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Sticker Book Artist Interview: Chelsea Jenna

Sticker Book Artist Interview: Chelsea Jenna

In celebration of our recently launched Women’s Empowerment Sticker Book, we are featuring the six talented female artists who contributed their gifts to make these stickers come alive.

We sat down with artist and Passion Planner graphic designer Chelsea Jenna to find out the inspiration behind her designs and artwork. Find her contributions in the Women’s Empowerment Sticker Book or Sticker Pack (Version 1).

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into your art initially?

A: Growing up, I always felt like I would be in the art/design field in some way, shape or form. At a very young age, with my parents working full-time, my grandparents took care of me most of the time after school and wanted to keep my young mind active and engaged. Rather than sitting in front of a television or playing games on the computer all day, they always bought me art supplies and crafts to keep me entertained and pass the time. We would take many trips a month to Michaels Arts & Crafts and I’d always find myself painting, drawing, and putting together crafts in my room for hours until it was time to go home, to which I’d proudly show my parents what I made each time they picked me up.

How has your art evolved over time and what steps do you take to continually improve your craft?

A: I became more interested in digital art once I was in middle school. I joined the yearbook committee during seventh grade where I became more exposed to Adobe programs, Photoshop and InDesign in particular. It was the only class I ever looked forward to and had the responsibility of handling photos and overseeing layout. There was something exciting about creating a tangible item that you knew everyone at the end of the year was looking forward to having in their hands. I loved it so much that I joined the following year as chief layout editor.

Fast forward to high school, I began experimenting with more editing software programs like Windows Movie Maker and Sony Vegas Movie Studio and thought I’d want to go the video route. My upperclassmen years came around and with more elective course options to choose from, I wanted to revisit my creative knack. I took screenprinting for the first time and really appreciated the transfer process, and even joined the yearbook committee once again which was an even greater responsibility and a much bigger project. I think my defining ‘aha’ moment for me in pursuing design was when I took a computer graphics class my senior year, I had such curiosity and enthusiasm for the subject matter that I soon declared it as my major for college applications.

Artwork by Chelsea Jenna (2020, Digital)

Where did you draw your inspiration from for your contributions to the Women’s Empowerment Sticker Book?

A: I drew much of my inspiration for the Women’s Empowerment Sticker Book from scrapbook layouts and bullet journal accounts on Instagram. I wanted to create functional stickers that can be utilized in versatile ways with our planners, whether they’re implemented in our weekly spreads or infinite space of possibilities—no matter where they’re placed, they serve as playful and fun supplemental assets all while helping our #PashFam reach towards their goals.

Additionally, something I personally value is allocating more time for self-care and reflection into my daily routine. I find that many of us get caught up in our busy lives and often neglect taking time to self-reflect and put energy towards ourselves, and therefore, created a few friendly reminders and activities to prompt us all in incorporating more of these habits into our days and weeks.

Final Product featured on Women’s Empowerment Sticker Book & V1 Sticker Pack

(One of my favorite color palettes!)

How do you handle an art block or a creative rut?

A: Creative blocks definitely come in waves for me. I find that I work more efficiently and get my best ideas late at night when everyone in the house is asleep. During the day I usually take time to rest and reshift my energy into other activities like a walk outside, play with my dog or work on a small DIY project since most of the work that I do involves looking at a digital device, which can get mentally depleting at times.

Other things that help me when I’m in a funk are re-organizing my bedroom/work space and finding inspiration on Pinterest. I’m a big believer in creating a work environment that helps inspire creative thoughts, otherwise if my space is a mess, my ideas and thoughts are a mess. And when I’m not sprucing up my room, I generally will spend some time on Pinterest creating new boards for future projects to get ideas flowing.

Artwork by Chelsea Jenna (2020, Digital)

What keeps you motivated in life or what is your ‘Why?’ in life?

A: The creative art community here in San Diego keeps me motivated. In the last two years I’ve met some incredibly talented individuals online, at local events, and workshops. It is always refreshing to hear artists speak so passionately about their work and how they got to where they are today. I am also super grateful to be surrounded by motivated and hardworking colleagues in office, as well as former peers from San Diego State University that I am continually learning from and being encouraged by. I think the great thing about art and design is that there are endless possibilities. One of my favorite quotes that I’ve heard in the past that I like to live by is, “why be intimidated when you could be inspired?”

What’s your advice for artists who are just starting out?

A: Accountability buddies and mentors are super important!

After graduating college, I found it very hard to work outside of the classroom setting. I was always used to a professor telling me what deliverables were expected at the next meeting, having weekly critiques with my classmates, and receiving grades for progress and participation. Once I no longer had access to those resources on a daily basis, it was a challenge finding that same discipline within myself at home after work.

Reaching out to a friend who has similar goals such as yourself is beyond helpful. Not only are they there to support your goals and see you at your best, but they can offer constructive advice and a new perspective as well. It is also helpful to schedule a consistent time to meet, that way it creates a sense of accountability before the next meeting.

Likewise, mentors are also a great resource to have in your life. Get involved in the community, whether that’s in person or online, and find a creative that is thriving in an area you’d like to excel at. There are many individuals out there who would be more than willing in offering advice based on their past knowledge and experiences.

Artwork by Chelsea Jenna (2019, Sticker print)

What does Women’s Empowerment mean to you?

A: To me, women’s empowerment means freedom, power and strength.

I see it as women uplifting other women. Empowerment is strengthening core bonds and actively encouraging and supporting one another; it's about allowing women’s voices to be heard and having female representation and leaders who have the capacity to make an everlasting impact on our current society and world today. It’s about opportunity and independence. And most importantly, it’s about living unapologetically and not living up to everyone else’s definition and standards of beauty.

Where can we find more of your work?

A: You can find more of my work on my website at: www.chelseajennav.com or peep my Instagram: @designedbychels

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