“I like to create things and let the audience decide what they see for me.”
There are certain times when I wish I could escape to another world, dimension, universe, whatever, you name it – just get away from it all. It mostly happens when people are annoying or when I’d like to just go somewhere and sleep for a few weeks undisturbed (when I was little I used to think that bears hibernating were weird, now I’m totally jealous). I’m pretty sure you’ll all think I’m rambling by now, so let me explain. The parallel universe I’d like to escape in looks a hell of a lot like Jeena’s art. Dreamy pastels, badass women, the sea… what else could you possibly wish for?
The Basics – tell us more about you and what you do?
My name is Jeena, I’m a 20-year-old Canadian born Palestinian artist based in Montreal. As an artist, I work with graphic design, animation as well as fine arts such as painting and pencil sketching. I work as a visual artist for musicians and I am also a DJ.
Wow, you’re a DJ too? What kind of music do you play? Do you have anything online we could check out?
Haha, yes! I’ve started to DJ recently and want to continue it. My sets consist of old school hip-hop, trap and dancehall. I have a Soundcloud that you can check out soundcloud.com/byjayr where I will start posting my mixes there very soon! <3
What’s your first memory about drawing/illustrating? Were you into it as a child?
My very first memory I have of drawing was when I first got involved with art at the age of four. I was sitting on a picnic bench with my friend and we were drawing stick figures and she taught me how to draw my very first pair of proper shoes. Since then I began drawing stick figures with detailed shoes continuously. It sparked my interest in art and since, wanted to develop a skill for it.
4. Do you think your upbringing or your childhood has an impact on your art?
Definitely. I grew up living in different countries, so I was exposed to different cultures and societies that also had different education systems and taught art differently. When I was in high-school, I had done IGCSE Art, which was intense and strictly based on still art rather than abstract. It taught me a lot when it came to perfecting my art. However, when I moved to Montreal for University, I was taught how to create things outside the box and out of my comfort zone rather than just focusing on perfecting the shade or image itself.
How would you describe your work?
When it comes to my art, I like to create things and let the audience decide what they see for me. Personally, I would describe it as being Pop Art combined with a dreamy vibe. However, many would describe it as Bubblegum Pop Art due to the colour palette I use in my art.
Take us through your creative progress – how do you find your inspiration; how do you turn an idea into a final work?
When it comes to art, it’s a combination of different things all put onto one canvas. I created art to vent out all my emotions, it’s always been used as my rock. However, I find myself inspired a lot by nature, particularly waves, and the ocean. I always find myself best inspired if I am creating art on a higher peak such as mountains, or on the beach. However, a very big inspiration to my art is music. With these inspirations, I let my mind flow into creating what it wants to create while being in that space where the outcome is all based on that energy flow.
Do you ever tackle any social/political issues in your art?
I try to avoid anything related to social/political issues when it comes to creating art. It complicates things and I think I have too much to say to express it through art hahah.
8. What are the challenges an artist needs to face nowadays?
I think the ultimate struggle or challenge that an artist will face is criticism for your work. I believe that art cannot be judged, it is there to be seen in different perspectives by everyone, not to be compared.
Who are 3 artists we should follow?
Do you think art should stand for something or just be aesthetically pleasing?
I think that art stands for many things, rather than being just aesthetically pleasing. I see art as a very intimate and personal thing that isn’t to be viewed but to be felt instead.
What are 3 things people don’t know about you? (and you wish they would)
I am secretly obsessed with space and astronomy. I’ve always wanted to play the drums professionally. I love fries. Fries is always an exception.
12. Who would you like to like your art?
Kurt Cobain. He’s been a major muse to me in every way since I was a young teenager.
13. You said that art should be felt, what would you like people to feel when they look at your work?
When it comes to looking at my art, I hope that people feel something grow within them. Either a spark of light, or something deep. It depends how they view my art and what they see when they view my art. But I would want my art to leave a strong positive impact on a person. I want it to be remembered once they’ve seen it.
What’s your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to have my own skate shop on a beach that also consists of art pieces and music. I want people to feel great positive energy when they look at my stuff where they’ll walk in feeling one thing and leave feeling a million positive things.