Thursday, June 30, 2011

An Interview with Jennie Hepler of Prim Pumpkin Studio

Jennie Hepler is the imaginative artist behind the
Michigan based
Prim Pumpkin

How would you describe your work?
I create pumpkin art dolls with vintage lavish couture accents! Having had a love affair with clothing for many years, I can testify to the way a garment can make a person feel. When I was in high school I borrowed from my Grandma's closet. I put on her clothing and I felt like a lady. Her clothing was a costume for me; the girl who really didn't fit anywhere. Clothing can create our story and make us feel on the outside as fabulous as we do on the inside.

Just as we plan our costumes for Halloween, I outfit each art doll in her very own frockish delight. Something that makes her inner pumpkin fabulous side shine! Feminine, sweet, and Prim Pumpkin lovely. I specialize in pumpkins that choose to be costumed in romance.

My studio is called The Prim Pumpkin and this is where pumpkin magic takes hold. I create one of a kind art dolls -pumpkins with the flavor of Halloween, using wonderfully feminine themes and fabrics. My style is a mixture of French chic, primitive feminine and whimsical Halloween. I like to provoke thought with my pumpkins. How would a pumpkin lady dress if she were headed to the ball or if my pumpkins were invited to tea, or even on a Paris carousel? I take pride in the construction as well as the frilly nature of my art.

How long have you been creating Halloween themed art?
I have dabbled in Halloween art for about 5 years, but became serious about Halloween art dolls three years ago. I create every day.

What do you consider your greatest creative challenge?
Honestly, I think my greatest challenge is compartmentalizing the need to market my work and the work itself.

What do you like most about being a member of EHAG?
Ehag is wonderful because it is a group of seasoned Halloween artists who are willing to encourage and elevate each other.

What was your favorite childhood costume, and why?
As a child I remember being costumed as a gypsy! It was freeing and colorful. I have since dreamed of owning a gypsy wagon and watching the movie Chocolat exclusively. I remember mostly how amazing my classmates costumes were. I remember going to the rich neighborhoods for full -sized candy bars!

Do you have any favorite Halloween Traditions?
I have a fairly new little family and we just moved to a sweet, homey neighborhood. Traditions are in the make. Last year when we went out our little boy received more religious material than candy, so this year I think we will venture out, in search of the full sized candy bar!

Where do you find your inspiration?
I believe that people follow a creative path. No matter how crooked or bumpy your path, you keep brushing on this stone of creative passion until the day when you pick it up carry it like a jewel in your crown. I get inspired by music and art. I love discovering new artists and looking into their creative process.

What are your artistic plans for the future?
I am selling my work on eBay and Etsy this year. I am in two really wonderful groups PFATT and EHAG. I am working like crazy, creating one of a kind art and whatever flows from that, I am open to.

"Open the Vault" - tell us a secret that not many people know about you.
Not many people know that in my last life I was a shopkeeper. I partnered with my dear Grandmother and we opened a shop, with our focus fluttering around the genre of vintage romance. I painted old furnishings, and anything that would remain still long enough, really. The painting was our bread and butter for some time. It was my first swim in the happy pool of being an artist and having people desire what I was creating.

I have always longed to create Halloween art and blend it with my passion for romance.

How do you balance your personal/professional life?
I work fulltime at an art center. When I arrive home, my studio is on the main living area, so life happens, friends come to visit and I create. We start dinner and while it cooks, I create. Creation happens often and daily. It’s a delicate balance, but one worth working at.

What shows if any will you be participating in this year/next year?

This year my artistic efforts will be taken to new heights as I design an plan our vintage wedding at a European style bed and breakfast. I am sewing tablescapes, creating mixed media topiaries, and outfitting my bridesmaids in vintage couture. Due to this huge undertaking, I am not participating in any shows this year, I have maintained a consistent steam of art dolls for eBay and I am selling though my blog and etsy. While I am not part of any shows, Joe and I will celebrate at Ghoultide Gathering as husband and wife.

Jennie’s work is also available at:

and on ebay.

I have a blog enabling me to communicate with collectors all over the world. I love giving updates about what I am creating. I market my work on Facebook and I am PFATT and EHAG seller on EBay. I have been published in Art Doll Quarterly, last year my work was featured on the cover as well a feature inside.


Enchanted Productions by Joyce Stahl said...

Great interview Jennie! Your Pumpkins are fabulous, my dear!


Emily Dimov-Gottshall said...

Love your Pumpkins! They are so unique and them!

Carolee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carolee said...

LOVED reading more about you, Jennie! Big congrats on your wonderful work, and also on your upcoming wedding!

♥ Carolee

Unusual Girl Studios said...

Well- congratulations on the wedding! I think you do a superb job of mixing romance and Halloween- not an easy feat but you do it beautifully!

Jennifer Hepler said...

Thank you so much!

Sheila said...

Great Article Jennifer!! Love your Pumpkin people!! See you at Ghoultide :)