about RATGRRL: Jessie Valentin. Born in 1977, the last of 4 kids. I grew up on Long Island, NY; an 80's child during the early days of hip hop (which my older brothers were listening to.) I loved it from a young age. That is part of what influences my artistic aesthetic. My mother has loved very ornate french provincial style, and has had the same classic furniture for decades. I think that is why I love working with furniture. I love taking something classic or "old fashioned", and updating it or giving it a vibrant new life. I am no stranger to sadness and loss; because of that I have always felt like an old lady inside. I guess I identify with the furniture...they feel old before their time, bruised and battered. I try to give them life after that madness. Because of madness and loss, my art often has a bit of a sad and spooky vibe. I understand a life after transition-be it death, grief, or neglect. It can come back to life again in some way... My collage works are a representation of this; putting the torn pieces together making something new and whole again. I am hugely influenced by my family! They are my heroes; hence the comic book art influence. My husbands, brothers and father are a source of my humor and integrity. I am a strong, sweet and spicy Latina like my sister, mother and grandmother before me. All of that love is poured into my art.