Hey Sailor! | Behind the Scenes with Jenn June

"Art gives my life meaning — it's my passion. It allows me to express myself in any way I please. It's freedom."
- Jenn June

"Oh, that Black Milk [Clothing] model!" Jenn June is far more than a model, though. Jenn is a twenty-four year-old tea-drinking and comic book-reading Floridian currently based in Norfolk, Virginia. A hairstylist and makeup artist, on top of being a model (#TripleThreat), Jenn encompasses many of the in-front-of-the-lenses and behind-the-scenes components of photo-shoots. Jenn may not be your typical statuesque model, but that sure doesn't make her any less of the beautiful and badass model she is. WRITTEN CITIZEN got to chat with the girl in the big, black boots and the not-so-long brown hair about everything from Audrey Hepburn to anime.

WRITTEN CITIZEN: Hello, Miss June Moon! Thanks for stopping by and chatting with us. So, what's an average day like for you?

JENN JUNE: Every day is different for me! I'm always doing shoots or doing hair and makeup behind the scenes. I work at a local pub most nights. I just recently moved to Virginia, so nothing is really stable yet. I get photographed regularly, though! That never changes.

WC: Are you in school right now? If so, what are you studying?

JJ: I actually went to school for cosmetology and graduated in 2010.

WC: So tell us a bit about how you broke into the modeling business. How supportive have your friends and family been of your work, both in front and behind the lenses, thus far?

JJ: My friend Autumn Ocker actually got me into this. She messaged me on Facebook a few months ago and offered to help me setup test shoots if I was interested. I owe all of this to her, and I'm eternally grateful for her love and support.
   My family is in Florida, so they're cheering me on from afar! As far as my hair and makeup work goes, I've been doing this for five years, now. My friends and family are just as supportive now as they were when I first started out. They do get a few perks, though.

WC: Have you always been interested in the modeling and fashion industries?

JJ: Of course! I was a bit of an ugly ducking, so when I was told I could model, it blew my mind. It was something I had always dreamed about, but of what I never thought was capable.

WC: Describe to us your style.

JJ: My style is very laid back. I love leggings and combat boots; my leather jacket is also a staple.

WC: How has Virginia and your surrounding environment influenced your style and you as a model, artist, and person? What's the creative scene like there?

JJ: Well, it's much colder here than what I'm used to, so my style has evolved quite a bit! I can layer and incorporate more pieces into outfits that I wasn't able to do before.
There are lots of amazing artists in the area. There are always pop ups, fashion shows, galleries, and art groups doing something interesting here.

WC: Current and all-time favorite designers? Favorite trends at the moment?

JJ: I'm really into Black Milk Clothing, and the Sharkie community. I wear lots of printed dresses and leggings, and theirs are by far the best.
   My current favorite trends have to be occult-inspired clothing and jewelry, and dark, vampy lips. I can't get enough! (Laughs.)

WC: Who are your favorite models and style icons? Who are your other role models?

JJ: I really love Hannah Snowden and Rachel Marie Iwanyszyn; I take cues from both of them on fashion. I also adore Audrey Hepburn's classic style. She was so effortless. Who doesn't love her?

WC: What have been some of your favorite projects up-to-date, including modeling and hair-styling, and what are your dream ones?

JJ: My favorite projects always involve Serena Burroughs. She is my dear friend and favorite photographer. Her use of natural light and eye for great locations never fails.
   My favorite project, as far as styling goes, had to be a shoot for which I styled Autumn with Jessica Sevin. It was dark with a Victorian feel; the images turned out quite beautiful.
My dream is to do makeup on movie sets. Hopefully I can get there, one day!

WC: In your views, how do you think social media has helped, yet/or hindered, aspiring models?

JJ: I think it has helped quite a bit. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing without it. I meet all of my photographers on either Facebook or Instagram. It gives us regular girls a chance to connect with other artists in the industry.

WC: OK — in front of the lenses, behind the lenses, or behind the scenes?

JJ: Behind the scenes!

WC: What are some tidbits about being a makeup artist, model, and hair-stylist you don't like? 

JJ: The only thing I hate is waiting for images! I know it's just the nature of the job, but I lack patience. I'm like a kid on Christmas when my work is posted, though! (Laughs.)

WC: Lots of models have been breaking into other industries, such as Cara Delevingne with acting. Would you ever consider acting or being a musician, or anything else of the likes? What are your other interests aside from fashion?

JJ: I'm fairly new to the modeling industry, so I'll definitely focus on this for a while.
   I enjoy cosplay and I make my own outfits — I love anime and nerd stuff in general. Cosplaying lets me express that part of myself, and meet others who have similar interests.

WC: Tell us about behind the scenes of a photo-shoot as a hair stylist! What's it like?

JJ: It's a lot of fun! You get to play with hair and makeup. "Is this even a real job?!" (Laughs.) It's hard work, and you must work quickly, but the end result is worth it. Seeing the images of your creation is the greatest feeling.

WC: What kind of art is your favorite to create? What is art's role in your life?

JJ: I love makeup; the face is my canvas. I love making women feel beautiful and empowered.
   Art gives my life meaning — it's my passion. It allows me to express myself in any way I please. It's freedom.

WC: Who, what, and where do you draw inspiration from? What do you do when you have a block?

JJ: I'm inspired by people I meet every day. I'm always complimenting girls I meet when I find their look interesting. People are so unique and beautiful. I love the striking diversity between two people wearing the similar looks, but styled differently. It's fascinating to see what creativity comes from strangers.
   When I hit a creative block, I like to browse images of other artist's work. I'll pull bits and pieces, while adding my own flair.

WC: Is relocation for your work anywhere in the picture, right now?

JJ: I just moved from Florida to Virginia, so I'm planning on staying here for another year or so before moving on to another city.

WC: Anything else you'd like to share with Citizens?

JJ: Yes! Links to social media sites for the artists I mentioned, as well as myself.

Autumn Ocker: Instagram | Facebook
Serena Burroughs: Instagram | Facebook
Jessica Sevin: Instagram | Facebook
Hannah Snowden: Instagram
Rachel Marie Iwanyszyn: Instagram
Jenn June: Instagram | Facebook

WC: What's next for you?

JJ: Getting through 2015 with some new cosplays, meeting other artists in my area, and learning more about the industry so I can better myself. But for now, I'm just looking forward to making a cup of tea and reading a few comics before work.

All images found here and here.

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