Jenn Ponci is a tattoo artist and long time practicing graffiti artist, is a member of the Few and Far women, a group of international traveling graffiti artists. She is what you need to be if you plan to change worlds and rattle cages without touching a bar, lock, or key. And, fortunately for me, she agreed to my invitation for a beer and a chat regarding her art and the road she traveled to get there.
Upon Jenn’s suggestion, we met at Red Rabbit. It’s clean lines, brick walls, accents of brushed silver, and Walnut colored booths seductively spoke of cozy warmth, a perfect setting to display the large, wood framed oil paintings boldly displaying larger than life rabbits running, sitting, and jumping in black, white, and, predominantly, red, thick paint. The golden glow of the room lent a magical feel to our conversation.
Jenn sipped her pint of Olympia, answering my questions with the occasional shrug of her coatless shoulders, a smile easily arriving and staying as long as it pleased.
She listed off another Sacramento wall painted by Few and Far and then discussed traveling to other cities to paint murals, including Oakland, CA, Miami, FL, and Richmond, VA. Working with the Few and Far crew was Jenn’s first time collaborating with other artists, which was enriching and very rewarding. This was not a common experience for Jenn when it came to graffiti. Since her attraction to graffiti as an adolescent and her beginning efforts to learn this “last true freedom of expression”, as she puts it, Jenn Ponci was on her own to learn, grow, and develop the techniques needed to produce successful pieces. Other artists were often unhelpful and obstructive. The attitude was that everyone was to be conquered, especially female counterparts. She experienced this same attitude growing up as she learned to skateboard and continues to challenge this mindset now as an adult in her career as a tattoo artist, where women are still fewer than Hollywood directed television shows would have you think. She shrugs at this. Her passions lie here and she will not be deterred. I see a glint in her eye and think that maybe she relishes the challenge of walking through unchartered territory just as much as she loves the art that happens there.
Tattooing pays the bills, with an occasional commissioned piece with the Few and Far crew, but Jenn still occasionally breaks the rules, “I don’t do it in Sacramento anymore” explaining that she has spots outside of her hometown and typically it’s just her personal tag, “Gotta keep my steet cred.” The light is there in her eyes again, framed beautifully by her red glasses, her smile open and true. Breaking the rules, cultural or legal, is this artist’s true passion.
Jenn Ponci will happily tattoo you at Side Show Studios, 2111 28th Street, Sacramento, CA.