Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I am Jennifer McCully, an avid coffee drinker and color chaser. I am happy. Colorful. Passionate. And a true mess maker. I love creating – nothing in particular. I am 100% self-taught both as a graphic designer and a mixed media artist. Most of the time I am all over the map…whether it be creating for a new art book, creating art for Hobby Lobby or designing and printing vinyl wall decals (a craft I accidently picked up a few years back) for two of my Etsy shops. My days are filled creating from morning till afternoon, taking care of my four girls in the middle as well as family life in the evenings.
Tell us a bit about the book?
The projects in the ARTragious Art Camp book are truly for kids of all ages. Children’s art is very inspiring. I love the bold, vibrant colors they choose…and they seem to come up with color combinations that one would never think would go together. Besides children’s art being inspiring, it is quite carefree and fun. Those are the kinds of projects that are in ARTragious. I wanted the projects to clearly be children’s art, but the kind of art that truly gives one drips of imagination, splatters of wonder and rough, fearless strokes of sophistication.
What was the inspiration behind it?
The inspiration from ARTragious Art Camp the book first came from my ARTragius Art Camp that I host for one week every summer. The book ARTragious, is a collection of 27 projects that came to life in my children’s art camp that I started back in 2010 after my fourth girl was born. 85% of the project ideas in the book had already been completed by kids that attended my art camp over the years. The other 15% of the projects were additional projects that I came up with to add to the collection of projects specifically for the book.
Which is your favourite project?
This is a tough question to answer, but I will say the cover art, the Mosaic Elephant painting. I am a huge fan of elephants and do paint them quite a bit in various forms.
What is your craft space like?
My home studio is very bright and open! Tons of sunlight pouring in from half of my space being all windows. Although I feel my art can be overly colorful and chaotic at times, I do not function well if my studio is too cluttered; therefore, I try to keep my space as open as possible so that when I have to move from project to project, I am not as stressed.
Have you always been creative?
I have always be creative; however, I did not know how creative I really was until I started creating on purpose. I started creating on purpose when my first girl was in first grade and I decided to create a mixed media painting for her teacher that had won the “Teacher of the Year” award. It was after creating that painting that I decided to try and sell my art in a local art co-op as well as local arts and crafts shows. My artful journey took off quite fast and I never looked back.
When did you first start crafting?
Sure I did art as a child, but it was the normal art projects that kids do in school. Nothing special. The first thing that I truly remember creating was the canvas that I already mentioned for one of my daughter’s teachers as a gift. I had no idea what I was doing. I thought I was making a mixed media tree that included all areas of teaching such as music, art, math, English, etc. My husband thought it was a peacock! Needless to say, I kept creating!
Who are your crafty heroes?
I am currently in love with abstract art, the business of how art sells and the effect of social media has in the art world. There is a business and marketing side of me that I have always had; therefore, I pay attention to other artists that I feel balance creativity, marketing and business relationships/collaborations as a whole. In today’s crafty world I say I would consider Joy Cho the creator of “Oh Joy!” a crafty hero.
Where do you find inspiration?
I look to the following artists for inspiration: Teil Duncan, Britt Bass Turner, Kelly Ventura and Ashley Goldberg. I truly admire all of the accomplishments that these ladies have pulled off being full time artists.
What's next for you?
I am a huge fan of art on products/home goods. Products such as throw pillows, blankets, notebooks, make-up bags, phone cases, etc. My goal going forward is to get more of my art onto a variety of products/home goods. These are the kinds of products that make me go “oooh” and “ahhh” in a store!
ARTrageous! is the first title in Art Camp, an exciting new series designed to introduce young artists to a variety of art techniques in fun, fresh, and inviting new ways. This colorful and quirky book teaches budding artists the basics of drawing, painting, and mixed media art through the talents of artist Jennifer McCully, who takes readers on an exciting artistic journey through more than 25 dynamic step-by-step projects, including canvas paintings, collages, doodled drawings, and more. This book opens with a fun introduction to some of the tools and materials children will use to complete the projects, as well as warm-up exercises, instructions for special techniques, and a primer on the basics of color theory. Children will learn how to draw, paint, tear, stamp, stencil, and glue their way to imaginative, whimsical artwork using boldly patterned animals, fun and funky flowers, and playful patchworks. The colorful layout and full-color step-by-step photos make the instructions appealing and engaging for young artists to follow along with minimum supervision required, using only basic tools and materials. Parents and children alike will be enchanted by its fresh and bright aesthetic, wide variety of highly interactive art projects, and simple instructions. ARTrageous! is sure to cultivate a lifelong love of art and fill many days with creativity, inspiration, and artistic exploration.