Coming out of Mississauga/Toronto, Jen Mann takes her craft with her across country lines. Her first encounter with art came from her father.
He was a graphic designer and an artist. He would sit her down along with her brother and teach them things such as color wheels and perspective. He became a big inspiration for her. She looked up to him throughout her life.
She likes drawing for fun and practice and paints for seriousness. She is attracted to painting because she sees something impressive and authentic about it. I like her work because it feels modern and I love the use of vibrant colors. Her work is something I'd hang up in my room.
Why are you still into art?
It just became a part of me i don't think i could exist without it being a part of my life.
What is it about art that inspires you? Why?
These are some intense questions...haha. I think art inspires me to look at my life, and think about the artists before me, and the artists who will come after me. we are all capturing a world that we see, maybe even just in our heads, capturing something personal, emotional, and sometimes iconic of an era. there is something about the documenting of images of the subconscious, that is magical, as though from beyond this world, traveling through time, to touch someone else.
Who inspires you? Why?
life, people who surround me, family, writers like Tom Robbins, people who make you think, in ways full of magic and wit, and look at your own life as an existential adventure.
How did it feel to do your first solo show?
My first solo show was exciting but I think it's always your most recent show that brings the most excitement. I'm always excited about the next work, the new work and the ideas bubbling inside.
What did you get out of it?
Having a solo show is great, you get to put your work into context with the body of work you have created, and have it seen as it was intended. I think solo shows are the most exciting shows to go see, because there is a theme, a story behind the work that you can see coming through, told by the artist.
Why are you so passionate about this?
I think as an artist your art becomes a part of who you are or maybe who you are becomes a part of your art. There is a passion there, but it is also an autonomous relationship. I think we are all passionate about our lives. We have a spark, a fire to live. This is just my spark translated into visual dialogue, for others to interpret.
What would you tell someone who aspires to be an artist?
Be willing to fail in order to succeed, expect a lot of rejection, but take it with a grain of salt.
In your opinion, why is art difficult for people to understand?
Maybe art feels more unapproachable for some people because they want to believe it is more complex than often it is. Usually, the important part about viewing art, is finding a meaning that the work has to you, and understanding that. Then there is this connection between what I feel when I see a piece and what you feel when you see a piece. We see the same thing but we are seeing something totally different, and that is OK. I think people are afraid to trust their own brain to be creative and to wander a bit.
She has been working as a professional painter for the past four years. She wants to get her work published in a book eventually. She wants to continue doing what she's doing, expanding, growing, changing and playing.