Thursday, September 15, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Jessica from Cursive Arts

Now that we've added our Get Featured page, we hope to post more often featuring fellow artists. Today we're featuring Jessica who sells original linocut prints, greeting cards and original illustrations in her Etsy shop: Cursive Arts. Below is our interview with Jessica about her work, inspiration and aspirations.

Jessica's companion, Luca
Please introduce yourself, what lead you to begin creating? My name is Jessica, I'm 29 and live with my husband, our cat and dog in Charlotte, NC. My earliest memories are of my mom drawing posters for us of movies we likes, rather than buying them (mine was "The Little Mermaid") and drawing on pillowcases with melted crayons. I think growing up watching her draw instilled in me that it was just a natural thing to do (and of course was where I got my talent). Art has always had some part in my life, though up until the last few years, it was mostly a hobby I never took as seriously as I should have.

Who in your life has been the biggest inspiration to your work? 
Jessica's Workspace
Definitely my mother. She is the whole reason I began drawing in the first place. Then as we got older, she stopped drawing as much and focused on working and taking care of kids. I've been pressing her for so many years to start drawing again and she finally is. She called the other day to ask me about drafting tables, because she's going to start drawing and painting regularly again. That makes me so happy, because I have always felt she has amazing talent.  

What is your favorite medium to work with/favorite technique to use?
Carving the block.
Obviously I love linocut or block printing, as that is the majority of my shop. However, my true love is pen and ink drawing. I love clean lines and simple shading. It's probably why I love linocut almost as much. It's all black and white, positive and negative.
(Read Jessica's own blog post about how her cards are made here.)

What do you hope to accomplish through your work?
Hullo Block Print Cards - Set of 4
One of the reasons I really like printmaking is because it keeps the art affordable. I love art but rarely buy any, because I can't afford original work. In a way, every linocut is original, because each is slightly different than the last. This is even true with my cards, which are essentially open ended editions you can write in. So, to clarify, I really hope I can provide people with super-affordable art. I also would hope my cards might get a few more people writing letters. There is truly nothing like receiving a good old-fashioned letter.  

Which item currently listed in your shop is your favorite and why?
Dr. Who TARDIS 8 x 10 Print
I have to say, definitely my TARDIS print. I just got into Doctor Who recently and it came out so very well. It's one of the few pieces I would hang on my own wall, as on homage to that awesome show. I would like to state I do use my cards all the time to write letters.  

What fellow artist(s) have you been impressed by recently?Well, the two artists I have hanging in my studio are macro prints from Kim Ulric and some prints from Elly Mackay. Another favorite is Kailey Lang, her illustration style blows me away.  

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist? "You should make notecards." I was given the idea by my mother-in-law, who thought I should have prints of my illustrations turned into notecards. However, I could not really afford that process at the time and so researched other methods of printmaking. Long story short,
Cursive Arts planning central.
it's how I discovered linocuts.

What are you plans for the future of your shop/work? I'm going to keep on making linocuts, and hopefully I will be able to get back into the illustration side of things and draw more (and maybe get those llustrations made into cards). I also really hope, in the next year or two, I'll be able to live a decade long dream and take a tattoo apprenticeship. I love the idea of people carrying my art on their body for life. It's the ultimate honor. 

 You can purchase Jessica's cards and artwork in her shop, and you can check out her blog here. You can also see her portfolio on her website.

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