We discovered Jenny Walton after she styled one of our pieces on Instagram. Her classic yet elevated style instantly attracted us, but what lay beyond a well put together outfit is a young talented illustrator who, although raised in the digital age, takes handcrafting very seriously. After illustrating some of our hero styles for the dressing rooms in our new Soho store, Jenny joined us for our opening party where she crafted live fashion illustrations of attendees styled in our Fall ’14 collection.
When did you realize you were first interested in art?
When I was younger my mom was actually a fantastic quilter and was always down in our basement sewing. She would have us sew a lot which we hated because we always just wanted to play outside. I remember telling her I would never need to know how to sew, but she made me learn. I started when I was very young making quilts for my Barbies and sewing pillows and things like that. Once I got into high school I signed up for a Home Ec class where we would make purses and little things. I loved designing my own stuff and just being able to create whatever I thought of in my mind. I started taking more art classes and sketching the things that I was thinking about and then bringing them to life.
Have you always centered your art on fashion, or was there a certain age when it became a greater focus?
The core thing that I’ve been attracted to is really just style in general. Even beyond just fashion or clothes really. I grew up watching a lot of old movies with my mom. I watched the women in those films and their personalities and how they were portrayed through the clothes that they wore and the way that they moved. I think that I was just romanticizing their style and I wanted to create that. The best way I knew to start was making my own clothes. I realized art is really about developing my own style. I have a very specific hand and line quality. So it’s always been kind of a mix, but its really that style has always been my core attraction.
Tell us about the path you’ve taken in your career:
After high school I got into Parsons. I was so happy to move to New York and just completely go for it. I learned a lot of different sides of art and design, drawing the clothes and also making them. Once I graduated I was so fortunate to get a job designing knitwear and doing what I had gone to school for and what I loved, making clothes. But at a certain point I just really started getting into illustrations and my passion started to shift. I had a long commute back and forth from where I live in Park Slope in Brooklyn up to Queens where my office was so I decided to put the time to work. I started sketching on the train and that was what I started looking forward to every day. When I got off the train I would run back to my apartment and keep sketching. What I was drawing was completely my own, and that felt really good.
When did you get into personal styling? Do you make a lot of the clothes?
It’s definitely a mixture. I make a lot of my own clothes and I spend a lot of time vintage shopping and thrift shopping. That’s something I started doing when I was really young, my parents would take me to flea markets back in New Jersey. You’d see all this amazing stuff and it just feels so original and so refreshing. I wanted to use the blog (Markers and Microns) to show people all of the cool things that I’ve been finding throughout the years. At this point in my life I want to focus on progressing my artistic drawings and my personal style. Defining exactly who I am and what makes me different.
How do you see your blog developing and what are your goals outside your blog?
I have so many dreams. It’s so hard when you’re young and you want everything. I want to be a blogger, I want to be a style icon, I want to be an actress, I want to be a director, I want to be Andy Warhol or Picasso. It’s hard, I want to be everything, but ultimately I want people to think of me and instantly know what my style is. I like bringing something original to people, something they haven’t seen before. I don’t know exactly where it will go.
How would you describe your personal style as of right now?
Right now my personal style is a lot like my drawings and what I’m influenced by. A lot of 60’s for some reason. I just cannot get over floral prints right now.
In an age of technology is there something special about bringing pen to paper?
That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot. As things are becoming more technology-based, I think it’s so important to keep that handcraft alive. That’s part of why my blog is called Markers and Microns. I can sketch on iPads or in Illustrator, but it takes practicing your craft to perfect it. If I could show people my first sketches now they would laugh. It takes years and years and I’m so proud that I put that time in every day. In the beginning my sketches weren’t great. That’s why I know if I keep pushing it and developing over time they will just get better and better.
Written by Kate Koeller