Aspiring student artist achieves her dreams

Christenson moves to showcase her skills through recent illustrations.


Christenson illustrates,“Ralphy: A Tale from Meowtown” by Sharon Breeling.

Everyone has hobbies. Special things they do that make their lives a little easier. To be able to monetize one of these hobbies is to never work a day in ones life. As a senior in high school at the modest age of seventeen, Jennifer (Jenny) Christenson has done just that.

Christenson says she has been into art for as long as she can remember. Making headway from scribbles to artwork at the youthful age of 4. Now, Christenson is in the midst of making a career out of it. This venture into the career of art started rather recently for Christenson. Over the last summer she has been communicating with Sharon Breeling to do artwork for the recently published children’s story, “Ralphy: A Tale from Meowtown”.

Pictured here on the right. Christenson says that the author and her, “had meetings about where the pictures would go so I could see what the storyline would be.” 

From here on the project functioned on a fairly standard revision process in which Christenson would send the author a first draft of a piece, the author would look over it and send it back for minor changes and when both were satisfied they would send it to be okayed by the publisher. Christenson says that, 

“The cover had two or three changes of the entire picture…there were just touch ups throughout the other ones.” 

The publication of the book on August 31st was not the end of the project though. Christenson plans to work on quite a few more children’s books for Breeling. Christenson mentions that “It is going to be the first of at least 12 or 20” and that she plans to be Breelings’ illustrator for all of them. Christenson also says that, “We’re going to try to get a book signing here at the school”. Christenson and Breeling plan on bringing books for students and faculty to purchase and have signed. Currently there is no set date for the signings but Christenson believes that there will be one at the school as well as other venues for the public to access. 

Christenson plans to continue building a career in art by attending college for an undecided arts major and wants to be an animator for children’s TV shows. In the meantime, Christenson takes commissions and can be reached through her social media @jennifer.christenson on instagram. And to all the other aspiring artists out there Christenson says to, “Reach out, post your stuff, make it public so that others can see”, and to, “put yourself out there” in any way that you can. 

Pursuing ones dreams is never an easy feat. Most people find that life gets in the way. Christenson had every excuse not to pursue hers. Being a full time high school student and an avid rock climber leaves Christenson with little time. But unlike many others she has found a way to pursue her dreams. And she will continue to do so. Breelings’ book can be purchased online as well as found in libraries and Barnes and Noble.