Celestine Jensen: artist of the month, artistic dimension

Self-described as “messy, colorful and confusing,” Celestine Jensen’s art is known for its variability and ability to engage, melding with oodles of flexible forms of mixed media. Even her poster advertising her recent art show held at Kathryn Taylor Chocolates contains a simple portrait of a woman against a chaotic background of seemingly 60s-inspired patterns and shapes. The exhibit had a fantastic turnout, teeming with admirers against the sound background of Jensen’s music taste. However, Jensen’s art production isn’t limited to her high school career: she plans to attend Cornish College of the Arts fall 2015 with a major in design. Cornish has produced artists such as Reggie Watts, Brendan Fraser, and Mary Lambert—perhaps not artists in the same sense as Jensen, yet, prominent singers and actors within the world of creation. Jensen hopes and knows that living and learning among artists will develop her own artistic sense. “In being around people who have similar passions as me I will learn to collaborate and express my ideas better. Plus I’ll be doing art all the time, and when I’m not doing art I’ll be looking at other art. Being surrounded by what I love will help me blossom even more as an artist,” she stated. In fact, Jensen plans to pursue art later in life after college. She doesn’t have any concrete plans as for job titles, but she aspires to be both artistic and an advocate in whatever she chooses. “It’s what I love to do, I’m really passionate about creating things,” offered Jensen. “Way down the road I hope to be someone who can help young people in bad situations find a positive outlet to help them cope and express themselves.” Whether it be freelance or working for a corporation, Jensen has no true preference; freelance would be nice, however, if she worked for an ethical corporation providing a message, she’d have no objections. “Freelance would be cool but as of now I don’t have a preference. If I worked for a corporation I would want it to be a good one, one that cares about the environment, women, and people of color and doesn’t use sweatshops. Just a place that does good things for society. Design and Advertising has a lot more power than people realise and if I go into designing ads or anything like that I want to use that power to change things up and make a difference.”

Jensen’s art itself is absolutely worth exploring as its own concept. Questions to ask always include topics of influence and mechanics. Like many prominent artists, Jensen cites the 60s as one of her main inspirations. “The posters, the fashion, the trippy art. I’m obsessed,” Jensen stated—which is amply clear after her participation in the production Across The Universe with a solo with Emily Foster for I Want To Hold Your Hand, as well as a role in the chorus. Of all the outfits in the cast, Jensen’s certainly stands out as the work of someone truly inspired by the 60s era. The posters, fashion, and trippy art aren’t all that inspires Jensen to create her individual aesthetic. Music similarly inspires her during the artistic process: “I can’t do art without listening to music. The Kinks and The Growlers are my favourite bands right now. But I love rock and roll, jazz, 60’s French pop, California beach rock, basically anything weird and wonderful,” Jensen gushed. Jensen describes the process of art-making as “therapeutic”. It eases her mind, erasing anxiety, and she describes it as “putting my brain onto a canvas. Making my thoughts and ideas come alive.” Jensen is constantly developing and changing her own tastes as well, preferring the label of “colorful mess maker who says weird stuff and sings a lot”, but technically would say she’s a mixed media artist.

Additionally, Jensen hopes to explore around the world in order to better both herself and her art. “I can’t stay in one place, there’s too much out in the world to see!” is Jensen’s philosophy: get out there and have as much as an experience as you can, there’s too much of the world out there to ignore. One can observe naturalistic influences within Jensen’s art, especially in the case of her recent collage on display in the annual student art exhibit at the Orcas Center, perhaps the nature setting of Orcas positively influencing how Jensen views the world. However, Orcas Island cannot offer the whole caboodle, especially in the case of young adults impassioned to concoct their passions physically, be it through art or dance or song. Upon being asked where, ideally, she’d like to live in the future, Jensen replied: “Europe! I want to live in Italy, France, Greece, and every place in between. Those are my dream locations now but ultimately I want to travel everywhere.” After discovering the 60s are her main influence, such a response is not surprising. But as we’ve observed, small towns don’t hinder Jensen’s development and growth as an individual; wherever she finds herself, she’ll both advocate and create. After all, nothing but “aliens taking over Earth” could marginally curb her drive. “I’d probably figure out some way to paint that though,” Jensen laughed.