Ivan Jenson is a fine artist, novelist and contemporary poet. His artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Ivan was commissioned by Absolut Vodka to make a painting titled “Absolut Jenson” for the brand’s national ad campaign. His Absolut paintings are in the collection of the Spiritmusuem, the museum of spirits in Stockholm, Sweden. Jenson's painting of the “Marlboro Man” was collected by the Philip Morris corporation. Ivan was commissioned to paint the final portrait of the late Malcolm Forbes. Ivan has written two novels, Dead Artist and Seeing Soriah, both of which illustrate the creative and often dramatic lives of artists. Jenson's poetry is widely published (with over 500 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media. A book of Ivan Jenson's poetry was recently published by Hen House Press titled Media Child and Other Poems, which can be acquired on Amazon. Two new novels by Ivan Jenson entitled, Marketing Mia and Erotic Rights have been published hardcover and are available for purchase at bookstores worldwide. Ivan Jenson's website is: http://www.ivanjenson.com
Why do you write?
I write because I didn't write for far too long, considering that I was a prodigy poet published in my teens. I then went on to be a professional artist in New York City for 17 years. I write because I was dragged through the trenches of outrageous experience in the melting pot of love, lust, success as well as defeat which was New York City in the 80's and 90's. I stayed up nights on strong coffee and painted in my East Village studio or danced and networked in the most famous nightclubs in the city. I fell in love with women from Sweden, Japan, Poland and Short Hills, New Jersey and now I want to share with the world the movie which was my frenzied and frenetic life as an artist. I never thought my poetry would resonate as it has (considering over 500 of my poems have been published) and it has been my poetry which opened the door for my novels and so much more which I hope is yet to come.
What other creative activities are you involved in?
I am a pop artist who who often paints large scale colorful renditions of van Gogh. I paint faces of people with blue eyes and blue hair, green eyes and orange hair. I am also a screenplay writer who has had two scripts optioned. I just wrote a Sci-Fi script about an artist of the future, which is a real mind bender. At parties I am often asked to sing and make up songs about everybody in the room. These are impromptu improv roasts of those who are near and dear as well as anybody within ear shot. The more scathing my song, the more they love it!
Who is your favorite author and why?
I love to read best sellers so as to pick up by osmosis that power to entertain the masses that they contain. It was maybe seven years ago when I picked up Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz because I was attracted by the cover. After reading the book, I said to myself, I want to be prolific, I want to tell wild unbridled stories, I am going to make this happen. And I have.
Tell us about the mechanics of how you write.
I write the first drafts of my poetry, novels and screenplays at local trendy coffee shops while listening to Pandora radio on my earbuds. When I write a first draft, I don't worry about spelling and I never outline. I just let it flow. At this juncture I work fast and furious and I am on fire. Later in the comfort of my home office, I go over it all to make sure it is coherent and to streamline and tweak my efforts. Then I run it through an in house editor. Often I will debut my poems or excerpts of my novels and screenplays at my weekly Thursday writer's group.
Finally, what do you think about Carp, the fish, not our website?
I don't often think about Carp, but then again a Carp rarely thinks of me, so we are even. Chances are if it were served to me as sushi I would ravenously devour this rooster of the sea, sip saki and have a few laughs with my fish-eating friends. But, deep inside, I would feel a terrible guilt for having received sustenance from a living thing with its salty soul. But then, on a protein high, I might make a poem, painting, or engage in lovemaking. It would be then that the God of splashy exuberance would forgive me and bless my sleep.