Introducing one of our most loved Willow's artists - Jess West. We got to know Jess a little better over an interview this past week, she shared her favourite artwork, her passion that drives what she does and gave us a glimpse into some exciting things coming up in her future. You can shop Jess' illustration/ink work here, but before you do - please enjoy this easy and interesting read.
Three words that describe you...
Curious, fair & spontaneous
Tell us a little about your art/creative journey
I have always been most happiest sitting by myself with pens and paper since I was a little girl. I had dreams of being a fashion designer from a young age, as I would always draw up different outfits and make clothes for my dolls with tissue paper. Though as I got older I was drawn more to the design/drawing process rather then the making. I studies a Bachelor of Visual Arts at QUT, and now work as a visual merchandiser as well as a practicing artist in my spare time, doing commission artworks, murals and selling prints.
What’s in an average day for Jess West?
I work full time so only have a few hours of day light to work in the afternoons on any new projects, as it is super important to my process to be able to see in true light as colours and shading can seem very different at night with lights on. Weekends are made up of everyday life things, like seeing family and friends, picking up prints to post, working on projects, visits to Bunnings and spending time in the garden.( not sure what else to write here that people would be interested in ha ha)
What inspires your work?
I am often inspired by striking photography, textiles, nature, and other artists. Such as Sha’an of Furry Little Peach, Evan Sahlman, Jenny of Living Pattern and Heather Day.
Is there a reason you’re drawn to women in your work?
I am not really sure why I am drawn to women in my work, I think it comes from my initial interest in fashion as a child. I find the female form to be really expressive and diverse, from gentle and delicate to dramatic and powerful. I especially love to draw hands and hair as they can be so fun and emotive.
Do you have a favourite artwork? And why?
My favourite of my artwork would probably be “Feathered” or “Gabrielle in Garters”. Both I find to be really dramatic, and strong in the representation of the female. “Feathered” also took on a life of its own as it dried which I found really interesting. The ink moved around the page forming shadows and drips creating the end result which was not as I had initially planned.
What’s happening in Jess’ world over the next 6 months?
Over the next 6 months I will be getting ready for the arrival of our first child with my husband. Getting the nursery ready, as well as preparing ourselves for a new adventure as a family. I am hoping to spend some more time on my art practice during my maternity leave though that may not be a reality as we work to find out what works for us as a new family. An exciting journey ahead though!