Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Jennyfer Stratman. I have been a full-time artist (sculptor) for 17 years, working primarily in metal.
How did you get your start?
I made my first ceramic sculpture of a reptilian creature when I was 3 years old. This was certainly a prophetic indicator of my future passions: sculpture and lizards!
I later graduated with a Fine Art degree from ASU and have never stopped making art since. I first started exhibiting my work in Downtown Phoenix when it was just on the cusp of being transformed into an arts destination. From there I began showing at more established galleries around the world, allowing me to continue working as a full-time artist.
What inspires you?
I am continually inspired by observing patterns and connections between humanity, nature and the cosmos. These connections appear equally evident to me whether I am walking through the forest, looking at the stars or welding two pieces of metal together.
Science, poetry, music, storytellers and other creative people are also great sources of inspiration.
What do you like about AZ?
I was raised in Arizona and feel the desert has really informed the person I’ve become and the work I make. My studio is on a ranch style property near the base of South Mountain where I create and spend time with my 28-year old iguana and various farm animals. It’s a very inspiring place to live and work.
I also live part of the year in Melbourne, Australia (I married an Aussie) where I have a more urban style studio. Having studios in two countries is a life I never would have planned, but I seem to have made it work.
Where can we see your work?
My work is always on display locally at Calvin Charles Gallery in Scottsdale. I have an upcoming solo exhibition there opening March 8th and running until early April.
I also have a public sculpture on display in the Heritage District of Gilbert, 206 N. Gilbert Rd, just south of the American Legion. This was commissioned via a grant from the INFLUX AZ public art program and is on display until the middle of this year.
What would you like to accomplish before you die?
I hope to continue being inspired and passionate about the work I do and I would like to scale up and create larger public and private sculpture commissions. I would also like to create some kind of creative hub, reptile sanctuary, and small organic farm on my Phoenix property.
What is your mantra?
I reread The Alchemist recently and there is a beautiful passage that resonated with me years ago when I first came across these sorts of ideas…
“To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation. All things are one. When you want something; all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
I really believe this is true, but also know that it takes more than just talking about your dreams- an enormous amount of hard work and dedication is required!