INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST JESSICA FORD
If you’re looking for a dose of colour for your interior then look no further! Abstract, bright and bold, Jessica’s work is testimony to her confident use of colour. This is art to make you smile, to bring colour into your home, and I can’t get enough of it. But whilst Jessica’s work will certainly make a statement on your wall it doesn’t dominate, there’s a subtlety, a texture and depth to her work; her pieces engage, bringing life to a space.
I connected with Jessica through Instagram, one of my favourite places for discovering artists and creatives. One thing I love about her account is that she shows her artwork in-situ. I think it helps so much to see art curated like this, showing how it contributes to the feel of a space.
Here’s my interview with Jessica, with lots of images of her work too!
PLEASE COULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK FOR US..
I am a fine art abstract painter, who specialises in colour! I’m a colour obsessive: how shades work with one another, how they make you feel, how colours can change in intensity according to what shade they’re paired with.
I’D LOVE TO HEAR MORE ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING AN ARTIST.
I studied for a degree in illustration at Bath Spa, and spent my early 20’s working as an artist agent in London, whilst trying to get my illustration career off the ground. I have been a commercial illustrator for eighteen years but decided five years ago to try painting as a means of escaping the computer! I was longing to make art in a simpler way, getting back to physically making art and using my body, instead of being slumped over a computer all day! I still illustrate and have recently been lucky to find some real success with my children’s book range (‘ABC What Can She Be’ is an Amazon bestseller!). Having a bit of financial freedom has allowed me to spend more time in my painting studio which has been such a gift.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
Colour has always been a big part of my life and I’ve always had a very natural relationship with it. I wear a lot of colour, which I know some people find hard to do! I’m always on the hunt for interesting colour combinations and often save scraps of things I find and reference them later if I want to seek inspiration from them. Pinterest is also a go to place, and of course Instagram which is a serious addiction of mine!
WHICH ARTISTS ARE YOU INFLUENCED OR INSPIRED BY?
I love the work of Richard Diebenkorn, Patrick Heron and contemporary artists Liza Giles, Sophie Abbott and Becky Blair.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY FOR US?
I often paint in my studio in the morning and the first half of the afternoon, as the natural light is better then (my studio is east facing). By 2/3pm I’ve often peaked and head home to work on my illustration projects. It’s really nice to break up the day doing different types of work, as long stretches of painting can be tiring and quite intense! You have to concentrate very hard and make lots of micro decisions on each painting, so I find 6 hours in the studio is my maximum!
DO YOU EVER SUFFER FROM ‘CREATIVE BLOCK’ AND, IF SO, HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH IT?
Often! Some days it just flows really well and sometimes it really doesn’t!! I always work on a few paintings at a time, on rotation, so that if I’m stuck, I’ll just move onto the next painting. Often you just need a bit of time away from a painting to then come back with fresh eyes and immediately you’ll spot what needs doing.
IS THERE A PIECE THAT YOU’VE CREATED THAT YOU’RE PARTICULARLY FOND, OR PROUD, OF?
I recently did a painting for a family in East Dulwich in London and I think that one came out really well. It was a lovely large one and had lots of neons in it. The brief was to do something bright and bold and it was a real joy to work for a customer who had such a confident style.
IF YOU COULD CREATE A PIECE FOR ONE PERSON (CELEBRITY OR OTHERWISE) WHO WOULD IT BE?
Good question! Hmmm. Well it’s gotta be a colour lover, so perhaps the fashion designer Matthew Williamson? He’s always had a great confidence with colour and I think one of my paintings would look fab in his home!
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR PEOPLE CHOOSING ARTWORK FOR THEIR OWN HOME?
I would advise them to think about what kind of emotion they’d like to feel when they see the painting. Do they want something soothing, something invigorating, something dark and brooding? Each painting really does have a different feel to it and often the emotion of a room can be transformed by having a painting as the focal point.
WHERE CAN WE SEE, AND BUY, YOUR WORK FROM?
You can buy directly from me at www.jessicaford.co.uk
and on Instagram at @jessica_ford_art. My studio is always open to those who would like to see the paintings in real life before they buy! I also sell my work in a lovely gallery called Artologie
in Cuckfield, West Sussex.
AND FINALLY, WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
I will be taking part in the Artwave festival in Lewes, for three weekends in September: 11-12th, 18-19th, 25-26th, at The Cowshed, Upper Wellingham Barn, Wellingham Lane, Lewes BN8 5SN. Do come and say Hi!