Jen Shakti has been painting and making art her whole life. Raised in an artistic family of at least 3 generations, her mother and grandmother, both artists, encouraged Jen’s talents and artistic expression. One of Jen’s earliest memories was the smell of oil paint and turpentine, watching from her crib as her mother painted. Jen’s father shared with her his love of the desert. Through camping trips and explorations, the desert has always been a place of peace and comfort.
The moment of realizing her calling to be an artist came in the seventh grade, when she was drawing al in her room recreating a photograph of her favorite band Iron Maiden and their iconic mascot Eddie.
“It was a moment of revelation and clarity, I was both myself and also a spectator viewing what I was doing. I understood on a soul level that drawing and painting was something I was really good at, and in that moment I decided that I would be a professional artist.”
Jen graduated high school from The Los Angeles County High School for The Arts. Her first two years of college were spent at The Art Institute of Chicago, and she received her BFA from the Laguna College of Art and Design in 1995.
In 1992, Jen was “called by the tattoo gods” and began a career in tattooing. Jen developed her spirituality and personal healing alongside her tattooing. In 2000, she established her own custom studio, The Mermaid’s Tale in Orange County, Ca. From 2008-2020, Jen received acclaim for her practice¬- “Sacred Tattooing” weaving spirituality, ceremony and tattooing together.
The Desert HeART series is from my direct experiences of exploring and quietly observing the Mojave desert landscape. Stories accompany the work, as it’s important to me to share the miracles of the unique plants and animals that have sparked my wonder and imagination by revealing their details and secrets with me. From the fragrance of the wet earth when it first rains, to the call of a quail or the absolute silence of a yucca with a vista that stretches to the horizon, I want to give the viewer a sensory experience and an intimate window of the Mojave and Sonoran desert ecosystem.
Jen uses her own photography as reference, and radiant bright acrylic colors to uplift the spirit.
“My desire is to inspire a sense of appreciation of the ecology and history of Mojave desert through my artwork. As a desert advocate, I educate people of all ages to value the desert’s diversity and beauty. I have a vision of bringing people together and working creatively on preserving the open spaces and indigenous cultural treasures found there “
What kind of public art project do I want to work on?
I have participated in many group gallery shows and art fairs in the course of my career in Southern California, In early 2020, I created the “Chalk Talk Project” in Long Beach, Ca. creating non permanent positive messages on neighborhood walls and sidewalks during early covid time.
If you don’t have public art experience, please describe your interest in a public art project.: I have a portfolio of private commissions of smaller mural painting work. I’d like to work on collaborative group larger murals, or help creating art installations.