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Jenna Cherry is a local illustrator/designer and owner of Twenty Seven here in Lakeland. She uses bold colors and whimsical features to bring her art to life, works with local businesses to design unique art, and is a vendor at The Shop Across The Street. Jenna is known for spreading joy through her art and bringing awareness to mental health within the community.

In late January, Jenna unveiled her first-ever mural, located at The Shop Across The Street. We sat down with her to learn more about her inspiration behind the mural’s design as well as what she has planned for Twenty Seven in 2019.

What inspired you to design the wall the way you did with the colors and details? 

I used a similar style on the wall as I have with my prints and other illustrative work: retro Florida, bright colors, and whimsical features.

Did you ever imagine that you would be able to paint such a large mural?

It was a dream on my creative bucket list, but I had no idea it would be so soon. I really believe Lakeland is the best place to start a small business; my creative career has only been jumpstarted by the community here. It is wild to see people taking pictures in front of my artwork all the time. It still is unbelievable to me.

How does it feel to have so many people visit your wall?

I drive by it often. Sometimes I walk by the shop when I’m headed to Concord, and I always smile. A lot of people have taken pictures in front of it. In fact, almost every drive by, there is someone posing in front of it. It’s humbling and amazing and kind of makes my head spin.

Would you want to paint more murals in the future?

Yes! I have some already in the works that I am so excited about! I loved the process of painting on such a large scale (all free-handed, too) and hope to do it again and again.

What are some of your goals for Twenty Seven for 2019?

Growth, growth, growth. A year ago, I surely would not have expected to have such a massive mural project under my belt, so I imagine a year from now there will be even bigger and unexpected opportunities. This summer will be a very exciting one for product release, and I’m hoping to continue to stack up branding work until the end of the year. This town is so excited with me and has been so willing to use my talents and resources.

Do you have any new products coming out soon?

Ohhhh yeah! There is a massive project I have been working on coming out this summer. I can’t say too much because the details are not finalized. I’m hoping to announce this soon! But it seems this will be the biggest project yet, and probably the launchpad of Twenty Seven becoming a recognizable brand.

Where do you get your inspiration from for your art?

Stylistically, I am a sucker for old magazine advertisements. Anything in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s retro, mid-century era. I am also heavily inspired by Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Jimmy Marble, and Wes Anderson. I use the beautiful, retro aspects of Lakeland to inspire a lot of my work. I feel like I’m finally reaching a point where my style is becoming cohesive. My hope is that someone could see a piece of mine and know exactly who made it. The mural has been so helpful for getting my work out there and BIG!

What kind of impact do you think Twenty Seven has had on Lakeland regarding mental health and art?

Well, my hope is that it has brought awareness and discussion to the table, which is a hard thing to measure. I am constantly approached and messaged frequently by others sharing their own mental health story with me. I am so grateful and amazed that so many people are receptive to the messages of hope I try to create. The is really the driving force of the business. I just hope to keep doing a lot of that, and probably paint some more walls yellow 🙂

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