Meet the local artist - Jenny Sibthorp

I first came across this Dorset based textile designer on Instagram when her work made me stop and look and then feel immensely happy; you know that feeling you get when you see a combination of colours, patterns and shapes and they're completely in tune with you and make your heart glow? That feeling is incredible and so, before I knew it I was typing out an email asking if I could interview her for my 'Meet the local artist' series. I was over the moon when she said yes. Before I continue going on about how much I love her work, I think I should share the interview! 

Jenny Sibthorp

Hi there, can you tell me and my blog readers a little bit about yourself?

Hello! I’m Jenny and I’m a textile designer working from a farm studio in the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. I am largely self taught; inspired by an Upholstery Evening Class I took whilst living in London where I realised I needed to find a way of earning a living by working with my hands. 

What kind of art do you do?

I design and screen-print my work onto linen and leather. These are then made into home wares and fashion accessories. I like to design bright, bold, graphic repeat patterns, sometimes with a tongue in cheek reference and generally pretty colourful too. I’m a huge fan of colour and I think I can safely say you probably won’t find any black in my palettes. 

Jenny Sibthorp

How do you work and get inspired?

I’ve been running my business now for a little over 3 years and I must admit, the creative side sometimes takes a bit of a back seat to the day to day running, admin and stock maintenance side. For inspiration, I turn my gaze outside. I’m a country gal through and through despite trying my hand at being a Londoner for nearly 6 years, and it’s the wide open spaces that inspire me. I’m lucky enough to live in a part of the country that has it all: beach, countryside, rugged hills, rivers, and the plethora of fauna and flora that accompanies that, so I can take my pick really. If I’m feeling stuck or needing some inspiration I’ll take myself off for a walk with a notebook. Jot down ideas and sketch, collecting ephemera as I go.

Jenny Sibthorp

What do you love about art?

Art is the everyday. It surrounds us. It is accessible to anyone and everyone, and has no limiting factor. From the most mundane, to the most intricate, it has appeal and countless perspectives. I love most how it touches every aspect of our day to day life.

Jenny Sibthorp

What's the creative scene like in Dorset? 

Dorset is a big county and there’s a lot going on! I’m involved with a very popular local Arts Festival who run a fantastic annual fortnight of exhibitions, events and open studios and it’s been a brilliant way of getting to know fellow creative people. I also sell regularly in Bridport at their weekly street market. I am also lucky enough to be involved in a shared retail space in Wareham, which allows me a platform to sell my work on a permanent basis, and also run workshops in the space too.  

Jenny Sibthorp

If you had to take only one art tool to a desert island, what would you choose and why?

Very simple, but I’d be happy with a pencil. I start everything I do by hand, and I even write my to do lists in pencil. 

If you could go to an Art Award dinner with any 5 people (dead or alive) and/or fictional characters, who would you choose? 

Edward Bawden, P G Wodehouse, Kaye Blegvad, Ariele Alasko and Jean Jullien. I think we’d have a wild old time. 

Thank you so much, Jenny! I feel so inspired hearing all about your creative, artistic world. I think you're right that art is the everyday and surrounds all of us. That needs to be written on a plaque in every village, town and city. 

I hope you've all enjoyed reading about Jenny's artistic world as much as I have. Don't forget to check out her beautiful website too!