Spotlight Series: Chynna Krystle Jenkins
Chynna Krystle Jenkins AKA Made in Chynna 420 is a painter, screen printer and goods maker from Los Angelas. She creates colourful illustrations that embody a sense of fun and joy with a healthy dose of whimsy.
Leighana Martindale sits down to chat with her about her inspirations, goals and of course weed.
What was your first encounter with cannabis like?
So when I was maybe 15/16, I was “invited” to partake on smoking a joint on a break during marching band practice. I had to be cool but I ended up fake smoking because I was nervous. The 2nd time pot was available, it was during another band practice and my section leader made pot brownies -which I was again, scared to take and the practice ended up getting cancelled because kids were barfing on the field. I finally was able to try it a third time and I remember feeling dizzy but I was dumb enough to tie some used caution tape I found nearby and tied my friend Eza and I together. The rest is history and I became the stoner artist I didn’t think I’d be.
Do you smoke to enhance your creativity? If so, what do you prefer?
Sometimes I do. It usually happens in the evening and I'll get that funny moment of inspiration where if I don’t write it down or start drawing, I will forget it. I love those moments because sometimes my ideas don’t always pan out but sometimes they manifest into something better or I’ll take a fragment of that idea and apply to something else. For me, weed can be a bit tricky because I end up either working on something and have moments of clarity or I’m watching Crisley Knows Best while eating old pizza. I’ve been really into smoking hybrids just because I get the best of both worlds, usually sativa dominated. Blue Dream probably has to be my favorite. Recently I smoked a strain called Alien Vacation…best name ever for weed in my opinion.
When did you first begin to create art?
I’ve always been a creative kid. I know that it was nurtured in me by my parents to draw things that I was into, which was mostly jellyfish and seaweed at the time. Both my parents are creative people - my dad is a painter and master woodworker and my mom sews and does embroidery. I didn’t really take any of my work seriously until I had dropped out of art school and was trying to figure out what the fuck I was gonna do with my life. It really took a long time - a lot of self-doubt, weird relationships and experimenting with different mediums. I would say the last 4 years of my life have been the trial and error of how I want to present myself and my work. Being creative is something I will do for the rest of my life. The process for me is passion driven- having an idea, creative problem solving, and executing a personal vision is so important to me. Your entire life is a work in progress. I paint, I illustrate and I’m obsessed with creating patterns. I’m at a point where I have my own style and I’m figuring out what I can do next!
What influenced your specific style of art?
Being born and raised in Los Angeles really exposed me to a ton of culture growing up. My dad was huge influence on me! He exposed me to rock n roll and old monsters movies. His biggest influence is my mothers culture (she’s Thai) and a lot of his work is traditional buddhist imagery and woodworking. Thai art is quite colorful and color is actually very important in my work. I remember being a kid and memorizing all the Crayola crayon colors, which definitely exposes how serious I am about color. I’m always correcting people :D
I really enjoy drawing inspiration from vintage manga artists like Tadatsu You and Macoto Takahashi. Even contemporary artists like Ben Constatine, Yuree Kensaru, Hikari Shimoda and FOMMY. I also really love psychedelic and sci-fi graphics from the 60’s and 70’s, I love The Beatles and all of their films - especially the Yellow Submarine, to which Heinz Edelmann was the art director, the punk work of James Reed…all of my super cool creative friends, the list is never-ending...
What influenced you to start drawing cannabis art?
I felt like doing more stoner art would be more relatable than my fantasy work. All of my close friends smoke so it basically fell into my lap and it’s been a natural process. I have a art zine called, “MAGIC WEED”, which is about a teen girl and a cat who smoke magic weed and encounter aliens. Enamel pins have been on my radar for quite some times, so I’m definitely hopping on that train for sure! I also have a pending design that says WEED PUNK in a fun, drippy font that I’d like to do a run of shirts and tote bags with. I also do imagery with flowers and crystals in terrariums. I really don’t see myself stopping with this subject matter anytime soon.
I noticed you like to put crystals and weed together a lot, does that mean anything special to you?
The imagery is special to me because they both represent something magical. Both of these components are naturally conceived by our planet and have lend a hand in healing, mental awareness and positive vibes. I've gotten so many requests for prints for these guys. Keep your eyes peeled for some posters!
What do you hope to accomplish/do with your cannabis art?
I hope it resonates with people. A lot of the stoner stuff is fun and it should be normalized! But in general, I hope that my audience finds my work colorful, playful and exciting. My art is for everyone to enjoy.