Jena Holliday’s illustrations are very much a reflection—no, a continuation—of her identity as a woman and a mother. Describing herself as an illustrator, author, and a “creative mama from Minnesota”, her work is centered around women, serving as an empowering tool for her thousands of followers (to date, her Instagram page sports an impressive 35k fanbase).
“My work is inspired by growing up surrounded by women (4 sisters!) and finding that the beauty of our differences always made us stronger,” she writes on her personal website. Other sources of inspiration include diversity, honest motherhood, and her walk of faith (in fact, tying in with her faith, her studio/brand is named Spoonful of Faith).
According to Holliday, her creative spirit blossomed at an early age, but having grown up she put her love of art aside, launching first a career in marketing. “I have always been creative,” she shared in an interview with Creative Lady Collective. “From a young age, I would sketch comic strips and draw people I did life with. I never took it too seriously until after I finished college with a degree in marketing.”
But returning to her original passion was only a matter of time. For Holliday, it was motherhood that reignited her interest in art and illustration. “I decided that I wasn’t really doing what I loved to do, and then after the birth of my first child, I got an insane passion to go for what I always dreamed of,” she recalls.
Like in most cases, the internet happened. Sharing her work online drew other people in, and Holliday was commissioned to do the things she loved doing best. But the actual leap of faith into freelance work happened a while later—when she was pregnant with her second child.
“From there I’ve seen the need in the market for women, especially mothers, to be encouraged in being creative,” she notes. “I’ve also seen artists struggle with marketing and ‘selling’ their work and through my past experience and passion for art—I started teaching tips and tricks to women through Mother Creative, an online community I launched”.
These days, her clients include giants like Dove, HarperCollins, and Logitech. But her biggest audience has always remained the same: other women.