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Jan at the Hogle Zoo Art Show

Jan Henderson

My mom was an artist so I grew up with access to all kinds of mediums. During high school I was allowed to take my elective classes at the nearby community college in drawing, painting, and design.

I began my art career as a teenager, right out of school. I was hired as a fashion illustrator by a large department store. I really didn't enjoy fashion illustration so I moved on to an advertising agency where I was an apprentice to a master artist. I learned everything about graphic art and advertising and eventually moved into management. As the Creative Director, I hired artists from many colleges and trained them in the areas that college didn't. I realized that I loved to teach so I left my high stress advertising job to begin teaching at my local community college.

With my summers free, I started playing around with colored pencils. This was in the mid 80's and there was a very limited pallet of colors available. My first original was His Highness (a gorilla) shown on the limited edition prints page above. To my great surprise it won 'Best of Show' and 1st place in drawing at the National Endangered Species Society Art show. So, in 1990 I decided to devote myself to creating art. I entered and was accepted into the major wildlife art shows in the US and Canada. My work is in the Best of Colored Pencil I & II and has been widely published as prints, posters, wallpaper borders, puzzles, needlecraft kits, etc. 

I opened the Artful Heart Workshop about 20 years ago where I mentor 20+ artists every week. My students have become great friends and we laugh, cry and create wonderful drawings and paintings. Some of my young students went off to college and then came back after they graduated. I love my students and find great joy mentoring them.

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