creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

Friday, February 25, 2011


The multi-talented Marianna Fox at her Silverlake gallery opening Feb. 2011
Two weeks ago I talked about the importance of creative friendships and the artist Krys Fox as he made his gallery debut in Brooklyn. This week we turn our attention to another Fox -- Marianna Fox, a multitalented artist who is also connected by the bond of Phyllis’ Garage, an intimate performance and art venue created out of the place I called home with R. Sky Palkowitz from 2001-2002. Sky and I have co-hosted a plethora of events since those early days and are celebrating the 10 year anniversary this year with PGX (Phyllis’ Garage 10) which will include several events in the coming months - more information forthcoming!

Marianna & Sky performing at Phyllis' Garage in 2002
While Sky and I share a most unorthodox collaboration worthy of scratching the head over at times, I’ve found it to hold a variety of riches on this artistic journey. One of the greatest benefits about such a friendship has been the lovely mix of people that Sky befriends on a regular basis, and Marianna Fox is one of the coolest I’ve had the pleasure of calling a friend by association. I admire the many faceted nature of Marianna’s talents. To be in her presence is to immediately feel the energy of a sharp mind, a passionate soul, and fierce performer. She is a creative inferno who tackles all manner of art forms with a bold precision.
I love this festive 2004 pic from my "Personalized Mythology" photo series
I recently caught up with Marianna at her art opening at Mornings/Nights cafe in Silverlake. Marianna is a bicoastal entity, splitting her time primarily between NYC and Los Angeles. The digital collage mixed with painting works on display were those created in her LA studio. While in NYC she works on different types of work. This approach seems to help Marianna manage her various interests, and each environment determines the type of material she uses. But wherever she goes, music follows, and its her beautiful voice and guitar playing that I most know her for. Here’s some archive footage of an impromptu performance at Phyllis’ Garage Art Be-In Day in 2001:

Marianna answers 5 Quick Questions:

1. How do you describe yourself as an artist? What type of work do you do?
I describe myself as a Renaissance Artist. I revolve my worlds around creativity as it hits me. I follow the work till its done. But, I might revolve other arts to inspire the others. Some people say, "stick to one thing". I say, "why", and ruin my thing I do have is focus so all my work gets done.
The type of work I do could be song writing, singing, performance art, photography, and mixed media. Sometimes all is combined....I'm also a healer/massage therapist for 21 years which has been a huge part of who I am and the energy that I can put out to the world.

2. If you could only choose one, which is your favorite media, and of that, which is your favorite piece you’d want most to share with others, and why?
Hmmm, this ones hard to answer...I'd probably say music, because it is what I was born with...being a child in a musical family....I don't have a favorite piece, really...If I do a piece or performance, it is always important to me and is my favorite at the moment...I like to keep things fresh and moving.

3. What/who have been the major influences and inspirations to your work?
I would say that travel and nature have been the major influences in my life...hearing random peoples stories inspires me and triggers creativity...then I see color and images that lead me...Often, the moment before I sleep, I see myself doing new things and creating...sometimes its just a feeling that comes over me....I am inspired by any performance that has pure passion of creativity...

4. What comes to mind as one of the most interesting circumstances behind the creation of a particular work?
When I'm in the groove of creating, I start to buzz literally...The excitement is so much fun and it creates happiness around me too...That is very interesting to me...Its not a selfish thing, its something I like to share...When I take on a certain project and commit to it...I am very confident that it is right and that all the stars are aligning...Then I move towards it with passion...Its what I live for....

5. What’s next?

Next projects are a soultry modern album which I just completed with Songwriter/Producer Carter Tutwiler and will be out soon....performing it with the band...Also learning jazz standards and will perform eventually with my brother James Fuchs(Musician/Producer)...We will definately give it another twist. Normally I am doing all my own material but I'm trying things a different way and learning a hell of a lot..
I will have 2 pieces of Art in TOAST Tribeca at the Salomon Arts Gallery in Tribeca NYC at the end of April...
And a big show at the same Gallery in June with another artist...working out the details now...Next year will be another LippyLu(Multi Media performance art show in Los Angeles Ca), where I do all the music and work on background video with my performance partner Jon David Casey as we perform in front of can see samples of my work on Facebook (Marianna Fox)(lippiLu)

Marianna before the show @ Phyllis' Garage in 2002

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Color Restriction: An Ode to Winter Whites

I know from experience we can get overwhelmed by all the choices presented us in creating new artwork, we sometimes want to throw everything we've got into it; all the colors, all the techniques, all the possibilities. But too much of a good thing can muddy the overall look of a work. We think of the word "restriction" in a negative and limiting fashion, but sometimes it helps bring clarity and focus to the art.  Much can be done with a limited palette, particularly in regard to colors. When you impose limits, you define the perimeters of your work, which guides the process and allows you to get the most out of it.

Winter is one of those glorious seasons that strips away much of the color in the temperate climates, offering up an opportunity to enjoy the starkness and pave the way towards a burst of color and life come spring. Winter forces us into limits, especially when it blankets everything in a glorious blanket of white snow that to some people is an annoyance, but to others quite magical.

Many famous artists have made a name for themselves by painting stark white canvases, which at first glance are straightforward, but at further examination offer a fine amount of variety in the detail. So try limiting yourself in some manner, whether in color, in your building materials, or subject matter.

The following are pictures from recent travels back to a good old Iowa winter, which convey a very limited color scheme of winter whites:

In the meadow we can build a...

Back alley icicles

Geese along the Iowa River
An ice flow
Wing over Iowa landscape

A river winding
Do you catch my drift?

