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Jennifer Lioy is a graphic designer, illustrator, and feelings-haver based in Austin, TX. She makes things for screens, walls, mailboxes, and human beings. If given the chance, she will corner you in a bar to ask you what you’re afraid of.
Holstee: Where is home for you?
Jennifer: Austin, Texas
H: What is your definition of a successful life?
J: One in which I get to be creative most days, have the ability to support and care for the people I love, and contribute to the world in a positive way.
H: Describe your perfect day.
J: A perfect day for me is really just one of balance and ease — one in which I get to draw or make something in some capacity, spend time with my people, see the sun, eat tacos, and probably pet a dog.
H: Why did you get into design?
J: The short answer is that design falls into the sweet spot of words and visuals for me. I always say that I love words and letterforms equally and design gives me the space to create in both categories.
H: Where do you find inspiration?
J: Poetry, sign painting, graphic novels and comics, editorial illustration, and textile design.
H: What's your dream design project?
J: I would love love to illustrate a children’s book.
H: Which designers or thinkers influence you?
J: There are so, so many. At the moment: Jimmy Marble, Frances Cannon, Adam J. Kurtz, Carissa Potter, and Louise Lockhart.
H: What's the inspiration behind the design of the Compassion print?
J: Distinct from kindness, and with the complexity of empathy, mercy, and tolerance, compassion encompasses so much! And I tried to touch on all of those elements within this art. The foundation of the illustration is at the bottom where the hands hold the root of the plant. The unique experiences of each individual is depicted as separate. But in this first place of connection, compassion is cultivated. As you move up, the illustration, the elements become more intertwined, and the pink and orange are printed over the other to create a new color. The reflective/symmetrical nature of the design represents a oneness and our interconnectedness as humans. The vibrant and whimsical floral elements represent the life-giving joys of shared human experience. But there are also thorns, falling petals, and rain to represent the challenging, painful, or hurtful experiences and emotions that come with being humans in the world. These difficult moments call us to act with compassion, to reach out with love and kindness. When we cultivate and show compassion to one another, we share in all of those experiences, good and bad.
H: At the moment, what's your favorite color?
J: It’s wildflower season here, so I’d have to say Texas Bluebonnet blue.
J: The Tonkotsu ramen (with brussels sprouts) at Ramen Tatsu-Ya in Austin. I’m obsessed.
J: "You are not weak just because your heart feels so heavy. I have never met a heavy heart that wasn’t a phone booth with a red cape inside." - "The Nutritionist" by Andrea Gibson.
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This article is part of our series on the theme of Compassion.EXPLORE Compassion
Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.VIEW OUR THEMES