A Living Pattern print is all about balance. White space and a careful mix of green paint combine to bring Jenny Kiker’s sun-dappled, tropical world to canvas.
Jenny, a botanical artist, works and lives out of her home studio in Delray Beach, Florida where she produces colorful prints of plant life for her brand Living Pattern.
Her desk is strategically placed under a window that floods her workspace with natural light and frames a bounty of lush, tropical plants. Among them: Palms, rubber trees, and the monstera—her personal favorite.
Living Pattern was born four years ago out of pure chance, and has grown thanks to Jenny’s work ethic and passion. Her consistency and drive to grow her business has placed her work in the hands of over 32 wholesalers as well as private commissions from her loyal audience.
A graduate of the lauded Savannah College of Art and Design’s illustration and paint programs, Jenny’s path to success wasn’t pre-planned, and features several detours along the way. In 2013, she was a textile designer at a children’s clothing company while also merchandising window displays for Urban Outfitters. But once she decided to embrace her passion for illustration and painting, she left both jobs to pursue a self-directed creative career.
"I was designing squirrel prints for little girls dresses," she recalls. "Painting and illustrations were my thing and I felt I wasn’t being used to my fullest. I kind of quit my job ungracefully with no plan and no savings," she laughs, "I was forced to make a living off of my passion. So I started painting anything and everything. I was drawing insects, animals, even pet portraits for awhile."
In a stroke of serendipity, Jenny’s fiancé came home one day with an armful of plants.
"He said, ‘Here. Why don’t you paint these?’ and that was kind of that," she says.
That moment kickstarted an obsession that she leveraged into a business and a drive to become "a self-taught botanist." Her success was accelerated by the timely design trend to incorporate more plant life into the home. Images of Moroccan shag rugs, white walls, and fiddle leaf figs instantly spring to mind.
Not to mention Pantone—the leading authority on all things color—naming Greenery as their 2017 Color of the Year.
Jenny readily embraces the flow between her outdoor and indoor spaces—a calling card of the mid-century modern decor era. Naturally, she describes her own style as "modern tropical mid-century."
"I love the flow of green inside and outside my space. It makes me feel like I’m outside and so inspires me," she says.
When selecting pieces for her studio space, a neutral color palette of camel, cream, white and black was selected to ground the statement green tones of both her artwork and armchair.
"My studio is a sanctuary and every time I sit here and do my work, I look over at my living room and think, ‘Would I want to put this artwork up in this room?’. I’m essentially creating pieces for the room that I have and using the beauty I surround myself with as a benchmark for the quality of my work," she says.
Natural materials like leather, velvet, wool, and walnut also play a part in creating variation and texture.
"I don’t like detail or decorative additions. I love things that are clean, simple, functional — which is part of why I love Article so much. The furniture is very clean and modern but still has a lot of cosiness to it," says Jenny.
After quickly churning through several vintage sofas, Jenny realized the value of curating a selection of quality pieces for her home.
"I went through the phase where I collected furniture from thrift stores—and I’m not against that now, but there’s nothing like a new piece of furniture. I’d much rather have less, but of higher quality," she explains. "I’m so much more thoughtful about the furniture that I buy and I’ve progressively gotten rid of so many things that I own to save money for truly nice furniture."
The most important thing in her studio?
"The light," she says without hesitation. "It dictated the entire setup of the room. Where my desk is, where other artificial light sources were placed. Everything."