We had the good fortune of connecting with Orissa Jenkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Orissa, how do you think about risk?
Before I take on a risk, I consider my basic needs first, like shelter and safety. I then consider my time. I try to make decisions that I think will benefit me the most in the long run. When I made the move to Los Angeles a second time around, I had saved for a year’s worth of rent. I felt more confident with my skill and had friends in the animation industry to help guide me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love designing backgrounds and occasionally creating narratives with witches in them as I am a big fan of Kiki’s Delivery Service. I like to challenge preconceived notions that technology and nature can’t co-exist. This narrative is an ongoing exploration.
Getting into animation was not easy for me. My journey involved a battle between time and money, a struggle many can relate to. What kept me motivated to continue striving for what seemed like a pipe dream when circumstances got particularly challenging was thinking what choices would make me happiest in the long run despite potentially failing.
One lesson I learned along the way is to be gentle with yourself when you feel you aren’t where you want to be in life. Acknowledge the resources you have and work from there.
I’m not sure what I want the world to know about myself and my story. I can’t control what readers will take away from this article. I just hope that what I’ve shared can help someone feel less alone on their own path.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would be a terrible host. I lived here for a year before the pandemic hit and during that one year of freedom I was only focused on conserving my money, expanding my connections and working part-time. My friend and I would have to blindly explore LA together.
With the limited locations I have been exposed to, I would take my friend to Griffith Park and possibly drive a short way out of town to Ostritch Land in Solvang. I haven’t been there before but it’s on my bucket list.
There is only one restaurant that I have eaten from via delivery that I would be excited to take my friend to and that’s Stout Burger in Studio City. I am obsessed with their Six Weeker burger. Other than that, I am pretty ignorant of what is around me beyond big tourist attractions.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am grateful to have had many people in my life help me on my journey. My mother for one, had me audition to magnet art schools as an adolescent when she saw my interest in art. She instilled in me my drive to make a living for myself in something I would enjoy.
I went to an art and design university and also took entertainment focused classes online and offline from Schoolism, Chimirus, Brainstorm and CG Master Academy. I am grateful to have access to so many educational resources.
I would also like to thank my partner for all my tech support and friends for their guidance and moral support. I wouldn’t have acquired my first job in animation if not for my friend’s recommendations.