Jena Holliday of "Spoonful of Faith" Talks Being A Self-Taught Artist, Balancing Work and Motherhood
by Shonette Reed
A self-taught artist based out of Minnesota, Jena Holliday began “Spoonful of Faith” after running a blog that allowed her to dive into her creative passions. Giving all credit to God, Jena says that the name, “Spoonful of Faith” came to her one day as she was creating.
Like many artists, Jena has always held an interest in art; filling notebooks with her doodles and comic strips. It was in high school that she began drawing the funny things that she and a group of girls would talk about, and a few years ago, Jena pushed to use her creativity to further her faith.
I had the chance to talk to Jena about “Spoonful of Faith” over email and discuss how the name came to be, her artistic style and balancing her work with motherhood.
Q: How did you come up with the name “Spoonful of Faith”?
A: God. I used to run a blog called, "I'm Perfectly Human" and when I started diving into my creative passions, it was all a God thing, I felt a nudge to start a new blog that would include my art, faith and family, and “Spoonful of Faith” came to me one day as I was creating.
Q: When did you begin your art? Where?
A: I am a self-taught artist. I started professionally making and selling my work a few years ago, but I've drawn all my life. I've always been an avid doodler and would fill notebooks with my doodles and comic strips. In high school, me and a group of girls would talk about funny things around school and I would draw them up. A few years ago, I pushed more into these other sides of my creativity through my relationship with God and furthering my faith. I went to school for marketing and social media but have always had a love for the arts; so right now, everything kind of meshes together with my work and my blog-- and I love it!
Q: What drew you to begin creating the art you create?
A: Some of the first work I created and sold were of children, and my style was very whimsical. It was also really fun to express myself that way - but I know I would draw kids because I always draw what's on my heart and I was a new mom at the time. Now my illustration work is generally of women and children. I love drawing patterns and playing with soft colors...everything encompasses around the idea of family and love, and that's where my heart is.
Q: What are some of the challenges you face with being a mom and running a business?
A: Time. Balance. Staying motivated. I think we all struggle with these no matter what we do but when you are working from home and have your kids around those can be the biggest struggles, in my opinion. I try to set boundaries and, over time, I have come up with what works for our family. For me, that means I have early days before my kids are up so I can get through some work, and I schedule days for childcare so I can have time to work. I have learned that trying to do it all in one space doesn't work for me -- so when I'm with my kids, I am with my kids, giving them all of me. Any type of work I do with them around is super mindless, and I set times that I just need to put it down and be with them. This has helped our family and my mommy guilt a lot.
Q: What are some of the blessings that come with motherhood, in your opinion?
A: Oh, there are so many blessings with being a mom. For me, I would say experiencing a more pure and sacrificial love is a huge blessing of being a mother. I think it also teaches you more about the women who raised you, and you appreciate life a bit more. My children have also taught me a lot about myself - being a mother is the first push I needed to pursue my creative dreams, but it's also taught me that the little moments that we blow through are often the most precious ones. I could go on and on, but I'll stop there.
Q: What's something you make sure you always show in your illustrations?
A: Love. I think that's what I try to gather when I illustrate - people's emotions and sentiments. The warm embrace of a parent with a child, the genuine smiles that come from a child who just loves their parent-- I think those are some of the most special moments, and I love to capture that in my work.