"You are more powerful than you realize". -- JINX KELLY
Photograph by Andrew Kadikian
MEET JINX KELLY
Jinx Kelly aka Mermaid Jinx (She/Her pronouns) is a multidisciplinary-artist who sees the extraordinary beauty in ordinary circumstances. She appreciates the natural enchantment of the realities surrounding her and allows it to inspire fantasy. Her intention is to capture the physical manifestation of perfection in the present moment and give it a vessel to exist for eternity in the collective consciousness of humanity.
Jinx Kelly is passionate about connecting people through community, art and shared interests. In 2013, Jinx and her business partner at the time, Mae Lust, founded Lusty Kitten Productions, a burlesque and variety show production company. They continued to discover compatible interests in multiple fandoms and in 2015 went on to create Uncanny Occasions, a geeky event boutique producing “astonishingly unique events for people with [pop] culture.” In 2019, Uncanny Occasions joined the Artsy Association and started offering virtual art and membership events specific to fandoms, travel, and nature... or anything creepy, eccentric, haunting, kooky, magical, or peculiar. Both companies are body positive, sex positive, and queer positive organizations dedicated to intersectional inclusivity.
Jinx started performing burlesque in 2010 in Los Angeles as well as Naked Girls Reading Los Angeles shows. She also did figure modeling for Dr Sketchy’s LA and OC, and video game company Obsidian Entertainment. Jinx has starred in feature film & theatre productions and has appeared on TV shows such as "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "True Blood." Jinx was the Charity Coordinator for the 2013 Hollywood Burlesque Festival. In 2014, Jinx co-produced her first short film and was First Assistant Director on her first film in 2015. She continues to be involved with award-winning film projects, and in 2018 served as Membership Chair on the board of a non-profit film organization. Jinx was the host of a geeky themed naked podcast in Los Angeles and was a remote associate producer for a large podcasting company. She has presented cosplay workshops at WonderCon & ComicCon.
As a performer, Jinx uses multiple personas to raise awareness about important topics such as body positivity, self-love, sex positivity, feminism, and environmentalism. She earned her NAUI Specialty Dive Mermaid Certification in 2018 and completed Ocean Ranger Training with the Inland Ocean Coalition in Spring of 2019.
Jinx is known for using her gifts to produce innovative, memorable, unique experiences to create communities that embody people care, earth care, and fair share ethics. Jinx spends her time between Los Angeles and Denver.
JINX, WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALIZE YOU CARED ABOUT THE PLANET?
I first realized I cared for the planet at a very young age. When I would walk to school I would be careful to avoid stepping on bugs. Maybe around 10, I was obsessed with protecting whales and rainforests and would write letters to government officials. I was convinced that I could change everything if I could just write a compelling enough letter.
Growing up in an area with an oil refinery pumping a plethora of toxins into the air and their very own defunct military arsenal-turned-wildlife-refuge that came complete with non-potable water... this realization kickstarted my climate justice activism at a young age. I've explored ways to protect the planet in every aspect of my career. In 2018 I became a Climate Leader with the Climate Reality Leadership Corps. and went on to complete the What Would Nature Do? program with Boulder.Earth— a hands-on course exploring the intersection between Permaculture Design and Theory U. Then in 2020 I became a Climate Reality Mentor and helped to mentor new climate reality trainees. Currently I am completing my 72 Hour Permaculture Design Certificate with the Permaculture Women’s Guild.
SO BASICALLY IT STARTED WITH LETTER WRITING AROUND AGE 10 AND YOU HAVEN'T STOPPED SINCE?
Photograph by Andrew Kadikian
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT WITHIN THE PERMACULTURE MOVEMENT?
Two things: Not buying into the whitewashing and colonization that is prevalent in the permie movement and using the decolonized 12 principles in every area of life.
TELL US WHAT A SEXY FUTURE LOOKS LIKE TO YOU.
The sexiest possible future, in my opinion, would be for everyone to be valued in the ways they value themselves and to have all of their needs met. We (collectively) need to do whatever is necessary to make those things possible.
WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU ON YOUR PATH?
I started learning about Permaculture in 2014 and Tara Rae (@traeeveryday) was my biggest influence and she continues to be to this day. I’m also inspired by Heather Jo Flores, James Edwards & Andrew Langford. As far as burlesque and mermaiding-- Mermaid Lila (@mermaid_lila), Mermaid Kariel (@mermaidkariel), Mynx D’Meanor(@mynxdmeaner), Red Snapper (@itsasnapper) and many, many more...
WHAT GAVE YOU THE IDEA TO BECOME AN OCEAN ACTIVIST MERMAID PERFORMER?
I was struggling with debilitating chronic pain from (undiagnosed at the time) stage IV endometriosis, migraines, and intercostal neuralgia. I was also living with severe refractory depression. I knew I needed to add some magic and whimsy back into my life in order to start to heal, so I began to research ways to do that. I discovered swimmable mermaid tails existed and that there was a retreat in Mexico for a mermaid specialty dive certification. I ordered a tail and put a deposit down for the trip to Mexico. I was already a burlesque performer, therefore it was easy to meld my mermaid and burlesque persona into one and start performing as a mermaid pretty quickly. In my first month as a mermaid I had multiple “land” events. While waiting for the mermaid dive certification trip, I was trained as a Climate Reality Leader with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Project and decided that I was going to use my mermaid persona to engage people in the fight for climate justice. Climate justice is a heavy topic and I personally believe we can get more people to engage if we can find ways to bring levity to something so incredibly disturbing and scary.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL PRACTICES YOU WISH OTHER PEOPLE WOULD ADOPT?
I do my best to make conscious choices when it comes to my performance and daily living. In performance, I’m careful to choose brands and products that don’t use/reduce the use of plastic, use ingredients safe for water (@sea2stream), and/or use glitter that is biodegradable. Traditional glitter is a micro plastic, stop using it, please. I also make sure to support and promote LGBTQ owned, Women Owned, and Black Owned businesses. I do my best to research events and show producers to make sure they hire all body types, all skin colors and shades, and that they give marginalized folks a platform before giving them my money (pre-COVID) or before applying for their shows or festivals. This applies to both the burlesque and mermaiding worlds. I’ve also spent a lot of time unpacking my toxic and harmful behaviors and I’m working to make changes everyday.
Mermaid inspired etsy art by Jinx Kelly.
WHAT ELSE IS ON YOUR MERMAID HORIZON?
I’m making mermaid inspired upcyled bottles to sell as art on my etsy shop etsy.com/uncannyoccasions. Also, I recently started an Only Fans where I will be posting non-pornographic burlesque and mermaid related photosets, as well as doing “Paint n Strip.” It’s a play on the paint and sip genre where I guide viewers through a painting tutorial as I strip! It’s like Bob Ross with happy little tatas instead of happy little trees.
I’ve recently been learning to play the ukulele as part of my mermaid persona. Learning to play an instrument is a challenge for me so I’m excited.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FUN OR INSPIRING QUOTES YOU'D LIKE TO LEAVE US WITH?
Oh yes! I love this one by Gypsy Rose Lee:
“I wasn't naked, I was completely covered by a blue spotlight.
FOLLOW JINX KELLY AT:
This interview has been brought to you by Permaculture Pinup, a project of Green Wave (501(c)(3) nonprofit). If you liked this interview, love what we are doing, and would like to see us continue please consider supporting the Green Wave sponsored project, Pinuya Nursery. Over the ages, womyn have been likened to trees. The Pinuya Nursery is nursery to foster trees that will go to creating a food forest that will provide food for an entire village and reforest the land.
Thank you for helping us heal the Earth!