Karen Jinks Design
Studio 3, Stapleford Granary, Bury Road, Stapleford, Cambridge, CB22 5BP
Lockdown delivered unexpected benefits for Karen Jinks. Despite its impact on her freelance graphic design business, lockdown gave Karen the space and time to focus on her art and artistic practice. When a friend asked whether she was going to do her art workshops again, this started a chain of events that eventually led her to Stapleford Granary and her very own studio. Not only has she taken her own practice to another level, she’s also developed a variety of workshops and courses that enable her to pass on her skills and techniques to others.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing. As a graphic designer, Karen’s used to working fast and efficiently; making art for herself requires a different mindset. She would fall into a ‘spiral of negativity’, the voice in her head telling her she was no good. She took several online courses and gradually worked through the difficulties. Now she has the tools to deal with the negative voices, and it’s these tools, her deepening understanding of the mindset behind painting, and the practical techniques she’s learned from her own practice over the years, that Karen shares with the people who attend her workshops.
Karen’s classes attract a real mix: complete beginners, people who used to paint but stopped because life got in the way, artists stuck in a creative block. Whatever their level of experience, everyone starts in the same place. Karen spends time with each person, getting to know them, what they can and can’t do, why they’re there, and coaches them to explore and develop their own voice, their own creative path. She gives them all the materials they need and permission to experiment. It starts with a mark on a piece of paper – getting some colour down, having fun, trying things out.
These are more than ‘just’ painting classes, they are also masterclasses in how to break the spiral of negativity. Karen provides the space and the tools to help her students recognise and unlock what’s already inside them, to immerse themselves in the process of making art, just as she does herself.