We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Jarnagin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenny, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Being an artist and risk taker go hand in hand. Artists are vulnerable because their work becomes subject to ridicule when released. But, “A poet must write, an artist must paint, and musicians must make music if they are to be at peace with themselves. What we can be, we must be” (Humanistic Education, Little Rock 1979). Many years ago I remember questioning how I was spending my life, and decided to spend it living out my purpose as an artist. Although there are challenges, the intrinsic value outweighs everything else.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
There has been a lot of faith on my journey as an artist. My art is very unique and authentic, stemming from a diverse and cultured upbringing. I’m a fifth generation Okie who’s adolescents was spent in the wilderness of British Columbia. I’ve had the opportunities to study classical, jazz, rock…plus gospel…plus playing by ear. God has also gifted me with some hard life lessons and heartache, which always makes for a good song story, and has taught me compassion. There is a lot of work that has gone into my career, but then again, nothing happens if you do nothing. The “doing” in art and music is nothing more than living out my purpose. The rest just continues to unfold. It’s an unusual and uncertain road, but full of passion.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well first of all, ya can’t beat the winter months in Phoenix! I’m a fan of local businesses and local music. There are so many great patios and bars in Arcadia and Old Town Scottsdale! I’d recommend seeing Mill Avenue in Tempe, the birthplace of some great music, such as Jin Blossoms, Jimmy Eat World and Walt Richardson! Phoenix has one of the best Music Museums in the nation (MIM). There is also the unique beauty of the Sonoran Desert at the Desert Botanical Gardens.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mom! Growing up, she provided a multitude of music lessons and opportunities. This shaped my style and gave me an advantage as a pianist and writer. My parents led by example is doing what you love, working hard and living with passion. Within the past few years, I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by an amazing professional music community, from where many unique opportunities have evolved. In addition to the music, my painting career began to flourish after taking classes from artist, Kathy Taylor in Phoenix, Arizona. What I love about music and art is that both provide and infinite path of growth. There is no arrival point, only a further journey.