Today, interior designer, Jennie Scott, stops by to talk creative process. I first met Jennie when she was managing costumes and props for a production of Godspell I was in at Unity North Atlanta in 2013. She is such a creative person with such a positive spirit, and I am so excited to have her talk creativity today.
So, here you go, everyone. An interview with Jennie Scott.
What is your main form of creative expression?
I do several forms of creative expression, but mostly interior design. I worked behind the scenes in interior design for 25 years, mostly in wallcoverings, custom furniture, fabrics and custom upholstery.
Do you work as an artist/creative full-time or do you have a different day job?
I’m a consultant part-time by request, and I work in mental health for a full-time job. I find they are similar because you need to get inside the person’s heart very fast.
How do you handle the pressures of creativity being your job?
Design can be stressful, because there are deadlines, changed orders, and you are working with other people’s money, often with custom items that cannot be returned. However, on some projects, the client allows you to do what you know will work best, and they love the results even though they were unsure in the beginning. My job is to try to save someone from making expensive mistakes while creating a beautiful place for them to “live and move and have their being,” as Myrtle Fillmore would say.
Do you engage in any additional creative hobbies? Are there any you’d like to try?
I also compose music. I have composed since I was 13 years old, and had a chance in the late 90’s to do some work on some music and movies. Notation and playing piano are more challenging, so I don’t always get my work out there unless someone writes it down. That is my learning curve right now. I want to learn how to paint and do pottery and knit, but I will have to wait until my schedule slows down. I often use creative outlets with my mental health clients to help them find affirmative experiences to express their story.
Who are some other artists and creatives that inspire you to create?
Atlanta designer Nancy Braithwaite and New York designer Mark Hampton were my design muses. I met Nancy once, and just gushed. I also got to meet Mark’s daughter, Alexa Hampton, at an event, and was able to share with her how her father influenced my use of color and space. I also love Joanna Gaines, because she can use simple resources to put together a casual style.
Why do you create?
I create because I am. It is like a ministry, a way of making someone’s life better because they were able to have their home work for them. When someone feels less stressed because they can find their papers, coat, and shoes, and that they can relax in a room that makes them happy, I have done a service to them.
What advice do you have for other creatives?
So many people think they can’t create because they didn’t go to school for it. Nonsense. There is a hunger for expression deep inside of us, and when we can get out of our own way, it can be expressed. For example, I always thought I could not draw. However, when I had to learn how to draw a room so the tile man could install the tile, or draw a custom sofa to dimensions so it could be constructed by someone who didn’t speak English, I found out I could draw just fine and communicate what I wanted!
What are you working on now?
This winter I will be redesigning a condo on Tybee Island. I have already memorized the floor plan, and have seen what it looks like finished in my head. The next step is to back out the finished concept and break it down into steps so that I can tell the contractor what needs doing, shuffle furniture, and finally hang art and accessories.
Where can people find you and your work?
I don’t currently have a website, because every client and every home is different. However, if someone would like a consultation, they can contact me at [email protected]. I serve the metro Atlanta area, and will do anyplace in Georgia or the surrounding states with a travel fee.
Thank you for letting me share my story! The photos are by Crystal Turnblom and are of my current home.
Thanks for letting me pick your brain, Jennie. I totally agree with your advice to other creatives!