Jess Santana is an interdisciplinary artist from Northern New Jersey, focusing largely on printmaking, photography, and illustration.
Santana strives to find humor within less-than-ideal situations, giving her the nickname “Smiley” at a young age. Though that nickname didn’t stick, she has carried that mindset throughout her professional and personal life. She tries to provide comfort around serious or uncomfortable topics through her unique style of artistry, describing her work as “campy.” Santana also centers her art on animals and appreciation for life, as well as connection with others.
Santana previously interned at EFA’s Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop as a teaching assistant. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from William Paterson University and plans to pursue an MFA and attend Tamarind Institute to become a Master Printer in the future. Currently she works as a Production Assistant at book bindery Conveyor Studio and as a Pet Photographer at Morris Animal Inn. Santana has received awards from groups such as International Photography Awards for a portraiture series on her dogs and the Intercollegiate Broadcast System Media Awards for her graphic work at Brave New Radio. Her photographs have also been used in articles for National Audubon Society.