Pinks, oranges and yellows explode from the wooden panel it’s painted on. The linework looks endlessly intricate. Jenesis’ love of ’60s culture is especially prominent in this piece, where the warm colour scheme have flower child written all over them. Go Ask Alice, is the piece’s title.
Jenesis is an artistic alias that encompasses much more than a 21-year-old fashion design student in her fourth year at Ryerson University.
“I’ve been drawing since I was three,” said Jenesis. “But I didn’t necessarily find the true love of art until early this year.”
A free spirit filled with both vibrancy and radiating psychedelic vibes, Jenesis is Jeannie Priscila’s artistic identity; but really, they’re one in the same.
“When I was more into fashion, I had the brand JeAnne Pris,” she said.
“I just wanted to do something specifically for art. It was a new beginning for me – a genesis, basically.”
Jenesis said that showcasing her work for the first time at the Dollar & A Dream Art Gallery Exhibit at the University of Toronto Mississauga really sparked her artistic passion.
Jenesis describes her creative process as a meditative state.
“It’s one of those things where if you’ve had a really bad day, you can sit down with the empty page and pencil and forget about it all and just get lost in your own world,” said Jenesis. “Essentially, (that’s) why our art collective is called Eskape Reality.”
Eskape Reality is an art collective between artists Jenesis, Tim Skynz, and Eskape Hardie that formed at the beginning of the summer. Above the Korean Grill House location near Queen Street West and University Avenue, one of their murals stands out against the brown and grey bricks. Bright pinks and oranges loop together in a surreal spread, with a distinct set of white and black eyes gazing out through the bursts of colour. The three merge their styles together to make grandiose, cohesive pieces reminiscent of a kaleidoscope. Another one of their murals can be seen near Spadina Avenue and Dupont Street.
Though Jenesis’ most noticeable work uses splashes of warm colours, she says that she usually keeps her pieces in black and white. Her most noted black and white pieces are drawings of Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, and Tupac Shakur.
“Music is a big inspiration,” said Jenesis. “It’s something that I need to listen to every minute of the day.”
Low-key lighting, people milling about, instrumental music in the background, and the dense scent of incense burning – that’s Jenesis’ ideal setting to create art. Either that, or outdoors. Her art is often inspired by nature, flowing instinctively across the page.
Although her artistic talent was always clear, Jenesis still chose fashion design at Ryerson over art-centric schools like the Ontario College of Art and Design.
“For me, the No. 1 school was Ryerson for fashion design, because they’re known for that program and it’s especially recognized across Canada,” said Jenesis. She recalls finding a love for fashion during Grade 10. “When I found out I got accepted, it was a moment of achievement.”
Jenesis says that artistic communities tend to exist outside of school and are relatively underground, but that Ryerson fosters a creative environment.
“When I’m in the sewing lab and I see other students working on their collections and garments, it really inspires me,” she said. “You just see the motivation and the creativity and it just blows my mind every time.”
For now, Jenesis keeps her fashion design and visual artistry separate. However, she hopes to integrate the two someday by putting her visual art onto textiles in order to create patterns for clothing.
Still, Jenesis is aware that fostering a career out of visual art is a huge challenge.
“It’s one of those things that I would love to make a career out of,” she said. “But if not, it’ll always be something that’s been my passion, since I was young – till the day I die.”