Jessey Jansen has 20+ years’ experience in fine arts, graphic design, project management and social entrepreneurship. Her diverse portfolio ranges between portraying whispering moments to challenging paradigms of social mobility. Translating everyday experiences through graphic depictions and mixed media, Jessey's work defines nuances and patterns within civil societies. Her central protagonist is predominately "a faceless or universal female figure" and pays homage to her late mother and women's empowerment.
Jessey has received numerous awards for her visionary work including nominee for Emerging Artist at Peninsula Art School in 2006, 2008 Selected Artist Residency at Alverno College, 2015 Brand Award from Green Festival LA, 2016 Best Jazz/World AMI Music Award from Artprize8 and 2018 American Package Design Winner from Graphic Design USA for her visionary Voice of Maasai project.
Jessey earned her BA in Communications and the Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design and Printmaking from the University of Green Bay Wisconsin. She was raised in Wautoma Wisconsin and currently shares her time between her home in Austin Texas and the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania, where she concentrates on building the Voice of Maasai brand and music label.
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For me, creating has always been a companion, allowing me to make sense of seemingly uncontrolled situations through controlled mediums.
Most of my work is inspired by my childhood and being raised in a household that was constantly challenged with material and health hardships. My late mother and father, tender and complex souls, have had the single most influence on my work.
In 2006, post bachelor’s degree, I was nominated as an emerging artist for a series of research-based artwork titled, MyPOP (My Print on Poverty). The work ultimately resulted in a sponsorship to volunteer internationally and in 2011, I journeyed to Tanzania.
As I visited Maasailand with a local women’s collective, I was invited to see a performance by a Maasai choir. After the moving performance, the mama’s approached me and started a dialogue about their plight. I was intensely energized but was departing Tanzania the following day. I boarded my flight consumed by the idea to record and produce a music CD of the choir to help them share their story. I returned to the US and for the next year diligently worked on finding resources, coordinating logistics and fundraising. In summer of 2012, I set-off for Tanzania for the recording.
The original album has since evolved into the official independent label, Voice of Maasai, and currently has a talent roster of over 25 artists, featuring original music, podcasts, articles, and competitions for emerging talent in Maasailand.
My vision has always been to use my art and design to advance opportunities, crack stereotypes and build bridges for creative talent. Voice of Maasai has allowed me to stretch boundaries of possibilities for everyone involved and I am proud to keep pushing creative potential forward.
Live. Dream. Create.
My parents would always refer to my sisters and I as the Little Ladies. My company and logo honors their memory incorporating three sets of hands intertwined with a labyrinth. The logo represents collective creativity; red for courage, blue for commitment and black for power & potential.