Hey guys! Here is the next edition of our newest blog meet The Crow’s Nest peeps written by Mike Davies.
Meet Jenny Walton ❤️
From developing a line of airbrushed clothing for Toronto Fashion week with the winner of Project Runway Canada, to running a children’s daycare, to creating murals on fruit stands in the Okanagan, to traveling around North America’s music festival scene doing face painting, to being nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Makeup in a Feature Film, Jenny Walton has had a long and winding road on her way to The Crow’s Nest Artist Collective as an instructor.
And she was almost through high school before she knew that art was even going to be important in her life.
“My parents sent me to a math and science high school at first,” she recalls. “But in Grade 11 I switched to a school that had more artsy type stuff like photography and pottery and that’s when I realized that, to me, nothing else mattered.”
It wasn’t that she focused solely on arts classes and didn’t care about maths and sciences. It was about how her life in general got better when she suddenly had creative outlets.
“My math grades went from like 60s to 90s,” she says, “and the only thing I can attribute that to is that I had art in my life and I was just overall a happier person.”
Fast forward 17 years…
After having lived a pretty nomadic life of travel with art along the way, Jenny found herself face painting at a birthday party in Golden, BC. That particular party led to other projects and collaborations in the region, and eventually to teaching.
Then in early 2020, Jenny was gearing up to head back to her nomad life and travel to Ecuador to work at a beachside resort, but we all know what happened in March of that year.
Instead, she got a job painting a mural in the Okanagan, which turned into a few more jobs painting art on local fruit stands.
But the ocean was still calling.
“Once restrictions opened up a bit and they said you could travel within the province, I packed my stuff and took off for the coast,” she says. “If I couldn’t be by the ocean in Ecuador, I was gonna do it out here on Vancouver Island.”
She decided she’d just find a decent rental somewhere on the Island and go there. She’d worry about what she was going to do for a job once she found a place to live.
“It ended up okay,” she laughs.
Part of why it “worked out okay,” she says, is because soon after she got to town, she looked online to see where she could get art supplies and made her way to The Crow’s Nest. As she walked through the door, she knew it’s where she belonged.
“I asked Nadia if she had anyone teaching airbrushing, and she said she didn’t, but she’d love to.”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Jenny has since taken over teaching the majority of The Crow’s Nest’s kids classes and camps (she has been a daycare operator before, after all), as well as doing most of our paint night classes and “on-location” workshops.
There are challenges to teaching art, she says, but as with everything else in life, it’s about improving, which is what she tries to do every class.
“I think, with kids especially, it’s a challenge to convince them that it doesn’t matter if you’re not good right away, or whatever they think of as good,” Jenny says. “Like, obviously yours isn’t going to look like mine, because this is your first one and this is my 70th or whatever, but you’re learning and getting better and your next one is going to be better than your first, and that’s the point: to improve.”
But whatever the challenges, there’s nowhere else she’d rather be.
“I get to wake up and share what I love with others every day,” she says. “I get to share creativity with the kids and watch them grow and develop and see the smiles on their faces and the pride in their eyes, and that’s the best thing I could have ever asked for.”
Written by Mike Davies