Don't eat the yellow snow!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Krys Fox, photographer and performance artist, poses at his apartment on 12-15-10
One of the most important elements to have along a creative journey is community. Whether the experiences on the path of life offer up challenging twists where friendship encourages us to move through them, or exciting turns where friendship to share it with enhances the excitement, building a connection with people that have different views on life offers up many rewards. The weaving together of different views enriches our palette as we come to understand what drives other people on their own personal journey, giving us the ability to reflect upon ours with a new perspective. Human nature often seeks to make comparisons or compete with each other, but when we can see beyond our ego’s individual needs and see each of us as manifestations of the same cosmic singularity, as one creative force with many variations, we can revel in and resonate with the lives of others.

Throughout history there are great examples where groups of artists gathered to share ideas, contributing to a cross-pollination of energies. This concept has always been near and dear to my heart, and when I see it in this light, I really get to admire the qualities that make us all unique flowers blossoming in the garden of life.

Krys & a flower blossoming in LA circa 2003
So, after that introduction, we come to a profile of another dear colleagues on this creative journey: Krys Fox. This week, Krys celebrates his first gallery opening in his new home of Brooklyn, a group show with some other talented artist called WOLF PACK opening tomorrow February 10 --  see WOLFPACK INVITE
If you are in the NYC area, this is not one to miss, as the synergy of these artists and the “pack” they hang with is electric and palpable through the advance buzz on the internet. I wish I could be there, but can admire the energy from afar.

WOLFPACK: Scooter LaForge, Walt Cessna & Krys Fox photographed by Devin Elijah Bklyn 10
In the ten plus years I’ve known Krys I’ve always admired his bold and unusual approach to life and the great charisma and style he exudes while doing it. He’s is a living work of art, reflected on the surface through his flare for fashion, make-up, hair-style, and tattoos, but also deeply present in his adventurous spirit and bold heart inside. As much as he has been influenced by the art world around him, he has influenced others in their styles. But few can pull off the edgy flare like Krys can. His unique look and ability to pull any second-hand frock into haute couture has made him a most excellent model for many photographers, and come to great use as a performance artist on stage. But Krys also applies his keen eye towards styling models for his own photography, and the various make-up and distortions he gives to them brings out the vulnerable and mysterious. You can always tell a model has been given the unique Krys Fox treatment...

Modeling after being "Krysed up" in 2000

When I met Krys he flattered me by asking me to model for him, and thus a great connection was made. It was one of those mutually attracted vibes that was discovered to really be a friendship, an admiration for a fellow creative flower in the garden. Our pollination was through art, and after seeing just how amazing his photography was from that session and the pictures in his portfolio, I knew Krys needed to have his own gallery show, but neither of quite had the funds. But the intention was put out into the Universe, and answered. We worked with a producing partner interested in helping contribute to the printing and framing his works for his first gallery opening at Phyllis’ Garage in 2001.

Krys Fox Photography at Phyllis' Garage 2001

I’ll be talking a lot about Phyllis’ Garage in the months to come, for this year marks its 10 year anniversary celebration, PGX and the theme is Re*Connection, a reunion to bring together some of the original artists of the performance and art space both physically and virtually online. More information can be found at:

Jeff, Krys, & Jason (the three producers) at Phyllis' Garage 2001

I feel it’s important for artists to also be patrons of the arts when possible. I would urge everyone to experience this along their creative paths and make it part of their palette. To have been both a model and co-producer (with Jeff Roberts), then see Krys’ amazing works of early photography hanging up on the walls of the Phyllis' Garage gallery space I co-created (with R. Sky Palkowitz) was a great thrill. To see him continuing to evolve and create his photography, taking on new models for his new show, furthers that thrill. Krys and his art was meant to shine, I've just been lucky to get to have been a small part of it during my own path. There may be a bit of a selfish rush one could find in that, but there’s also a pure bliss that comes from watching a friend cross-pollinating anew with others and blossoming!

It's marvelous to have watched Krys' development take shape. He applies his spirit to everything he does, mashing up bits of culture with a great dash of himself to spice up his work to give it that unique Krys flavor. Wherever he goes, he dives into the scene becoming a well-known part of it. His recent work had definitely been invigorated by the energy of New York and his partner and friends there, but the talent is all his and it comes through in every image. I look forward to what's next.

"Krysed up" again in 2003

Keep your eyes and hearts open. While you work on your own art, see what else is out there that moves you. Enrich your life by deepening your connection and support of other artists. Be a conduit of the Universe for manifesting what is destined. Make it a goal this year to model for a photographer, pose for a painter, sponsor a project, market an event, or gather a group meeting; whatever form it takes — cross-pollinate.

So onward brother Krys! BLOSSOM!

To keep track of Krys Fox’s work, follow his photography blog at:

And check out WOLF PACK:
Krys at his Phyllis' Garage opening in 2001

Krys' works on the wall at the LAGLC Village in 2004

Another Krys pic from our 2000 photo session

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Palette Cleansing Photo & Poem

Enjoy this photo and poem like meditations 
allowing them to flow through your mind like a refreshing breeze.
Prepare yourself for next week, as much more of this wondrous journey is coming.
  Your ReBegin is blossoming all over!

If our planet was shaped like Africa


The Lucky One

If you ever feel unlucky
remind yourself:
of all the millions
upon millions
of sperm 
that competed with each other
for the most sought after 
prize of the egg,
you were the lucky one
that hit the jackpot.
So go ahead and enjoy
spending your fortune!