|About Jenn Phillips...|
While in college in the late eighties Jenn could be found on the streets of Philadelphia en route to class dressed in her "flea market" finest lugging around a portfolio case nearly twice her size, with trappings of her last painting under her nails, on her clothes or in her hair. Which consistently lead to the question "are you an artist?" and landed her quite a few freelance jobs.
Burdened with a love of fine art and (at the time) an overwhelming contempt for commercial art Jenn found it hard to pick a career path in the art world, making it increasingly hard to justify her substantial tuition, work study and student loans. She had a variety of artistic interests, but none that would provide a consistent means of financial support. She eventually opted to leave college and get a "real" job to pay the rent.
In the early 90's although not employed full-time as an artist, Jenn's art background was utilized on a consistent basis. In one instance she was commissioned to create a poster size illustration of E.T. the Extraterrestrial "phoning home" for a sales campaign and contest where the grand prize was an expensive cell phone. The whimsical finished piece was so well received, that it was framed, displayed during the length of the contest and included in grand prize. At the award presentation ceremony held at a Philadelphia airport hotel, the piece was stolen.
"I couldn't believe my art had been stolen. I was in heaven. I figured I'd have to be 100 or have kicked the bucket in some extravagant fashion before my work worth stealing."
In the early nineties, Jenn landed a job at Universal One Stop in Philadelphia. Initially she worked in sales as the assistant sales manager, designing sales campaigns and increasing consumer awareness. Her artistic talents were put to use for sales promotions and weekly sales advertisements. She pitched innovative promotional and marketing plans to help increase the sales department's productivity and began to work closely with record labels on sales driven materials.
As time passed, the adverting department began to filter projects through the sales department to Jenn, giving her the opportunity to grow artistically. When head of the advertising decided to make a bold move and start his own design company, he offered Jenn a position. She passed on the offer and 2 months later was named the new Advertising Director.
Still working closely with the sales department. Jenn's design skills and innovative new ideas, improved the overall look of the companies marketing and advertising material and gave the sales force an abundance of new tools.
She also took over organizing the company's annual customer appreciation convention. It was an event designed to get record storeowners, labels, distributions companies, and musicians networking in a casual party style atmosphere. Each year there was a grand buffet luncheon, a vendor area representing major and independent manufacturers, and a 5-hour artist showcase.
The one of the most successful conventions saw over 30 vendor tables and more than 1500 in attendance. Over the years the showcases featured new and up and coming artists including: Take 6, Fugees, Norman Brown, Rachell Ferrell, Shabba Ranks, Beth Hart, Xscape, Quad City DJs, Boney James, Dr Hill, Patra, Da Brat, 112, and Kenny Latimore (who during his showcase performance, thanked Jenn for all her efforts in promoting his album and serenaded her with his song "For You.")
Though for many years the job was incredibly rewarding, Jenn eventually yearned for more control professionally. In 1996 after a five year stint as Advertising Director, she started her own graphic design company named Images Everything.
Since that time, her clients have included Philadelphia Eagle: Bobby Taylor, Sony Music, recording artist: Music Soulchild, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, University of Pennsylvania Museum, and McDonalds.
Jenn also published and wrote for the music magazine Rhythm & Beats from January 1999 - February 2003.
Putting all of her experience to good use, in 2002 Jenn founded Kemistre, an artist network that provides information and advice to independent artists.
While her day-to-day dealings fall mostly in the commercial art field, her heart lies in the world fine art. Jenn's cozy, art studio is her favorite place on the planet next to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
"...I really need to make the Met a three day event. I go there with every intention of seeing more than 3 or 4 galleries in a day and then all of a sudden its closing time and I realize I've spent 2 hours staring at Michael Angelo's Studies for the Libyan Sibyl."
In addition to graphic art, painting (oil, watercolor and acrylics), photography, and jewelry making, Jenn is also an accomplished henna tattoo artist. She is also a founding member of the Philadelphia based indie film production company Citizen Wumpus and in 2005, started writing and directing on her own independent film projects.
Jenn also serves on the board of Directors of Bread Upon The Waters Scholarship fund. It is the only scholarship of its kind - specifically designed to benefit women over the age of 30 who wish to complete an undergraduate degree through part-time study attending evening classes at The University of Pennsylvania.