Australian artist Jenni Rogers creates delightfully whimsical art that celebrates good food and dining out. See more of her portfolio by visiting her website.
I live in the Byron Bay Hinterland, Australia, with my husband, mother, daughter, son-in-law, new grandbaby, chooks, sheep and two mini-foxy x chihuahuas. It’s a full house and full life!
I had quite a journey to becoming a full-time artist and surface pattern designer. After leaving school at 14, I went to secretarial school and then to work at my parents’ business at a quarry in Sydney. I didn’t enjoy this too much. Sweeping floors and making coffee wasn’t what I thought I’d be doing as a secretary. After quitting and being fired way too many times, I managed to secure a job as a waitress.
After working there a few months, I discovered the business was for sale. My sister became a guarantor on a loan for me at the bank, and I bought my first business for $12,000 in 1985, The Chelsea Teahouse in Avalon. I had just turned 16.
Being an artist wasn’t something I had ever dreamed of being able to do. While growing up in Sydney in the 70’s and 80’s, my goal was only to earn enough money to leave home. I eventually did that after buying the teahouse at 16.
I later became a chef and went on to own many cafes, takeaways and bakeries. After having my first child, I realized this was not the best life for me. It was too difficult to raise a family and with the hours required in the food business, I spent too much time away from home.
One day I followed my Mum (who painted casually) to art class. I discovered an absolute joy in painting. I took folk art classes and completed three years doing Cert II & III in Fine Art and Contemporary Craft at Tafe. It’s only been the last four years that I’ve seriously pursued my art full-time.
About a year and a half ago, I discovered surface pattern design. I found that I absolutely loved the idea of painting and turning the artwork into a pattern. Then I learnt Photoshop and took two surface pattern design courses to refine my skills. That included setting up a website and learning how to take photos and video reels.
My inspiration comes from so many sources as I live on acreage and I’m only minutes from the beach. To sum me up, I’m a little country and a little beachy and a whole lot of foodie. I am so excited to paint and create every day. It does not feel like work at all!