Jodi Lynn Burton: From the Cosmos to Crooners

Jodi Lynn BurtonInterview by Rob Lehr

Jodi Lynn Burton is an illustrator from Metro Detroit. Born and raised in Michigan she finds much of her inspiration from exploring the outdoors and learning about science. She has been doodling since she could pick up a pencil, but she never really started to think of her doodles as something she’d like to share until a couple years ago.  Since 2011, she has been selling her drawings of people, places, and things. In December of last year her parents gifted her a Banjo for the holidays and that’s when she started creating illustrations of country singers.

Jodi Lynn’s Emporium of Doodles is one of the 100 vendors on display in Akron at Crafty Mart. Between her busy traveling schedule, Jodi Lynn was kind enough to answer a few questions for the Curatorial Collective’s website. You will have a chance to meet her in person while she is visiting Akron on November 29 & 30, 2014!

Dolly Parton

RL: I am a fan of your doodles! How did you develop your particular style? Can you tell us about the process?

JLB: Thanks! I’ve always loved drawing, but had never really taken it seriously. I went to school for photography and one of the first pictures I drew was an illustrations of old cameras. I really liked the idea of drawing collections of things, as a kind of substitute for actually collecting things. So it started with cameras, and just kind of grew from that. When I pick a subject to draw I try to visualize it as if I was going to photograph it.


RL: I know some of your topics include scientists, and motown & country singers. How do you select your subject matter?

JLB: I started to draw people as kind of an accident. I had received a package of shrink film for a gift and while watching the Cosmos drew an illustration of Carl Sagan on it. I ended up making a Carl Sagan magnet from the drawing and put it up on my fridge. I had friends starting to request Sagan magnets after seeing it, and then other requests started coming in. I started to create a small collection of scientist magnets, tried selling them at a craft fair and they were a hit! Since then I started to do other collections of people. Some are requests, others are just people I want to learn about.


RL: Which print is most popular and which is your favorite?

JLB: I would guess that my most popular print is the backpacking gear print, which also happens to be one of my favorite. I drew it as a checklist to remind me of all the things I might need while backpacking. I guess its probably popular because it’s kind of a functional picture, a visual check list. I know I get excited before I go on a trip and like to display my gear. I like to imagine people buy the print and are inspired to go on many great adventures.


RL: Crafty Mart has become a beloved institution in Akron.  Do you think the Renegade Craft Fair influenced the surge of interest in indie fairs across the country?

JLB: I remember first reading about Renegade in Bust Magazine when I was in high school. My friends and I fantasized about packing into a car and driving to Chicago for the weekend. I was so excited about the idea of a craft fair that had cool stuff! As a kid I was dragged into too many church basement craft shows, where the hottest items were doilies and potpourri wreaths.  As an adult getting to actually go to Renegade and be a part of it has been a dream come true. It’s really been amazing to see how many wonderful shows have popped up around the country.  I have done a lot of shows in the midwest and it has been a great experience.


RL: I’m sure you have met a lot of interesting artists and crafters while traveling to fairs. Who are some of your favorite makers you’ve met on your adventure?

JLB: I have met some of the most amazing and wonderful people during indie craft fairs. Everyone is so much fun to see and talk to. When indie craft fair season is in full blast it’s like going to giant party with all your favorite people every weekend. Last holiday season I got to meet Liza Michelle from Cleveland OH who makes really amazing jewelry from cast objects. I just can’t get enough of her jewelry. I also adore Lindsay Lewis Jewelry from Chicago IL and Rock Salt Vintage from Cincinnati OH. I love jewelry, its the one thing I get really excited about wearing everyday. Cellar Door Soap from Plymouth MI makes hands down the best soap I’ve ever used.  Some of my favorite print artists right now are Laura Baisden of Camp Never Nice from Nashville TN, Marcy Davy of All Things Grow from Ypsilanti MI, and Sophie Mcmahan of Champaign IL.  Oh there are so many!


RL: What’s next for you? Will you continue to travel in the indie craft fair circuit?

I’ve recently been doing more collaborative work which I really enjoy, like working on illustrations for album covers, and editorial illustrations. Its something I really hadn’t ever thought about doing, but I love working with people to create new work. For my own line of illustrations I’m just going to continue to create new works. I love doing craft fairs and I think I will continue to do them. I love being able to talk to people in person about what I do. It always make me smile, when I see someone smile because they like one of my drawings.

For more information about Crafty Mart 2014 visit the previous post on Curatorial Collective