Artist Profile: Jennifer Sclafani
While artist Jennifer Sclafani isn’t really a Vermonter, Heady Vermont CEO Monica Donovan met her at a Phish concert. Which means she’s almost a Vermonter. She’s also a prodigiously talented artist with whom we’ll be collaborating on some Heady Vermont merch. So, we thought it would be worth our time – and yours – to make an introduction…
HVT: What is your personal background?
JS: I grew up in New Jersey and have been living in New York City since I graduated from Pratt Institute. I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, and am also a fine artist and graphic designer/animator. I’ve basically dabbled in every type of visual art there is!
HVT: What’s the source of your artistic inspiration?
JS: My number one source of inspiration is music. Especially jam, funk and jazz. Any type of music that has an improvisational energy is what inspires me, because I like to channel that energy and detail into my illustration process. I also take visual inspiration from surrealism, the art nouveau movement and the 60’s psychedelic movement.
HVT: What’s your personal and artistic relationship to Vermont?
JS: In my opinion, Vermont is one of the most beautiful states in the country. My brother went to UVM, so I’d often visit him and loved walking around Burlington. Whenever we visited my family and I would go to Shelburne Farms, where we’d sit overlooking Lake Champlain. It was breathtaking.
I am also a huge fan of Phish, who came from Vermont. Phish has such an amazing community of people, and I became friends with other phans who saw my work and encouraged me to keep drawing. I began making tour posters and selling my work in Phan art shows. Because of this I’ve met an incredible amount of people who also love art and music.
HVT: What’s your relationship with cannabis?
JS: My relationship with cannabis has changed over the years. I used to smoke it exclusively, and then gradually I switched to oil and now only eat edibles every once in a while. When I was in school, I used to start every art project with a technique called “mind mapping,” which is where I would write down a word and then draw out every single association I made from that word, eventually creating a web. Smoking cannabis helped in that process, making me so much more creative and loose. I learned to not smoke when it came time to actually producing work, as I felt it made me a little more scatterbrained than focused.
HVT: What’s your vision for cannabis nationwide?
JS: 100% Legalization. It baffles me that people are still incarcerated on marijuana charges, when it is one of the least harmful drugs out there. And when you look at the history of the criminalization of marijuana, its purely rooted in racism and political agendas.
I’m really excited to see how the cannabis business pans out as it becomes legalized. It’ll create so many jobs and a completely new industry, and the graphic designer in me is really excited to see how different strains and eventually brands will be marketed, packaged, etc.
HVT: Where are you based, how can people see your work, and what’s the best way for folks to contact you?
JS: I’m based in New York City, and people can see my work at www.jensclafani.com/illo/ . I also have an online store shopnewnouveau.com where people can buy specialty screen prints. The best way to contact me is through email, at Jsclaf1@gmail.com