Featured Artist – Jenna Thompson, Illustrator

Creator of the Bob Ross Inspired Christmas Jumper

Meet our Featured Artist and Illustrator, Jenna Thompson.

Jenna is inspired by many artists in her family and also inspired by the work of Bob Ross. Her inspiration has led her to create this cool Bob Ross inspired Jumper.

Happy Little Christmas Tree: Why I Designed a Christmas Jumper Dedicated to Bob Ross

In early September this year, I started designing my own line of Christmas jumpers. Why? Well frankly because last year, I couldn’t find a single one I liked. I had some idea of what I was after, most of which I thought surely must exist already. They didn’t.

Which led me to think: hmm, perhaps I’ve stumbled across an opportunity here? I couldn’t be the first person to make the leap from ‘happy little trees’ to ‘happy little Christmas tree’, could I?

“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”

I should explain: I love Bob Ross. Who doesn’t? He’s an interesting guy. Not to mention talented, lovely, inspiring. That hair. The squirrels. The catchphrases. I often find myself watching The Joy of Painting when I’m feeling anxious or stressed, or can’t get to sleep.

My ‘happy little accident’ this year was thinking that opening an online Christmas jumper store wouldn’t be overly time-consuming, bearing in mind that I run it alongside my full-time job. I was wrong about that, for sure. I put all of my spare time into it. I have never felt so enthusiastic about Christmas jumpers – or my own designs for that matter.

“The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe.”

The Bob Ross-inspired ‘Happy Little Christmas Tree’ jumper is of course not the only design on offer. There are seven more, and another one the way. I came up with most of the ideas while sitting in the waiting room at the dentist.

As creatives, I think it’s really common to encounter imposter syndrome with some regularity, and one of the wonderful side effects of this project has been that people seem to genuinely love the designs. The wave of support from friends and family has been incredible. It’s really quite an affirming thing.

“I can’t think of anything more rewarding than being able to express yourself to others through painting.”

I’m kind of ashamed to admit that I’m a terrible painter. All of my design and illustrative work is digital. My grandmothers are both wonderful artists – they love oils, pastels, charcoal, you name it. I use Adobe Creative Suite and a graphics tablet. But actually, if you’re designing for clothes, that’s the perfect medium.

So, if you were thinking of investing in a Christmas jumper this year, then I’d encourage you to visit my store and see what you think. If you’re a fan of Bob Ross, then as far as I’m aware, this is the first Christmas jumper that celebrates his work. It’s not just sweaters either – you can buy the designs on hoodies and tshirts as well. Shipping information can be found in the FAQs.

“I’d like to wish you happy painting, and God bless my friend.”

Jenna Thompson is an illustrator and digital copywriter from Bristol, UK. She loves getting her teeth into new creative projects – and for now at least, it’s Christmas jumpers. Reach out to Jenna on Twitter or through the Jolly Christmas Jumper Facebook page.

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