From: South Shore CA
Major: Fine Arts (2D practices)
Interview by Sean Collins and Rachael Robertson
Q: When did you first discover your artistic talent and decide to become an artist?
A: I grew up on comics and illustrations and was heavily inspired by the fine detail of the line work. I was about 8 years old when I knew that art was something that I seriously wanted to pursue.
Q: Do you remember what your first piece of artwork was?
A: It was an 8 page graphic story that I made about a journey to meet the sun. I remember an adult pointing out that the sun’s nose looked funny and I was devastated.
Q: Where do you find inspiration? What artists have influenced your work?
A: I find inspiration everywhere. I am a big fan of graphic novelists, especially the works of Stephen Gammell and Dr. Seuss when I was younger. As I grew older, I became more influenced by the work of artists such as Max Ernst and surrealist work.
Q: Describe the style of your work. Do you utilize a lot of symbolic imagery?
A: Yes, I use a lot of personal symbolic imagery. As far as styles go, I often use cross hatching and small, fine lines. Most of my work is in black and white. My work is often described as being dark. I like using the darker stylistic values in my work to transform an image that is humorous in nature. Basically I don’t like to make light of otherwise dark subject matter, but I do want to make dark subject matter more bearable.
Q: What is your favorite medium and why?
A: My favorite medium would have to be pen and ink. I like the fine detail and control that I have over the line work.
Q: What role does recognition or awards play, if any, in the creation of your artwork?
A: Awards are not necessarily very important to me, however it is always nice for people to recognize or praise your artwork. Having people notice your work makes you feel like you are doing something right.
Q: What is your favorite critique you have received?
A: My most memorable was from a classmate during a critique in reference to my mural. She said when she walked by it there was “a twinge in [her] heart.” It was the sweetest response that I have ever received.
Q: Any words of advice for aspiring artists?
A: Keep at it. Don’t be discouraged by any negative feedback. You learn more from your failures than you do from your successes.
(above: Jessica drawing out the number of days she’s been alive, on her studio wall; it actually seemed like a lot fewer days than she figured, once she was done)