Jenna Citrus began her modeling career as a self-portrait artist learning both sides of the lens. She has modeled internationally, nationally, and locally in over 300 photo sessions. She brings her artistic visions to shoots and is nearly always laughing until she gets in front of the lens. Jenna is also versed in photography, graphic design, web design, poetry, and works as an artist. She enjoys frequently vlogging and testing products on her YouTube channel and finding new ways to integrate art into life. You can learn more at jennacitrus.com.
Describe your background in art and how you have developed your career as an artist and model…
I did a four year degree in graphic design and business administration when I was at University of Southern Indiana and I graduated there. And I was lucky enough to get the Efroymson Bridge fellowship which was a one year, ten thousand dollar stay here and make art and focus on grad studies and I did that and it was like a giant springboard jumping off point for me. I’d always been doing art as I was in college but that really just made me focus and hone in.
And then a year after that I went to the University of Cincinnati for a semester and grad school didn’t exactly work out there. We weren’t a good fit for each other so I just kind of wet off on my own and I started making YouTube videos and posting my stuff on Patreon and I got a big YouTube following and I went to Patreon Con last year in Los Angeles and that was pretty exciting. So I’ve just been making art and selling it online and I guess I was modeling. 2015 is when I really started doing modeling professionally a lot. I’ve been trading and working with other people but I’ve been shooting myself since I was about sixteen. Kind of bouncing around, sorry.
As an artist, you have also managed to grow your social media audience reach to over 70,000 people by our count. Did you set out to become an influencer or is it something that happened somewhat organically?
I set out to be n artist and it kind of just happened I kind of just see what happens and what comes along and I’m really excited to be an influencer but no, I didn’t intend to be. It just sort of happened.
What is your favorite social platform? Do you prefer image-centric ones like Instagram or video platforms like YouTube?
I hate to hate on Instagram but I really wish they had a desktop version because I only got a smartphone maybe three or four years ago. I was a really adapter on the smartphone and if they’ve had a desktop application I would be one hundred percent good to go on Instagram because I love the image based and image galleries but I am more of YouTube person and Facebook because I like to be working on my desktop and just like throw stuff up online be like “hey look what I made”. And YouTube even has a little bit more of an integration now because you can post images in your community so I like that.
Based on your experience, do you have any advice for other artists that might be interested in getting into influencer marketing but don’t really know where to begin?
I would definitely say getting a YouTube channel and start product testing yourself that’s kind of how I started doing the whole influencer marketing. I would just buy stuff that I was going to buy for a normal reason. Like I was like “oh yeah I’m going buy this” and okay not product endorsing or anything but like I bought a men’s razor because I was just going to like test that out on my legs I have a lot of trouble with like shaver burn and different things.
So I’ll buy a product, I’ll try it out, I’ll tell people what I think about it and then eventually people are like “hey do you want to do this review” I’m like “yes that would be lovely” so that’s kind of how that started out. So buy your own stuff and try stuff you already have at home.
What have been some of your favorite brand collaborations to-date?
PineTails, they are actually one of [the brands using Intellifluence]. I absolutely love this company I was not aware of it until I got on your platform and they have the best pillows. And I just like kind of lay down on them and it’s just like a heavenly feeling of relaxation because usually I’ll just lay down and I have a lot of neck pain that I live with that I don’t think about a lot but when I get on here it kind of makes me relax like “oh you can kind of let go of all that for a little bit” so I’m a big fan of this guy.
What are some of your goals for the next year or so as it pertains to your art and your influencer endeavors?
I started doing this already but I plan to do more expansion with my art shows of doing more like a national and global showing. I did Florida this year and I’ve got one I think it’s in Oregon that I just am about to send a piece off too.
So I’m expanding where I show my art and I’d love to expand my reach and collaborate with other people online. I love the amazing space that kind of happens on the Internet of I can do this much on my end, what can you do on your end and put it all together. I started doing music again. I haven’t done music in a long time and I kind of suck at it but I’m hoping I can some stuff out on YouTube and like make some creative common stuff that hopefully people will be able to take my music up and collaborate with it and make something that we can be more proud of than what I could do myself.
Can you tell us a little bit about your interest in music?
I started playing the guitar again. I played it when I was fourteen and I’ve kind of circled back around it’s like okay I’m going to try this but I really suck. Like I’m trying and I’m getting a little better but I’m really good at singing and I’m trying to make my own song and so when I’ve got a song track recorded with my voice I think I’m going to put that out there and say “hey mix this, put your own guitar to it, put some piano on it and see”. like I’m starting my own Internet band. So that’s I guess what we could call that.