Hi, Jessie! Tell us about your business/artistic focus.
My business focus flexes with whatever phase of life I’m in, but it’s primarily about joy. Since I was a kid, I always had a desire to capture feelings & movement in some way. Whether it be through words, art, movement – I wanted to bottle it up & have that moment forever. I realized I wanted that frozen moment as something to look towards when I spiral into darker moments myself.
When BLM became the main topic of conversation in 2020, my husband and I started having more racial based conversations about how we would have these discussions with our kids while also unlearning / relearning what we thought about Black culture and representation.
As a result, I wanted to create a series that depicted Blackness in a way that wasn’t being represented at that time. I was very scared, tired and generally sad. My “I Am” series is meant to not only be a reflection of different kinds of Black joy but also encourage people to feel that joy themselves. Long story short: I’m just trying to spread some joy through my art.
What’s a project you’re working on, and how can your Seattle Restored participation help you with it?
Currently, I’m working on new canvases of Girls I have in my illustrative drafts, while also prepping for upcoming gallery exhibits. Honestly, my display with Seattle Restored has provided so much more exposure than I could have gotten on my own & I’m extremely grateful for that. I’m super stoked for future collabs with Seattle Restored, including this interview!
What’s the most rewarding part of your business pursuits?
By far, the most rewarding part of my artistic pursuit is showing my kids that being an Artist is an actual job, while also living out my own childhood dreams. Providing for my family and kids as a result of the success of my art has always been a pipe dream. W I L D to feel that the dream is close to being a reality.
A close-up look of Jessie’s ‘Gap Girl’ on display downtown at 1501 5th Ave. (📸: GrowingBoyMedia)
What are you looking forward to this year?
This year has already been the best artistic year I’ve ever had. Honestly, any other exhibits I get to participate in and canvases I get commissioned for will be the highlights. Being able to afford things for my kids BECAUSE of my success is also very relieving so it’ll be nice to finish the year with less stress than years before.
What brings you most alive about working or living in Seattle?
Being part of the Seattle art scene is something I wanted when I was living across the country. I saw the BLM mural being painted while I was living in South Carolina and I knew I needed to be part of that world. Even though I still don’t live directly in the city, working with other Seattle creatives, feeding off their energy, showing up to events and the genuine support is incredibly encouraging, and something every Creative needs to experience. Not to mention the DIVERSITY in styles. Actual dream come true.
If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?
Go outside and visit local Creative spaces. Whether it’s in your field or not. Expose yourself to the many different styles of art and museums that Seattle has to offer!
What’s your favorite Seattle Restored pop-up or art installation and why?
Ooo, I’d have to say The Fishbowl. Something about having a space that caters to creating different styles of art while also creating a specific safe space is a definite green light for me.
Seattle Restored revives Seattle neighborhoods with creativity and commerce! Seattle Restored calls our local artists and entrepreneurs to reinvigorate our city by activating empty storefronts. These pop-up and art installation activations benefit neighborhoods, small businesses, artists and property owners by creating vibrant and engaging streetscapes that encourage the public to visit downtown Seattle, support local businesses and artists – particularly Black, Indigenous, and other entrepreneurs and artists of color.