Q&A with Connecticut-based illustrator and mom Jennifer Vallez
Mommy and illustrator Jennifer Vallez and her family are living in Connecticut, USA. She has two daughters, 14-year-old Sophie and 9-year-old Lola. Jennifer creates beautiful portraits of families and next to that she also has her own webshop, called Sophie & Lili
, where she sells her handmade dolls.
You make amazing art! Where do you get your inspiration from?
Thank you! I find inspiration in so many places – street fashion, fashion illustrators, pop culture… but in regard to my portraits, I love studying young families. One of my favorite things to draw is children and parent/child interaction.
Can you name 10 things (in no particular order) you couldn’t live without?
Family, coffee, a big comfy turtleneck, jeans, paper, a brush pen, watercolor paints, my iPhone, glossier balm dotcom, chocolate.
How do you combine your work with being a mother?
Ever since I have been self-employed (3 years), it’s definitely been easier to balance work and parenting. I work from home and the girls are always welcome to come into my office and hang out. They inspire me every day and I value their opinion on projects that I am working on. My oldest daughter was my fit model when I had a little girls clothing line and then years later, both girls helped me with input on a line of licensed dolls I designed.
What is your favourite portrait you ever made?
I was commissioned to draw a surprise portrait for a family that was expecting their second child. It was portrait of the mom, dad and son (first child) who they had lost tragically at the age of 3. The portrait is hanging in their daughter’s nursery now.
Do you encourage your kids to be creative?
Oh yes! They know that I can’t say no to art or craft supplies! I’m a bit biased, but think they’re both fantastic artists and very creative. I do wish I was a little more patient with crafts and messes though. I am a bit type A and try to keep things neat.
What is the best part about being a mom?
I love seeing how, even though they are very much like my husband and I, they are developing their own unique personalities with their own opinions. I like that they challenge us and help us to see things in a different light.
Want to see more of the portraits Jennifer made? Follow Jennifer on Instagram