The Babes Ride Out Artist series showcases the art of talented people in our community. Each piece is donated to the Moto F.A.M. X Babes Ride Out raffle. Moto F.A.M. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping riders facing life changing injuries after a serious motorcycle accident. Meet Jenna Blazevich @vichcraft ! She has hand painted an Lowbrow Customs Gas Tank for BRO East Coast 3 raffle. Read on to get to know more about Jenna!
Where are you from originally? Chicago, Illinois
Where do you live now? Chicago, Illinois
What first got you into art? As far back as I can remember, I’ve been driven to create things with my hands. My mom taught me how to sew at a very young age, and I made a lot of my own clothes throughout high school. I was always concerned with making “art” that had a function, and slowly realized that that’s essentially what design is.
How would you describe your style? My work is dark, DIY, intricate, and accessible.
What inspires you? Have any artists in particular been an influence on you? Music has been the most consistent inspiration for me in my creative career. I’ve never learned to play an instrument, and have never made music of my own, but the bands that I’ve loved over the years have been the inspirations behind most of my visual work in one way or another. Some of those include Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!, Salt N Pepa, Of Montreal, and LCD Soundsystem.
What is your favorite medium? Learning new methods of hand-craft and figuring out how to use new mediums is one of my favorite ways to push my work. Some of my favorites have been stained glass, xacto knife paper-cutting, hand embroidery, and screen printing.
When did you first hear about Babes Ride Out? My introduction to Babes Ride Out was actually through a Chicago illustrator friend of mine Jourdon Gullett, who made a tee design for (I believe) BRO 2014. At the time, I didn’t ride a motorcycle yet, but immediately took an interest in what Babes Ride Out is about. I’d long wanted to learn to ride and get my m-class, since I’d grown up around motorcycles and had been dating my boyfriend who restores vintage bikes. My first B.R.O. wasn’t until a couple years later in Joshua Tree, and it was full of such great energy and camaraderie.
What is your connection to the motorcycle community? In addition to designing and building out my ‘72 CL 350 with my boyfriend last year, I’ve sponsored “Babes in Motoland”, which is a women-only ride and campout organized by a Chicago-based shop called Tarnish.
Do you ride? If so, what do you ride? Yes! I have a 1970 Honda CL 350.
If you were a motorcycle what kind would you be? I like to think that the design and build of my CL is as close to a Vichcraft/”me” bike as my boyfriend and I could possibly make. The design that I painted on the tank incorporated a quote from my favorite book, an illustration of my pet bird, as well as elements from some tarot cards I find to be meaningful. I also used a laser cutter to design and cut a custom tank badge and additional details for the side covers.
Have you ever been to Joshua Tree? What was your experience there? I was in Joshua Tree for BRO in 2016, and it was beautiful. I’d love to go back! My sister was living in southern California at the time, so I combined the trip to include hanging with her as well. She’s since moved back to Chicago, but I’m hoping to find more reasons to make another trip out there.
What will you be contributing to this years raffle? I’ll be hand-painting a lowbrow Sportster tank.
Tell us about what inspired you to create it? I’m super interested in learning about symbols and talismans adorned by people in different times in history to bring themselves good luck. The Scarab beetle has a rich and multifaceted story in ancient Egypt, and a symbol of a scarab beetle would sometimes be worn as an amulet to protect the wearer from evil. I’ll be painting a line-heavy, intricate design inspired by this scarab story, and possibly incorporating actual iridescent emerald beetle wing covers (if it works!).