Jacklyn Janeksela lives in Prague, Czech Republic but has lived in Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, and New York City. This summer she will be in Armenia; next year in Germany and Finland. This self-taught artist who dabbles in most things creative but is focused on poetry, painting and photography was born in Minnesota in the United States and raised in the Midwest. Jacklyn has a MFA-Creative Writing from City College of New York.
We found Jacklyn to be our most enthusiastic participant and her passion and determination came through in her application to the magazine. ASLI feel that the project Female Filet is an important one and needs to be given the platform it deserves so that it can progress and create a voice for women everywhere. This is why we wanted to speak to Jacklyn and get all the information on what the project is all about and how to get involved :
What motivated you to deal with the subject of self-inflicted violence against ourselves as women in your art?
“To be honest, the call for women artists inspired me to start this photography/poetry project. The subject matter has been on a low, slow fire; ASLI raised the temperature, got the pot boiling.
From all I have seen/done and enjoyed/suffered-there are stories inside of me that I know resonate/connect to other women. Through my vulnerability may they become brave enough to come forward and speak? Like with most causes, more voices equal the ability to see ourselves in each other, the ability to unite/fight, the ability to heal. “
Tell us why you chose this submission?
“It came from the heart. It was ready to be born. I let it be. For years I have wanted to be honest with myself and my art, it was time.”
Here are the blogs where you can find out more about the project and get involved:
Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?
“The idea of mixing any medium has fascinated me. From poetry & fiction to photography & painting; mixing some and/or all appeals to my corporeal state as a chameleon. we are all, whether we admit it or deny it, chameleons-not only does our natural tendency to change, move, and migrate tell us this, but also biology tells us as we shed our old selves to welcome the new. We shed more than just skin.”
What is your process when creating?
“I observe. I look at myself, I look at others, and I look at how we function together. There are tons of questions in the process, tons of looking and listening and waiting and selecting. The muses are kind to me. It would be a different world, for me, without those beauties.”
Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?
“Inspired by Sylvia Plath, e.e. Cummings, and James Baldwin; inspired by The Cure, Le Bucherettes, Motorama, Patti Smith, Como Diamantes Telepáticos, Dead Rabbits, Moon Duo, and Tori Amos; inspired by Aleksandra Waliszewska times three. Jennifer Davis is a lovely pastel thing in this world.”
What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?
“To categorize myself outside of being an artist is difficult. If being a feminist means I am for women, for fairness/justice and against violence/inequality, then yes, of course. It would be strange to not be. Feminism means asserting womanhood and all it entails. Feminism means confessing our vulnerability while increasing our courage. Feminism is more than just being a woman, it is being a creator of life; to be respected for that and much more.”
Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?
“This question is heavy. My response will be the short version. If I don’t dress or act accordingly, I risk name-calling or shaming. If I don’t dress or act accordingly, I risk not eating/living. If I don’t dress or act accordingly, I jeopardize my space. On some level we all conform to survive. Every day I am moving further and further away from this. I was once the epitome of many female stereotypes-some I assumed and others were just handed to me; from each one I have learned about myself and my space as a female artist. I have to break myself in order to be myself.
I should neither be taken too seriously nor not seriously enough.”
Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?
“Again, another hard question. Sentences and paragraphs are not enough-full books are not enough? You know the answer, so I won’t spend too much time here. The inequality for many groups of people exists and persists. But little by little the marginalized are making tons of headway in the “standard” society-we are shouting and offering peace and love and real, valid, honest proof of our existence and ability to be successful and, well, people. The old era of the elitist, white-male society is falling I thank all the Orishas.”
What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?
“Insert everything James Baldwin fought for. Insert ideas from Marina Abramovic. Janet Mock and Carlos Motta are fighting the good fight. JR from the Inside Out Project (“Women”) is an ally.
I feel strongly about animal, all non-white groups/cultures, and women’s rights; sentient being rights.
Oh, and food waste. If you can’t finish your plate take it home or at least box it up and give it to someone, anyone-people are hungry out here. Take home food from restaurants, buy local, and stop throwing away food.
And recycle-it’s super lazy not to.”
What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in any way “saved” your life in any way?
“Where to start. Art saved me from so many things-bad relationships, drugs, pain, religion, hate, violence, and myself.”
What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?
“Art has saved my life on several occasions. Some memories I am not ready to face yet, some I am not willing to confess. But nonetheless, without art I would be rotting somewhere for sure-just another broken body. So I wanted to join an organization that sees art as salvation; there within, I can reach others-teach others-how to use art and heart to be better, braver, more brilliant.”
How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?
“If my art doesn’t create change, I should tremble in fear. Art is personal, so I don’t, and would never, judge anyone who creates art without wanting change, but with such a gift to create I would feel silly to not want to affect change.
To change means to be exposed and ready. To jump into something; to fly. Perhaps, if I can inspire that in others, then I would feel satisfied.
Art is bigger than we are; we must respect that.”
What are your goals as with your art?
“To never stop.”
What is your next project or piece that you are working on?
“I am working on a series of paintings on old, used books. Painting things that are connected to the way I view the world-as a woman, as a person. It’s all part of my art murge movement painting on found objects or cheap materials. This started after I left Colombia for Argentina; my goal was to paint, but I didn’t want to buy materials, so I wandered the streets collecting old cardboard boxes. I am still doing it here in Prague.
I am also working on a piece titled disappearing: knowing her through death, based on my deceased, paternal grandmother who was a schizophrenic.
My husband and I make music together-we’re in a band called the Velblouds.”
And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?
“Stop being afraid and start being.
Stop buying stuff. Make stuff. Be stuff.
You are what you eat.
Can I also add that all the people I know and have known are all special and have added layers to my identity? If I have met you, you have, in some way, left a mark on me. Thank you.
To my chief supporter/the love of my life, Hector-gracias, mi amor.”