Our Newest Writer: Jen Woo and Surrendering to Wanderlust
Note from Mickey Weems and Mike Luczaj: Welcome to the BeachMonkey team, Jen!
As she seeks to connect with herself, people and the world around her, writing has
been a soul-searching experience for Jen Woo, tearing into the darkest depths of existence and coming back out to see the light. Through writing, she found her own sources for growth and inspiration.
Woo has had a colorful career tirelessly looking for new sources of inspiration, switching from marketing to art to writing and back again while jumping from country to country. She has published work for the Santa Barbara Independent covering music, 429 Magazine with a focus on the arts, Olé Today investigating local issues, and Zoom Magazine and Green Magazine in Costa Rica, both centered on music.
Woo has covered events like Electric Daisy Carnival and Bottle Rock, and interviewed the likes of Dead Prez, Ricky Ian Gordon, MURS, and Jamie McDermott of the Irrepressibles. She has also worked with a number of independent artists, developing gallery booklets and gallery show copy. Additionally, she writes for a number of blogs and start-ups.
Originally from Los Angeles, Woo obtained a degree in Communication and Global Peace and Security in Santa Barbara. Though she was just a few classes short of completing the writing minor, she left knowing that word-craft would undeniably make up a large part of her life, if not her profession.
Art, Liberation and Happiness
She maintained a short stint back in LA doing freelance marketing after college, and then seeking liberation and a more genuine perspective, planned a week-long trip to Costa Rica, which lasted 7 months. Struggling with the false idea of having to choose between happiness and success, Woo left to find herself. It was when she began craft again, to draw, to write – all the things she loved but had forgotten in her attempt to push into a socially acceptable existence – that she concluded that both are attainable. “It seemed that through art, through the fulfillment of being able to create something that made others feel…confident, beautiful, inspired, I was able to reconnect with myself,” she said.
Afterwards, another stint in LA, and then for several months she traveled through Europe and Morocco. Currently, Woo lives in Oakland, immersing herself in as much art and music as possible.
As a lover of all things deviant and novel, and as an avid world traveler always looking towards the next adventure, Woo has catalogued an array of inspiration from her life of wanderlust. Some from artisans in far-away open air bazaars, others from unapparent spiritual guides in tucked away street corners, and the rest in more local peculiar haunts in day-to-day life. Her purpose is to show others that they can do what they love. “We do not have to choose between happiness and success. We only have to choose ourselves.”
Woo truly believes in the unrelenting power of creativity. Words are her becoming.