Who is PuzzleKnucks?
PuzzleKnucks a.k.a. Jenn, originates from northeastern Massachusetts, where she grew up heavily involved in any attempt to harness her internal creative drive. Art classes, both in school and extracurricularly, ranged from traditional painting and photography, to sculpture, pottery, poetry/creative writing, and anywhere between. Band, chorus/choir, and theatre groups were year round, but ultimately she realized she was not the type to try and grab the spotlight. A pivot to being more hands on with behind the scenes work led to a passion for the digital arts, and editing for TV/Film. What once was a dream of art school (glass blowing looked REALLY cool on those college tours) and being a full time artist, turned into what was a year at a traditional 4 year university in New York for Television and Film production. Sensing she was still not happy with trying to fit in a mold, Jenn’s english teacher suggested a transfer to a non-traditional intense 13 month university in Florida, where they have degree programs focused around actually working in the entertainment industry, and catered around creativity and an ever changing schedule. With another shift to a degree in Show Production and Touring, Florida was now home, as was Jenn with herself, finally settling into something that let her shine, without all eyes on her!
In the nearly 20 years since she’s been in Florida, various opportunities to showcase her creative side outside of work have arisen. Most prominently with a few local bands; Designing album artwork, merch, photo shoots, music videos, promotional images. Several paintings made for birthday and baby shower gifts, and even a couple commissions sold. None of these have been as self satisfying as the opportunity to design an artwork specifically for a puzzle, for the community event of #puzzlepridealong, and showering the LGBTQ+ community with love.
Follow @puzzleknucks on Instagram
What is #puzzlepridealong?
In 2020, after a few months of pandemic and quarantine, Jenn wanted to do something to be able to puzzle with others, while being stuck so far away and cooped up inside the house. June/Pride month was just around the corner, and the pile of the Cobble Hill/Shelly Davies rainbow project puzzles had been planned to be done in June from late 2019. #puzzlepridealong was born as a punny hashtag for anyone else to join in and puzzle alongside as she worked through the rainbow, each person being able to puzzle at their same speed, but collectively, brightening up the instagram feed. As many companies were having production and stock issues, not everyone who wanted to join were able to find the puzzles to be able to participate.
By 2021, puzzle production had more than resumed; it exploded. Jenn started planning the next #puzzlepridealong event and wanted it to grow larger than it had been, but had no idea how much it would also explode. Reaching out to several companies to request potential giveaway prizes, she was met with unanimous “YES!” from everyone she asked (and even some she didn’t ask!). Admittedly a biased opinion, the offer to create a custom puzzle for the event from Micro Puzzles was the highlight for Jenn. The opportunity to also select a charity to receive proceeds from the sale of that puzzle was thrilling, and after a lot of careful research and consideration, The Trevor Project was chosen.
Why The Trevor Project?
The Trevor Project is an amazing organization providing crisis intervention, and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ+ youths since 1998. Growing up in the various worlds of arts and entertainment, people of all orientations, races, ethnicities, identities, walks of life, etc have always been a daily part of Jenn’s life. Mental health of those in the arts and entertainment industry tends to be ignored and brushed under the rug, much like that of the mental health of those in the LGBTQ+ community. Jenn has lost several friends and acquaintances to suicide or accidental deaths over the years, and if there is a chance bringing more awareness and supporting a fine organization can prevent one person in the future from the same fate, it will have all been worth it.
Visit the Trevor Project
‘Love Is Love’ Puzzle Design
When it came time to create, and for Pride, rainbow was of course the first step. Jenn truly believes that who someone loves is one of the least interesting things about them as a person. Love may be patient, and kind, and not boastful, but at the end of the day; Love is Love. Add in a bit of artistic sparkle, and you have the front design of the puzzle. Micro Puzzles offers a unique experience of being able to have a custom design on the back side of their puzzles as well as the front. Jenn chose the Progress Pride Flag for the back image, allowing for a 2 in 1 puzzling experience. Designed in 2018 by Daniel Quasar, the progress pride flag incorporates elements from the trans pride flag and the Philadelphia flag, bringing focus on inclusion and progress within the community. While retaining the common rainbow stripes as a base, the progress flag adds a chevron to the left that features black, brown, light blue, pink, and white stripes to bring marginalized people of color, trans individuals, and those living with or lost to HIV/AIDS to the forefront. The arrow points to the right to show movement, while being positioned along the left edge shows that progress still needs to be made. ‘Love is Love’ will include a donation to The Trevor Project for each puzzle sold, and will be available not only through June, but as a permanent part of Micro Puzzles collection.