Using Negative Emotions As Leverage: Remarkable Artist, Jenny VyasMatthew Moore
Chicago based artist Jenny Vyas by no means followed a traditional path to get her to where she is today. When one door closed, a new one had to be created. Her voyage in art began during 2014 when a relationship went south and an overwhelming feeling to make a life change took over. “During that period of healing, all I could dream about was painting. Having never painted before, you can imagine how daunting this pull was for me.” Years prior, she recognized the gap between what she was doing for a living vs following a true passion. A broken heart became the catalyst to walking away from the corporate world and pursuing something that felt more empowering.
In April of 2014 she became aware of “#the100DayProject“, which motivated her to take painting seriously. She became drawn to the community of creatives and wanted to join. However at the time she felt her work just wasn’t where it needed to be. When the project arrived again in 2015, Jenny had spent months learning new painting techniques and most importantly, creating an individual style. Her series of black and white work titled “#100VulnerableDays” gave her some much deserved recognition. All of her effort began to pay off and that once emotionally distraught person was beginning to be left behind. ” That being said, painting full-time was a gradual process for me. Thanks to my background in marketing, I developed a long term vision.”
Her momentum continued in 2016 when she was invited to create her own mural on the rotating artist wall of Violet Hour (located in Chicago). She made the most of the opportunity with an interactive showcase. Not only were people intrigued by her street art but her creation became heavily shared on social media with the hashtag #HowWillYouRise ( <— scroll to the bottom to see dozens of fans sharing her work) making it’s mark.
Following the popularity of her 2016 mural, a second version was created at West Loop, Chicago eatery Nonna’s. While this newer version didn’t have the obvious interactive feel as her first street art creation. That didn’t stop onlookers from taking dozens of photos of the mural and reposting them with her signature #HowWillYouRise
hashtag. With a growing fan base there became a market for her work and Jenny’s art career began to take flight.
Jenny is among a small group of Chicago female painters that also regularly do street art. Her work has become easily recognizable by local art fans. When we asked how she felt about being a female muralist, she had a lot to say on the topic.
“While women make up just about half of the visual artist community in the country today, according to the National Museum of Women in Arts, of all artists represented by commercial galleries, only about 30% are female. Chicago is no different, in my opinion. That gap is even wider in the street art/murals genre. While we see a few female muralists leaving their mark here, the space is definitely dominated by male artists. Therefore, contributing to bridge this gap in gender equality feels empowering. I’m hoping this should change in the upcoming years and more female street artists emerge and get the recognition they deserve”
Some of her favorite Chicago female artists include Sarah Carolan, Eva Carlini and Anna Murphy. Other global female artists she’s felt inspired from are Christina Angelina , Faith XLVI, Julia Volchkova, among others.
During the Summer of 2017, she was approached to create a Chicago destination mural at West Loop restaurant, Federales. She was also given creative control over the project. Jenny contacted her friend CZR PRZ to help accomplish the task. It’s currently one of her most prominent works to date.
Photo by LAËTITIA DONAGHY
“As the city’s economy struggles, and national democracy seems to be weakening, ART is the one constant that seems to have found fertile ground and is flourishing more than ever in the Chi. It seems like the worse things get here, the more indispensable Art becomes”.