Happy Feature Friday!
This week we are featuring Jessica of Oh Jessica Jessica! She is an animator, character designer, illustrator and Etsy shop owner! Although she may be wearing many creative hats, all of her work is thoughtful in detail and meaning. Jessica hopes that all the characters she creates connect with people in some way. We love Jessica’s style and story, and if you’re on the search for some awesome pins or illustrations, look no further than Jessica’s shop!
: Thank you! I’ve always loved to draw, and I was lucky to have the support of family and friends. After high school I completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (which was heavily theory based and often not the right fit for the kind of art I wanted to make). Then I had a retail job for a couple of years, trying to figure out what I wanted to do, working on personal projects and not having enough time to get much finished.
I relocated to Melbourne and focused my studies on animation, completing a Masters of Film and Television at the VCA. That’s where I created the short animated films you can watch on my website. After finishing my Masters, it was a matter of trying to keep that going, but there isn’t a huge 2D animation industry in Australia and although I picked up a few freelance jobs, it wasn’t enough to break away from retail completely. So I kept doing personal projects and odd jobs that were related to my skills. I just like to be creative, whether it’s drawing, sewing, writing, or crochet. If I don’t do something each day, I get a little down in the dumps.
: My aesthetic? Hmm, it’s always hard to see it yourself. I think it’s just a combination of the art I love and that influenced me when I was in my early twenties and playing around with different styles. I loved the Pre-Raphaelites when I was in high school, and then I got pretty heavily into anime and manga, so every now and then I’ll get someone say “oh I can tell you like Japanese comics and cartoons” which is cool. I also went through a realism phase, so it’s a mixed bag.
With my own work, I’d say I have a consistent style, in the colours I use and the expressive qualities (I really love to create characters that have depth and connect with people). For the commercial work I’ve done, my ability to copy other styles came in handy. I think you need flexibility with animation and illustration sometimes, especially because you’ll be working with other people. It might mean putting the ego away to get the best result. Sometimes I prefer restrictions like that. When you are making something for yourself, you can spend forever re-working things instead of getting it finished.
: Most of my animations were on 2’s. If you break it down, for each second of animation I would create 12.5 images. Whether it’s a drawing (2D) or a photo (Stopmotion) it’s definitely not a medium for the impatient! My film Crochet Noir was made in my last year of study and I think we did the shoot in 6 weeks. I was pulling really long days at that point, and Adam was helping me make the sets while I was filming and editing. We were both very tired, but very happy at the end of the year.
It’s exciting to think about the festivals that screened my work. Unfortunately, because I live in Australia, it meant there were very few festivals I could actually attend, but it’s a really cool experience.
: Keep going! It’s a long journey for some people, but if you stop, then pick things up again in 20 or 30 years, that’s decades of skill-building you can’t get back. I see it happen a lot because I work in an art-supplies store. Many people don’t have the support to pursue art as a career (or even a hobby), but they feel a little emptier without it. I know I would. ❤
To learn more about Jessica and to shop her work visit the links below!
Tapastic (to find Jessica’s comic!): https://tapastic.com/series/Allmycrushes