, but Jeanine truly found her niche when she started doing portraits. She moved to Golden from Edmonton and found that her work flourished in the mountain community.
“I really like Golden, I think I’ll be here for a while,” said Jeanine. “I’ve been really surprised how supportive Golden has been with me.”
Her real breakthrough came when Jeanine starting using social media to showcase her work. She sold a piece through a local Facebook site, and was encouraged to start her own page. Since then she has been able to sell her work, and has also gotten a lot of requests for commissioned pieces through Facebook.
During busy times, especially around Christmas, Jeanine garners enough work to make a living purely as an artist. But the process is certainly different, creating art for others as opposed to herself.
“Doing portraits for other people is really different. I usually ask for really good detailed pictures, but it’s definitely a different process from pieces I make for myself.”
The online world is also where the young artist goes to gather inspiration and valuable feedback. Websites like Instagram have connected artists from all over the world, allowing them to share their work with likeminded people.
“That’s probably my favourite place to post my stuff, I get 10 times more feedback than I do on Facebook, it’s really nice. I always talk with artists on there, and they give me tips as well. That’s really awesome, I feel like I’ve learned a lot just by looking through their work,” said Jeanine.
As a young artist in her 20s, Jeanine still has a long career ahead of her, and she has no interest in slowing down.
“It’s a never ending busyness. There’s always a million things on my mind that I want to do next. Then on top of that, there’s always requests from other people to draw things for them. It never seems to stop, but that’s a good thing. That’s what I want.”
To view more of Jeanine’s work, or to commission a piece, she can be contacted through her Facebook page at Jeanine “jdash” 9.