Jessica has a degree in Illustration from Southern Utah University.
Watercolour, gouache, inks, charcoal – Jessica is a bit of a natural media purist and rarely works digitally. For her, a good painting session is like a workout. She draws and paints freely, creating layers that give her work an emotional depth. Recently, she has been applying gouache thickly for an impasto-like finish. As well as producing stunning illustrations for her clients, her art gives her a feeling of inner peace.
With a good mix of softness textures, crisp details and expressive line work, Jessica’s style is feminine, emotional and has a strong-yet-vulnerable quality to it. Nature, beauty and double exposure are some of the main themes in her illustrations.
Question: What led you to become an illustrator? Jessica: I always knew I wanted to be an artist for a living, even as a kid. I discovered the art of fashion illustration as a teenager and it spoke to me. Question: Did you study illustration at college? Jessica: Yes, I studied illustration at Southern Utah University.Question: Where did you grow up? Jessica: I grew up moving all over the US, but my formative and high school years were in Las Vegas.Question: Do you have a childhood memory relating to drawing/art that you hold dear? Jessica: Yes, I think I loved coming inside after spending time outside in the meadows of Virginia that I lived in as a child and drew quietly in my corner of my room. I always loved drawing trees, flowers and women. All essential pieces to what I create now and am known for. Question: Where do you live now and what drew you there? Jessica: I am in Atlanta. I came here with my ex, and decided to stay after I realized I had beautiful, strong friendships and access to wonderful things here in the South. Question: Describe your studio for us Jessica: I have a large painting desk, and a computer desk. Lots of natural light that fills up my space with warmth and a golden hue. I also have a large library shelf and record player - and usually fresh flowers and a fancy candle. Just to keep it feeling luxe!Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Jessica: Oddly enough I would say it's a variety of artists like Bob Ross - I took classes from a woman who was trained by him so I learned to paint in oils as a teenager in the Bob Ross style. Even now when I paint trees I'm like, 'here’s my happy little tree.' I also am very inspired by French artists, and most of all Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. His line work, and the way he portrayed sad but beautiful woman is kinda what I aspire to do. I love to inject real emotions into what I am painting. If I can get the painting to evoke an emotion with my viewer then I have won. Women are so much more than superficial objects to be looked at and put on a shelf. I want my paintings to feel strong, yet vulnerable. And most importantly, authentic to whatever emotion I am feeling that day. Question: How do you get your ideas? Jessica: I do a lot of research. I love love love research. In fact going to the library to look at archived Vogues & Harper's Bazaar is something I do pretty much every quarter. Going to a quite space, and visually taking in things from the past and hoping I can learn from the artists and visionaries before me. And when I'm not doing that, I love being outside. Going for a walk is the easiest way to unblock and feel grounded in the moment. Question: Do you collect anything? Jessica: Books. I love art & fashion books. Question: Do you keep a Scrapbook? Jessica: I keep journals, avidly. I tend to collage and create positivity & vision boards which feels like a form of scrapbooking for me. Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed Jessica: So many! I painted my 1st mural, a large fashion illustration for a boutique salon and I just loved the client and being able to do something on a large scale. She completely trusted me which really allowed me to work the best I could. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Jessica: I'm looking forward to doing more fashion and beauty editorials and focusing in on magazines I admire. Like Vogue & Harper's Bazaar. Question: Why is illustration such a powerful medium? Jessica: It is a language that everyone can understand. Selling my artwork to customers around the globe just affirms to me that I am doing things right. When people from every corner of the world understand what you are visually saying, you feel connected more to humans. Art connects us, like music, film, dance, etc. And I'm proud to be an artist in possibly the best time ever to be one!Question: Who is your art hero? Jessica: Frida Kahlo. She painted her life. She was one of the 1st successful living female artists of her generation. She broke barriers and didn't take no for an answer. Question: Who is your musical hero? Jessica: Amy Winehouse. She was so herself, wrote and sang from her life story. So vulnerable and so real.