Interview with  a street artist out of Brookly New york. Her name is Jenna Morello and she has talent! Happy reading y'all!

Jenna Morello / New York / Street Art

Simmo:  Jenna from BK, what's up? If you could, give us all a little background info on yourself and your rise in the street art scene.
Jenna:  I was born and raised in Jersey. About 10 years ago I moved to Brooklyn. Ive always loved the city, but I grew up in the woods. So Brooklyn is a nice middle ground with space to roam still. I've always been into art, it's just something that has come naturally from a young age. I'm hesitant to say I even have "risen" to the street art scene because I just consider myself an artist who sometimes paints outside. There are many more people who put in wayy more work then I do outdoors. So hopefully in time I can carve out more of a niche.
Simmo:  Looking over you work it's obvious you have skills inside the studio, as well as outside. What first inspired you to take your art to the streets?
Jenna:  I think I just get bored easy and like to try new things in various mediums. At some point I began to wander outside to paint. When I was a kid I was in the woods a lot, building or finding things. So for me this is just the evolved adult version of that. I'm in my head a lot, about god knows what, so I like to paint in abandoned places or spots where I'm by myself. It's nice to put your headphones on and just zone out for a little. Sometimes I find things outside like wood or furniture I'll repurpose and paint on. So in a way that inspires me to take my art from the streets as well. 
Simmo:  Since it's fun to reflect on past work and remember where we've came from as artists, where/what was your first outdoor piece and the reason for it?
Jenna:  I don't even remember to be honest but I'm sure it was terrible.


Jenna Morello / New York / Randomness

Simmo:  Any significance to the "boxed crown" tat on your forearm? I noticed it was on your website as well.
Jenna:  It's what I've signed my work with forever. Probably starting at around 6 or 7. I don't know who I thought I was, but I'd always write my name with a little crown above it. It was long before I knew who Basquiat or anyone was although I'm sure people think it's some sort of rip off or homage and I can understand why. Its a very overused symbol now, but I think it's too late to change my mind so I figured I might as well roll with it. 

Jenna Morello / New York / Street Art

Simmo:   Okay, here's a tough one- spray can or paint brush? 

Jenna:  I'm better with a brush then I am with a can. Although id like to learn to be equally proficient in both. But my favorite medium is actually those green bic pens from TD Bank. 
Simmo:   As an artist I've noticed that inspiration comes from the craziest things. What's one of the oddest places a piece of your work originated from? 

Jenna:  I get things stuck in my head sometimes and feel like I have to create them in order for that thought to be completed and to allow me to move along. One time I was walking my dogs and saw a pattern on a carpet someone was throwing out. For whatever reason I went home and threw that pattern on a bunch of random stuff like an old door, or a dresser I was working on. People are kind enough to commission me and usually let me do my thing. So my thing for that week was this carpet pattern. 

Jenna Morello / New York / Street Art

Jenna Morello / New York / Street Art

Simmo:  So let's get real here- street art on Oxygen, and the world of reality TV? Were you hesitant about applying for this show? What/who inspired you to even try out?  
Jenna:  I didn't realize what a big deal or how controversial it was until I was already out there. Not that that would have changed my mind because what the hell else was I doing. But I had followed Justin Bua on Instagram, as a kid he was one of my favorite artists. So he posted something like "$100,000 street art competition" and without really thinking I sent them my website. It's not something id normally do, but it wasn't advertised initially as a reality show. They called me probably within 45 minutes so I figured how serious could this be. When they wanted me to go to this huge casting call they were doing I was on vacation with my family, so by the time I showed up it was just me and this one other girl I wasn't allowed to talk to. They made me run a lap and paint some quick stuff and that was that. Before I knew it they asked me to be on the show. So I didn't know the level this was all at until I get off the plane and had a camera in my face for the next 6 weeks. 
Simmo:   What do you feel you took away from the show the most besides the friendships? 
 
Jenna:  I got to see the politics of the art world and how seriously some people take themselves. But it goes both ways because I also got to see how some of the biggest artists don't. Ron English is massive, but seemed to be incredibly down to earth and just a nice guy. Skill wise I learned how to think on my feet a little quicker. And I picked up tips and tricks from just watching the other artists do what they do. 

Jenna Morello / New York / Street Art

Jenna Morello / New York / Street Art

Simmo:   Any new projects in the works right now? I hope I didn't take you away from anything, lol.
 
Jenna:  I'm usually in a constant rotation of various projects. From commissions, to personal pieces, to things my mom or sisters throw at me and need me to do. I have a few pieces in the works for various group shows around my area. Eventually I'll have a solo show. People are big on "meetings" since this aired.  So I have a lot of meetings coming up for murals in the area. I'm just glad it's finally warm enough on this coast so I can paint outside. 
Simmo:   I couldn't help but notice that you have quite a few pieces with the heart as the subject. Care to put yours on your sleeve and explain? 
Jenna:  Ha…no. I will say there are certain people in my life that cause me much more stress then others. And that's just kind of how I sort out that stress. 
Simmo:   What's next for Jenna the artist? Where do you see art taking you? 

Jenna:  I don't think I'm that far ahead yet. I currently just operate under the pretense of my new stuff being better then my old stuff. Its a game I think I've always played with myself. I don't think there is any set blueprint in how to make a career as an artist so I'm currently navigating that. I really just want to be able to hold my own in the "art world". Learn some new things, make some cool pieces, and not get arrested mostly. 
 
Jenna Morello / New York / Street Art

To find out more about Jenna Morello Check out her website HERE.

Interiew courtesy of Denny Simmons

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