Babes Ride Out

vichcraft

BRO East Coast 4 Maker | Jenna Blazevich of Vichcrafts

Artist Series, EventsAnya Violet

Babes Ride Out will be hosting our Makers Market at BRO East Coast 4 this year. The BRO Makers Market is a curated group of female makers that will be on site showcasing their talents and  providing a unique experience for attendees. Meet Jenna Blazevich of Vichcraft

babes ride out

JENNA BLAZEVICH

FOUNDER & DESIGNER

Vichcraft is the independent and collaborative, multi-disciplinary studio of Jenna Blazevich.

With a focus on visual storytelling, she strives to craft charmingly unique brand experiences. Her agency experience has allowed for a portfolio ranging from small to large client projects. Vichcraft has a current focus on building small, meaningful brands, and partnering with their purpose-driven leaders to build an authentic visual identity. 

Combining hand craft processes and tactile mediums with a digital design skill-set, Jenna strives to work right around the line between art and design to build a collection of activist-driven products. Her background in textiles and pattern-making continues to inform her approach as a graphic designer and feminist artist.

Artist Series | Jenna Blazevich

Artist SeriesAnya Violet

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 Biltwell helmet for BRO East Coast 4 raffle. Read on to get to know more about Jenna!

babes ride out
babes ride out

Jenna Blazevich @vichcraft

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, Bikini Kill and L7.

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 The Handmaid’s Tale (my favorite book), an illustration of one of my pet birds, 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.

What will you be contributing to this years raffle? I hand-painted a copper colored Biltwell gringo helmet.

Tell us about what inspired you to create it? I pulled inspiration from an L7 song called “Fast & Frightening” because I feel like it’s the essence of Babes Ride Out in song format - definitely give it a listen if you’re at all curious! I used reflective paint for the main parts of the lettering so that it has an extra safe / extra fun glow while riding at night.



Artist Series | Jenna Blazevich @vichcraft

Artist SeriesAnya Violet

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!).

Artist Series | Jenna Blazevich

Artist SeriesAnya Violet

I’m Jenna Blazevich, and I’m the founder / one-woman-show / head-Vich-in-charge of Vichcraft Design Studio in Chicago, Illinois. I launched Vichcraft in January of 2015, two months after I turned 25, and had just turned down a full-time offer at my dream job. The focus of Vichcraft has always been to use lettering in meaningful ways. It began with creating branding systems and logotypes for small businesses and non-profits that create work that I am proud to collaborate with and beautify the visual identity of. About a year into running Vichcraft as a design-service business, I designed and fabricated an initial run of “Tough Little Bitches / Self-Employed” patches, and those attracted enough interest for me to justify another run, and to also design another product, and I began to slowly grow a product design facet of my business. 

At this point, I split my time four ways: 1. Client projects: creating logotypes and branding, 2. Shop: designing, packaging, shipping, and customer service for my line of products, 3. Workshops: planning, hosting, and promoting 1-2 calligraphy workshops per month in my Chicago studio, 4. Events: vending at craft fairs, collaborating on pop-ups, giving talks at conferences and schools. It’s a lot for one person, and it’s a challenge to make everything appear cohesive, but using lettering to spread messages that I am passionate about is what links every part of Vichcraft together.

In the summer of 2016, I finally got my m-class, which was a longtime goal of mine. My dad has been riding Harleys since I was a kid, and my boyfriend Chris works on and rides vintage motorcycles nearly year-round (which is pretty unusual with Chicago weather). My commute to the studio was most often being done on my bicycle, and being a cyclist in Chicago is freeing and empowering but absolutely takes some grit. There is a sense of solidarity that I feel with other cyclists who brave the streets of Chicago, and motorcyclists get to experience something similar. Motorcycle culture is overwhelmingly masculine, so I’ve been inspired personally and creatively by the groups of women who have carved out their own place in it: Babes Ride Out being an outstanding example of this. I attended my first B.R.O. in October of 2016 in Joshua Tree, Calif., and it was really special.

In January of 2017, I curated my first solo show of most of the work I’ve made while running Vichcraft over the past two years. The show is in the gallery space of the Cards Against Humanity building in Chicago. The show is titled: "Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum" (which is a reference to the Handmaid's Tale, and means "Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down"). Since female motorcycle-ridership had already inspired a lot of my work and my development as an artist, my boyfriend and I took a 1972 Honda CL 350 and completely took it apart, stripped, painted and updated it to display at the show. As a final detail, I painted "Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum" surrounded by original Handmaid’sTale-inspired linework on the tank.

For the B.R.O. East Coast 2 shirts and patches, I wanted to create a logotype that had some similar qualities to my signature “Girls to the Front” lettering: motion, power, originality. Working on the lettering and accompanying illustration of a woman on a Triumph was one of the most fun things I’ve worked on this year. Also, I’m thrilled to have been asked to contribute to this year’s Biltwell helmet raffle. In the past, I’ve painted my “Girls to the Front” lettering on some helmets and jackets of my own to sell and to keep, but I’m aiming to do something more intricate and line-heavy like the Handmaid’s Tale CL tank to contribute to the raffle.