The eXTra finGer

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Interview with Jennifer J.Jelenski

q) Introduce yourself first please?

a)Hello, My name is Jennifer J. Jelenski, some know me as Sacred Skull or J3. I'm from Chicago, my family lives just outside of it. I went to the American Academy of Art. I also study life drawing whenever it fits my schedule.
I live in Los angeles Ca. with my Husband, Chad Schoonover and our dog, Bruno.

q) Where do you live and work?

a)I live in a neighborhood within L.A. known as Los Feliz. I have studio space within our home.

q) How did you started? How have you realized you wanted to become an artist?

a)I started drawing when I was 2 years old. I knew right away, I just had to survive the folks saying, "Don't do that, you'll never make any money."

q) What materials do you use and why?

a)I use Strathmore Bristle Vellum and Faber Castell pit pens for my drawings.
This paper is extra sturdy and can handle a spill or a fold or a paper jam in a scanner. The pens are very bold, and the ink is india ink.
I currently like painting on wood panels with Golden Acrylics. I love the fluids by Golden, bt I only use them for outlining things.
I've stoped using canvas because it's just all drum like as you try to paint on to it. Vibrating uncontrollably. Golden acrylics just have the best colors. They're highly pigmented and consistant.
is how this line should read-spell check does funny stuff sometimes.
Oh and I use at least 2 dozen of these each painting-Princeton Art & Brush Co. Liner brush 20/0.
It's a super tiny paint brush-almost just an eyelash on a stick.

q) Who is your biggest influence, both art and non-art related

a)Jack Kirby, Jim Henson, Alex Grey, and Brian Froud.
All of the unknown master Thangka artists of the 12-17 century.
But mostly my fella. He's an amazing artist and animator. Having my best friend and lover into drawing and painting is the best motivator. We even try to spend our spare time drawing together.

q) How do you dream up with your wacky ideas? What is your creation process?

a)Lots of research. I love to learn new things, so I put everything I can fit into the composition to share my knowledge.
I have gotten a few ideas from Meditation. A deep contemplation, with a theme, like when I meditated on Love I returned with the ideas for the works, Caregiver and All Seeing Lotus Of Generosity.
I begin by drawing the ideas. Just on bits of paper. Then I tape them to the wall in the studio. I begin to move the composition around. When I think I have the spacing figured out, I draw everything onto one piece of paper. That is then sent to a copy shop in North Carolina. They enlarge the image for me. I paint bigger than I draw. Also the big Xerox images are easy to get onto he painting surface. I then begin the many layers. It's not unusual for me to do 6 layers of color to achieve the effect I want.

q) What haven't you done yet that you definitely want to try someday?

a)Tree sprits, Fairies and trolls.
I'm just now leaving a 6 year focus on Tibetan Icons. I thought I'd be into plants, but suddenly all the trees I draw have faces! I think I might get the chance.

q) Are there any contemporary artists that you love?

a)Kelli Bickman
Jeremy Fish
Glen Bar
James Jean
John John Jesse
Chad Schoonover

q) How long does it take for you to finish a piece?

a)Small things I can turn out in 6 weeks. The bigger paintings can be from 6 months to a year.

q) What music, if any, do you like to have on while you're working?

a)Boards of Canada, Baby Mammoth, Infected Mushroom (the old stuff), Tom Waits, Nick Drake or the Orb. When I'm working I need tunes that are never too clashy. I like to play music that inspires me to think in stories.

q) Do you do many art shows?

a)Last year was my biggest. I was involved with a show or two every month last year. They were group shows. In L.A. we have these monthly group shows that sell small, inexpensive paintings by local artists. They need fresh work every three weeks. It was tough to keep up with. I kinda wore myself out. This year I'm back to doing large paintings on my own schedule-sorry guys.
q) Tell us about a recent dream you had.

a)I was in three lines.
Each line stared in a huge old, but empty warehouse in a city. I was there with several thousands of other people. All kinds of people. Mostly women, and we were all dressed up. I was, each time close to the end of the line. The line circled around the room a few times.
We were all waiting to cross over through a "door". The door was an opening to another plain of existence. There was no ceremony or ritual. You just showed up on time, got in line and when the door was opened you ran towards it, willing yourself to be lifted up.
The first two went the same. When the door was open a man at the front of the line opened the huge garage door and we all ran out into an open field. You could, on a regular day see the highway and the neighborhood in the distance. Today, there was a dark grey low cloud that hung three feet away from the ground. Tiny lightning bolts could be seen randomly licking the air. I only felt tremendous joy after running into the first two.
The Third "door" was rumored to be the pain room. Everyone in the warehouse was exchanging theories about what we would experience next. We were also talking about DVD collections of ancient rituals. I made everyone laugh when I spoke of my Tibetan collection. It was censored by the Chinese government so, at odd times the narration would say this," ritual was for good luck or protection from the American Wide eyed Demon".
Suddenly, the third door was open, I begin to run, but I had lost a shoe. My friend tossed it towards me as they all ran past. I admired how they gracefully floated up into the grey cloud. I was one of the last. I almost feared missing my chance, as the currant took me. I was seated in half lotus in front of an amazing character. He was six feet tall, African American, sporting Gerry Curl, and a Chef's outfit. His hat was the most notable. It was a big puffy chef's hat with Two sets of goggle eyes. The big kind. Right under the poof was two goggle eyes, then a yellow bandanna that in red letters said,"We Do Burgers Best". Bellow that were three google eyes. He had on gloves like a Cenobites or archer would wear, black and white checked pants, and a small white apron. He had a friend near by , dressed the same. This gentleman had his hat off, and was talking to the Chef approaching me about how tough this day was.
The Chef reached into a small black mojo bag and with out paying me much attention, sprinkled something on my head.
I suddenly came to on the bus, whipping tears of joy off my face. I signaled for the next stop and got off the bus.
That was the dream, but I was asleep at home, the bus was in the dream too.

q) What are you doing when you are not creating?

a)I love to hike and camp. Not like sit by the fire and sing. I like to casually walk up mountains, and observe nature. I also play video games-currently into World of Warcraft.

q) Do you get emotionally attached to your work and do you miss your
work when it is sold? Yes.

q) What new projects or exhibits are in your future?

a)I'm hoping to someday do a show with Kelli Bickman.
At this moment I'm working on a painting of Coffee-it doesn't sound like much, but that is were the challenge was.

q) What is your favorite art related web site?

q) What is the strangest thing you have ever seen?

a)Most recently, I'd say the daily bath this homeless/crazy lady gives herself. There's been this homeless lady hangin around my neighborhood, and ever day, two houses down from me, she gets naked and washes herself in a puddle.
It's very sad. I try not to go out if I know she's out there in the buff-give her some privacy.

q) What is the strangest thing you have ever done?

a)answered a survey on myspace.

q) any advice you can pass onto aspiring artists/designers?

a)Just keep on keepin on. Never stop. It's all good if the pencil is still willing to move under your command. Don't do it for money. Moneys the wrong idea, you'll resent it.

q)your contacts..e-mail.links



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