How She Did It: Junkprints Founder Chanel Kennebrew Talks the Business of Art

January 24, 2012  |  

Smile Now Die Later

Currently, Kennebrew is busy prepping for her upcoming solo art show. The series titled, “Smile Now Die Later” encompasses the ill-thought-out results of speedy, worldly greed.

“It speaks to living fast in lot of ways. I think that a lot of problems we’re having with food, the economy and resources across the board is because we’ve got this immediate gratification thing. It’s like ‘Take a pill and feel better. Buy a car and be fancy,’ not really looking at if these things are feasible. You take out a bunch of student loans, go to school, but can’t get a job to pay them off,” Kennebrew explained.

“You do everything the right way, but it’s not making sense. If we can have it now, build a factory, pollute the area we’ll deal with it later and it will be someone else’s consequence.”

Instead of lugging along her mobile Junkprints store, the “Smile Now Die Later” showcase will feature paintings, canvases, plexiwork and prints of clowns and clever sayings like, “Living the American dream deferred.”

Although pursuing a career in the arts isn’t necessarily one that parallels with living the American dream, Kennebrew will assure you that she is happier running her own business. She doesn’t look down on those who aren’t creatives and choose to follow the laws of Corporate America. However, she does, encourage those aspiring to pursue careers in the arts to just do it.

“Keep drawing and making things, because you won’t get better at what you do if you don’t. Be persistent, push and get it out there. If you’re not doing what you want to do and you’re not comfortable with where you’re at, what’s the exchange? I didn’t come up with too much resistance in my household,” she recalled.

“My mom was like, ‘You have good grades, don’t become an artist, do something you’re going to make money at!’ Sometimes what makes people think something is important is the validation of it. What I’m doing and what I’m making is important; take a look, embrace it.”


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