Los Angeles - Digital Inventor
I was first introduced to Jenka through Twitter (her feed is a total ruckus and worth checking out). Immediately compelled by her point of view, I sent her a DM to see if she might be interested in getting together for a coffee. Jenka is a dynamic, original thinker with an extraordinary ability to create new things. She’s grounded, but unafraid of taking off. She’s traveled the world over, and is now well rooted in LA. I hope you enjoy her story, and take part in her helping Jenka bring more beauty to this world.
TSP: Can you please share a little bit about your past? Where you’ve been? What you’ve done?
JG: I was born in a place that no longer exists, and for most of my life I was not a citizen of anywhere. I've been in L.A. for quite a while now, and in that time I've done a number of bizarre things, like manage a vaudeville circus troupe, produce music festivals, work with bands and fashion designers, and develop digital strategies for Toyota, AARP, Jamba Juice, Schwab, Live Nation, Living Social, and more.
TSP: That’s very a unique and intriguing story, both your not being a citizen of anywhere and your incredible display of entrepreneurial dexterity. What are you up to now?
JG: I run an innovation agency, called BRIGHT, Inc., which develops proprietary digital products, and brings the learnings and insights gained from having our own skin in the game to the work we do for our clients. I am also the co-founder of an art app called, Mirrorgram, which recently crossed 2 million downloads. We are currently hard at work on the next stage in the evolution of the product.
TSP: BRIGHT, Inc., seems like a very exciting, forward-thinking enterprise. And the chord you’ve struck with Mirrorgram (2 million downloads) doesn’t surprise; it simply underpins your inventive and strategic ethos. Can you please tell us where you hope to go next?
JG: I see people from all over the world using our product. I'll spot them making mirrored images of the Sydney Opera House, or graffiti in Qatar, or a highway overpass in Istanbul, or at the beach in Rio de Janeiro. It's kind of amazing to see all these people creating art using your product. It's so humbling and inspiring. It's what I imagine teleportation must feel like. So In that sense, I plan to go everywhere. Often.
TSP: Humbling and inspiring, indeed. To go everywhere, even abstractly, is a phenomenal aim. What steps do you plan to take to get there?
JG: It's really astonishing how the iPhone took the process of creating digital art and made it SO simple. I think it's so natural to us now, we take it for granted, but it's completely democratized the idea of who can be a "designer" or a "creator" or "artist." It's totally available to anyone. You no longer have to learn complex programs like Photoshop or Illustrator to be able to create art. We are huge proponents of making it really simple for people to be creative, and make things that contribute beauty to the universe. Right now we are working on some really big next steps to expand the possibilities available to our users for doing just that!
TSP: Yes, absolutely. More beauty. More often. How can we, the TSP community, help you make it easier for everyone to contribute beauty to this world?
JG: If what we're doing, and where we're heading with Mirrorgram sounds interesting to you (or if you just like making trippy images, or mirrored selfies), you can get Mirrorgram for free here: http://bit.ly/GetMirrorgram. You can also follow @Mirrorgram on Instagram. There is a lot on the horizon in the coming months, and we welcome everyone who wants to come with us on this journey.