Meet our 2023 Enamel Archives Artist!By: OwlCrate Jr
Meet Jane Mount: Artist of our 2023 Enamel Archives Collection!
In January we launched an exciting new monthly pin collection designed by Jane Mount, creator of Ideal Bookshelf! Each of these beautiful enamel pins will be inspired by our middle grade novel of the month. You can see sketches and color studies of her design for our January book, Heroes Of Havensong, below!
Jane was kind enough to chat with us about her artistic process and more. Read on and enjoy!
1. Hi Jane! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you turned your love of books into a full-time business?
I was a very shy kid, so shy that I didn't have many friends and spent most of my time reading to escape to other worlds. I also spent a lot of time drawing and painting, and wanted to be an artist when I grew up. After college I worked for many years as a designer and internet entrepreneur, but eventually I decided I really wanted to draw and paint full-time, so I started working as an illustrator. One day I was at home just drawing pictures of the books on my bookshelf for fun, and a friend came over and said "Oh my gosh I LOVE those, I want to buy those drawings right now!" Their reaction was so strong that I knew there must be something special there, so I kept drawing books and other bookish things to see where it would take me. I've now turned it into a small business, and in addition to painting books for people, I design and produce tons of book-themed products like pins, stickers, notecards, and puzzles that then get sold in bookstores around the world. After a few years I also started writing and illustrating my own books, which are about the love of books!
2. What’s been the most surprising thing about the type of art you create?
Honestly, I am always surprised to find out how many people LOVE books as much as I do. Books can transport you to all different places and times, and really are magic. I am always fascinated to learn (and then to draw) someone's favorite books, because I think it tells me so much about who they are, like a portrait of that person from the inside instead of the outside.
3. You’ve created so many wonderful bookish designs! What else do you draw inspiration from?
I think there is a kind of magic in everything around us, and I like to draw all kinds of everyday things, from my favorite chair to what I ate for dinner last night, drawing them in a way that shows how special they are. But more than anything else I love to draw animals of all kinds: tigers, bears, pangolins, whales, capybaras, unicorns, dragons, spiders, whatever! I love them all.
4. When you’re not working on professional projects, how do you like to spend your free time?
We live in Hawai'i, so we go hiking or to the beach as much as possible. Also, I love learning new things, so I take classes in ceramics and make a lot of pottery, including tons of tiny animal sculptures that I call "Ceranimals". And I spend time hanging out with our real animals; we have three cats and two dogs, all named after car brands: Benz, Lada, Opel, Fiat, and Ford.
5. Do you have any advice for any young artists out there who would like to do what you do?
More than anything else, I would say: JUST KEEP GOING. Draw and draw and draw some more, keep making things, keep trying things. At first it might be hard to figure out what you want to draw and how you want to draw, what sort of style you have, etc., but don't worry about any of that, just keep making things of all sorts and trying out all different styles and eventually your own will just come forth, I promise. All the millions of tiny things that make you YOU will show up in your art and make it different from everyone else's, if you just give it enough attention and love.