Friday, October 30, 2015

An Interview With Jennyann Carthern

I've known Jennyann for almost two years now. We met in the 12 x 12 (12 picture books in 12 months). Jennyann is never short of ideas and this keeps her very busy with her art. Though Jennyann is busy, she always makes the time to support to other Illustrators.

Jennyann has been working hard on some fantastic projects over the years. In late 2014 she got the idea for "Monster Chores" coloring book that I worked on her with. Monster Chores is a collaboration of 13 illustrators and is filled with lots of fun monster illustrations to color. You can download the book free here:

Jennyann has a lot of big projects going on this year. She's got a Bookplate creation project for Etsy (link is for the Patreon page), a her Painting Black Faces Project, and she's also creating some course material for teachers and afterschool programs!


Dani: Why Children's Literature?

Jennyann: I love children’s literature because it’s magical, and engaging. It ignites the unknown realms of our imagination, where almost any idea, creature, or creation can be told.

Dani: What are the main projects you are working on right now?

Jennyann: I’m not currently working on a specific children’s book right now. However the main projects I am working on are creating bookplates. Which are fancy illustrated labels that you glue in the front pages of your favorite books. I’m planning to sell them on Etsy. My store will be opening real soon, in a matter of weeks. I’ve also created a special page on Patreon to offer a limited edition set of bookplates to Patrons only each month.

Other projects include my Painting Black Faces Project, in which I’m collecting photos of African American youth in K-5th grade. I want to create a picture book of portraits, that I’m painting of them. This is in service to more diversity in picture books and more students loving the skin their in.

Then last I’m creating some course material for teachers and afterschool programs to bring more art into their classrooms and programs, along with courses for adults who just want to have fun with art.

There are a whole lot of other projects too, just not ready to release the hounds yet.

Dani: Finish the following thoughts:

Painting is...whimsical, dreamy, and inviting .

I focus on joy.

Dani: What's special about your work?

Jennyann: My work makes people happy. It’s engaging, a whole lot of fun, and it’s a journey worth taking.

Dani: What is your ultimate goal?

Jennyann: My ultimate goal is to live my life with purpose while making a living doing what I love. I want set up better life experiences for myself and my family. I want to impact others to live the life they want. Regardless of their circumstances. It just takes a yes, then a whole lot of learning, mistakes, and work. It’s possible.

I think that’s why I also love children’s literature. It’s always full of possibilities. As some of us grow older, we just stop believing. I’ve never stopped. I just kept going, even after falling a gazillion times, and if I fall again. As long as I can look up. I’ll kept getting up. I just know that all the work I’ve put in will pay me back one day. So if I stop, or refuse to keep going. It won’t ever get the chance to do that.


My Patreon Page to become a Patron:





My New Etsy Store/Coming Soon:


  1. How wonderful and vibrant Jennyann's work is. Can't wait to check out the Etsy store. I know a lot of readers!

  2. Would love to see the painting black faces book- much needed!!!!! Dyann Joyce

  3. Dani did such a great thing in making posts like these available for us- thank you for all your hard work