BY PAMELA KEECH
Bloomington portrait painter Jennifer Mujezinovic (moo-yea-zeena-vitch) is about to become a star with the younger set. She has just finished a commission for portraits of five distinguished Americans and one adventurous Kiwi that will become covers for the All About books, a children’s series from Blue River Press. The books will be available later this year.
Mujezinovic was showing her portraits of women at The Penrod Arts Fair at the Indianapolis Museum of Art when she was discovered by publisher Tom Doherty. He was looking for an artist whose style fit the project and told her she was perfect for the job.
Doherty said he wanted portraits that were soft, friendly, interesting, and amusing. The subjects are Americans Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King Jr., and Roberto Clemente, and New Zealand explorer Sir Edmund Hillary.
Mujezinovic always begins a portrait by focusing on the eyes first. “I want their eyes to say it all,” she says. Her favorite of the six portraits is Frederick Douglass, the African American abolitionist, writer, and statesman (1818–95). She gave him eyes of pure determination, she says.
It took Mujezinovic two years to complete the commission. With three kids and a busy husband (former Indiana University basketball star Haris Mujezinovic), she constantly faced the challenge of family versus work. She paints in a corner of her living room, her easel next to a window.
“It’s been intense!” she says. “I’ve carved this out in the middle of the night. I had low moments but I just kept going. Now, for the first time, I feel like, ‘Look what I did!’”
You can see Mujezinovic’s work at Curly Tale Fine Art in Chicago, CCA Gallery in Carmel, Indiana, and Hoosier Artist Gallery in Nashville, Indiana, or visit jmujezinovic.com.