Offshoot Art Show Presents: Shaken & Stirred with Jenelle Huddleston

How do you make canned beer look cute and spooky? With bunnies. Lots of them. And that’s exactly what Jenelle Huddleston did. For our October release, Shaken (creamy milkshake-style IPA) and Stirred (hazy 100% Mosaic DIPA) needed can art to represent its hazy dessert-inspired recipes. Jenelle delivered with two colorful scenes: skeleton-esque bunnies doing their part and making desserts around our cans. A couple sips a milkshake while another stirs the pot in a cute, fluffy bakery. A sign points us in the right direction: “HOP Here.” Is that directing the bunnies themselves? Or our hoppy palates? We’d like to think both.

Jenelle’s bright and hoppy cans are quite representative of her own style and personality. That, and the hundreds of bunnies running around her neighborhood in Chicago. We sat for a milkshake with Jenelle to hear a little more about her work as a designer and the origin of her cute concepts:

1. Tell us a little bit more about you! What’s your background? How long have you been working as a designer?

I’ve been a “designer / illustrator” almost my whole life – I would be lying if I said I didn’t design ska band logos in the early 2000’s. I went to the University of Notre Dame for Marketing and Graphic Design, and then hopped around states and careers for a bit – Anything from fashion to working at Disneyland! I’ve been a “professional” designer for the last three years, and currently work for an education company in Chicago.

2. Talk a little bit about your style. How is your work unique from other designers?

Design styles can be super trendy, and you’ll see a lot of the exact same thing for a while. I feel like I’m pretty good about just doing my own thing – Working in education means that things get to be bright and fun and playful, so lots of the trends out there now would feel out of place for me.

3. Is this your first attempt at can art designs?

Definitely my first cans! I was talked into doing some bottle designs for a friend’s homebrew that was called “Hopossum IPA”, and I got to illustrate a super adorable, possibly inebriated, possum for them.

4. Let’s talk Shaken and Stirred. What was your inspiration for your can designs?

Milkshakes and a retro diner came to mind first for Shaken, and then it made sense for some baking bunnies to be Stirring up both treats and trouble. The original designs for these were a little “cuter”, but for the time of the year we moved to creep them up a bit. My favorite parts are the apron boy bunny because he’s trying to win over the diner girl waitress, and the bunny girl trying to steal cake because that’s just my life.

5. You are officially the first designer (as far as we know) to incorporate socializing bunnies in a canned beer design. Congrats! Do you like bunnies?

Ha! That is going on the resume. I do like bunnies! I’m lucky enough to live in a part of Chicago where we were blessed with bunnies everywhere instead of street rats, so I considered that a sign. I’m a fan of most animals, but rabbits seemed like the best creature to show acting both cutely and mischievously.

6. Let’s talk beer! What are your favorite types of beer? Least favorite?

Probably not surprisingly, I’m easily swayed by beers with animals on the labels. The first six pack I ever purchased was Left Hand’s Milk Stout because, of course, that cute cow, but the first beer I fell in love with was Victory’s Golden Monkey. I absolutely love super spicy Belgians, and I owe that strange monkey creature for this infatuation. I’ve tried so hard to enjoy sours, but I am willing to admit that they are just not for me.

7. Any cool artists or designers you find inspiration from?

I really adore the work of Tad Carpenter, Anna Hurley, and Lydia Nichols – Very obviously some people that do awesome colors and animals well!

Check out more of Jenelle’s work on her website, or follow @jenelling on Instagram.
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