In 2015, UK-born Samantha-Jane Ince took a few months off her IT career to fulfill a lifelong dream of living in Paris. At the time, a major Sonia Delaunay retrospective was taking place at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris and the artist’s vibrant abstractions were seemingly everywhere Samantha looked.
While walking in the Parisian markets, she was fascinated by the graphic image of a little green and red striped basket full of blueberries— “a petit punnet”. Like Sonia Delaunay’s work, her imagination retained the graphic image of the basket and it became the impetus for a lifestyle brand of the same name. Inspired, she started to draft patterns and illustrations first by hand. Then she digitally rendered the designs to create a line of stationary, tote bags and other “containers” of daily life.
Samantha had always been inspired by graphic imagery and design, and these few months of creative inspiration changed her course of life. She dove head-first into creative entrepreneurship, sourcing printers and manufacturers to grow Petit Punnet.
As she started building her lifestyle brand, she immersed herself into textile arts, completing a short handweaving course with UK-based artist, Christabel Balfour, and furthered her technique through courses at University of the Arts London’s Central Saint Martins. She fell in love: the feel of wool—its warmth, texture and weight—and the comfort of the needle-felting and weaving process. She found that she wanted to both focus her energies on her textile art and her lifestyle brand, developing her oeuvre as both an artist and a creative entrepreneur.
Upon her return to Toronto, Samantha became a member of Artscape Daniels Launchpad, when she heard the Fashion and Textiles Studio housed one of only a handful of TC2 Jacquard looms in the country.
Samantha’s needlefelt series, The Hustle, takes inspiration from the activities of a creative entrepreneur. Network, aka Launchpad (bottom left) depicts a Launchpad Learning session. (Photo: Samantha-Jane Ince)
But despite her original intentions of focusing on her textile arts at Launchpad, she ended up broadening her creative practice in the different Creative Studios. In the Digital Fabrication and Woodworking Studios, she prototyped new frames and display methods for her textile art, and innovating new looms and interior objects using the laser cutter and other tools.
“I am a problem-solver. Even in my IT work—I worked as a business analyst—and my job was to solve problems,” explains Samantha. “It translates to my art [practice].”
In her newfound role as creative entrepreneur and practicing artist, Samantha is learning what it takes to prosper, adapting her business acumen gained through her IT career and finding new ways to market her work. As an artist and a creative entrepreneur, Samantha-Jane Ince will always be an innovator.
At Nuit Blanche at Artscape Daniels Launchpad, Samantha-Jane Ince exhibited her mixed media “Time’s Progress”. (Source: Samantha-Jane Ince)
About the artist
Samantha-Jane Ince (S J Ince) is an emerging mixed media & textile artist, working in the mediums of wool, paper and acrylics on canvas. Exploring contemporary and abstract themes on how we live. Using fibre and paint to create modern tapestries and works that reflect today’s world and the issues, influences and attitudes shaping it. As well as the simple, beautiful, strange and mundane things we do and love. Samantha is also the founder and creative director of Petit Punnet, an artisan stationery and lifestyle brand, which celebrates utility, colour, pattern and illustration in the design of everyday items. Creating useful and decorative accessories for work, home and play, featuring her original designs and patterns. Combining the use of fine art and traditional crafts like needle-felting and weaving with new technology such as digital printing and fabrication, is at the core of Samantha’s multidisciplinary creative practice in design and mixed media art. She recently exhibited her latest artwork ‘Time’s Progress’, a mixed-media needle-felted wool tapestry interwoven with pulsing electroluminescent light, at Nuit Blanche Toronto 2019 at Artscape Daniels Launchpad and earlier this year several of her ‘illustrations in wool’ where showcased at Xpace Cultural Centre in Toronto.
Designer Stationery & Home Accessories
Made with joy!