JEN SWEARINGTON grew up in rural Indiana across the road from a horse stable and next to a 30-acre Christmas tree farm. Encouraged and inspired by her artist aunt Kelly Hoernig, Jen knew by the age of twelve that she wanted to become an artist. She studied fine art and art history, earning a BFA from Pratt Institute in 1997 and an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2000, then spent one year as an Artist-in-Residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Early in her career, she focused on creating fine art: mixed media paintings, quilts, and small works on playing cards. When she started sewing original apparel pieces and printing her illustrations on them, they became Jennythreads. In 2013, her comprehensive how-to book Printing on Fabric: Techniques with Screens, Stencils, Inks and Dyes was published. She travels periodically to art residencies in Europe and Latin America to develop new drawings, papercut artworks, and textile designs for Jennythreads products.

When she's not in the studio, Jen is an avid trail runner, starting most days by running in the woods with her intrepid dog Sesame. She reads a lot, tends to her honeybee hives and backyard birds, snuggles with her two cats Nico and Jasper, and travels the world on her own or with her husband Paul Walker.

Listen to Jen tell her story on NPR's Markeplace Money.