Blending Creativity and Inspiration
Solo Mom Jennifer T Graham discusses creativity, inspiration, and her nonprofit, Shelter from the Rain
Q: What inspires you creatively? What are your sources for inspiration?
A: I get inspiration from different things like fashion, movies, patterns, fabric, typography, bright colors, life, photography, books, posters, logos, paper, food, other creative types, paintings, etc. I love to look up trends from the latest fashions and see how the colors impact the Pantone palette for the next year. I think it’s really cool how all the areas of art and design influence each other. Since most of my digital art is created for print, I like to look at different papers when I design, and they often inspire me to go in a new direction. I try to design things that are customized for the giver and the receiver. I like to keep my design distinct in its own way for the person/business sending the message but still mindful of the recipient/target audience. Fine art and photography inspire me as well because you can say so much without saying anything at all. Just the description of a company, project, or party can spark a burst of creative juices for me.
Q: What do you do in your work?
A: My focus is in brand development, so I spend a lot of time bringing other people’s dreams and ideas to life while adding my own artistic touch to it. I think personal and professional branding is very important. Understanding yourself and what you have to offer the world is critical for success. I use my creativity to help people understand and market those two things.
Q: Tell us about your social causes.
A: My passion for social awareness also fuels me as a creative person and as a humanitarian. I started a not-for-profit called Shelter from the Rain that is dedicated to enriching the lives of single mothers and children in need through acts of kindness that nurture the mind, body, and soul. I have used my talents to help bring awareness to a variety of issues, such as sexual child abuse, poverty, and, specifically, the needs of single mothers. As a single mother, seeing the needs of other mothers inspires me to do more to help those around me. This adds substance to my life as a designer and a mom. Having the opportunity to use my passion to help others is one of the greatest gifts in the world, and I am so grateful to God to be able to do what I love every day.
For more on Jennifer T. Graham, visit her website.
Photo credit: Jennifer T. Graham
Tanisha Christie is an interdisciplinary performing artist and filmmaker. After years of working at the nexus of arts, media, social justice, and healing, she is currently finishing her master of social work (clinical specialization) at Hunter College in New York City. A child of a Solo Mom, she loves to ride her bike to the beach.
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