The celebrity artist

The Weal ― EntertainmentFor those looking towards a career in the arts, the idea of financial stability can be a discouraging factor, but Monika Jensen, a Calgary-based artist with a unique approach to oil painting, might be an inspiration to many.

Jensen, a former ACAD student and Mount Royal interior design graduate, is gaining notoriety for her heavily textural “stereographic” works, her celebrity clients, and for being a bit of a celebrity herself.

“Monika Jensen is what they’re buying. It’s not just art, it’s a brand,” she says. “You don’t have a collection unless you have a Jensen. That’s the motto.”

It’s not easy to get your hands on ‘a Jensen’, though. Her paintings are in high demand because of the complex process it takes to produce them—the many layers of paint can take up to a year to dry, and that’s no accident.

The style allows Jensen to make each piece one of a kind. She even signs contracts with buyers to guarantee that copies will never be produced, making each painting truly exclusive. She said that it is part of the marketing.

“Artists who are up-and-comers need to learn to market and brand themselves. There are a lot of great artists that fall through the cracks,” she says.

Jensen has also managed to establish a modelling career, something that happened naturally from the connections she’d made working with designers.

Jensen has strategically evolved her art to accommodate for what she sees as the demands of the market.

“The art market is very personal, and so is design. That’s why I think they are one and the same,” said Jensen.

Jensen said that personalization is a factor, but so are paintings that work more directly with space, so she’s using that third dimension to draw a connection with the audience.

“You definitely have to see this art in person,” Jensen advises.

More recently, Jensen was the featured artist at the Oscar Gift Lounge, which is less of a party than a networking opportunity. The Gift Lounge is a marketing event directed specifically at upscale Hollywood personas.

Jensen wouldn’t tell us any stories about her celebrity clients, staying tight lipped on the subject. She did however give a bit of insight into what she’ll be doing in Calgary. You’ll be able to see her work in person at an upcoming event at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium later this year.

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