Jen Gallagher of MomaLino, LocalGood’s newest artist, has created some of the most whimsical and playful pieces through her watercolor and knitted collections. These light-hearted creations are full of life and joy and cannot help but fill anybody viewing them with happiness. Jen is originally from Pittsburgh but grew up in Youngstown, Ohio and currently lives back in Pittsburgh! You probably know Jen from her popular watercolors that often feature cats, dragons, her daughter, her adorable little-knitted critters, or even her watercolor paper dolls. Jen lives with her seven-year-old daughter Isabella and several cats, the inspiration for much of her artwork.
Along with being an artist, Jen is a landscape architect and owner of a dance studio in Pittsburgh. Much of her skills from architecture cross over into her career as an artist. She has been doing watercolor for thirty years beginning in the classical styling of Architecture School which has transformed into her creative outlet of different scenes. She stated that even though “watercoloring is a tool I use for work it has become another language for me”. This emphasizes how she has harnessed her extensive experience as an architect and evolved her skills into a different type of creative outlet. The crossover between architecture and art has developed her view of life, art, and work. Jen says that she “likes to look at things three-dimensionally”. This outlet is foundational to her art and is a great view that can be applied to any aspect of life. Much like her art, Jen tries to be whimsical with the ways in which she creates her art. She wants it to be a positive light for people and enhance creativity. Jen strives for her knitting, watercolor paintings, and other little projects to help bring joy and laughter to people’s stressful lives. Jen applied this in her own life and even said she “watercolors when I’m stressed, or watercolor when I’m stuck on a problem and by the time I’m done, I figured out that problem”. This provides insight into her creative process which shows that she tries to work through any hurdles she has rather than take a break.
On a similar note, Jen recounted her struggle when a piece doesn’t come out the way she wants. She described the internal conflict she has around the high expectations she sets for herself. She has learned that letting go of these expectations and living in the moment is the best course of action, but it is hard to move forward sometimes even though it is the best thing to do to with art and life. Jen tries to celebrate the little things through her Ta-Da lists which celebrate accomplishments. This concept lives within her artwork and is a great reminder to never take small accomplishments for granted. Everyone should celebrate the little things in life and live more in the moment.
Make sure to explore more work by Jen on the website and through her social media handles featured on our LocalGood social accounts!