We caught up with the gorgeous and ever talented artist Jessica Guthrie, who recently sketched her own renditions of our latest collection The Tropic Of Babylon. We asked a few questions about her life as a creative artist, here’s what she had to say:
We absolutely love your renditions of our Tropic of Babylon collection. Tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from? What is your background?
Originally from Melbourne, my background is in fashion design and production, both mainstream and made-to-measure. I moved to Sydney 8 & 1/2 years ago with my husbands job relocation, which allowed me to start a new venture and open up a vintage clothing business in Surry Hills called Coco Repose. I remained creative by sourcing vintage and antique clothing and accessories to sell in my boutique. This also drove my inspiration for my own limited edition range of clothing using vintage fabrics and trims.
Fashion, design and history of bygone eras are a love of mine, but I wanted to create more and have always known that I wanted to eventually step into the world of fine art and illustration. I have always tried to dabble and keep up with life drawing and art, but a year and half ago I had a bit of a ‘light bulb go off in my head’ moment and decided I could follow my dream NOW and not wait. So I closed my business to study art at the Julian Ashton art school in Sydney.
As of January 1st 2014, I put the self imposed challenge out there to start a blog and produce a ‘sketch a day’. This was to create a profile online for myself and to be able to collaborate with other business’. It also gives me freedom to create quick images each day with anything that takes my fancy on that given day. It is challenging, but the feedback is positive and exciting. And after this year I hope to develop these quick sketches into larger artworks after finding out what works and inspires me the most.
When did you first realise you had this creative talent? What made you persue this?
I have always had a love of drawing from a very early age. Even in primary school my projects always had to be the largest, most illustrated, collaged, tea stained – creative! I used to spend hours on pretty borders and many more simply sketching and colouring in. I can still remember when I was 8 years old, my grandparents gave me a 72 set of Derwent pencils which went a long way to fuelling my creative dreams. Working in the fashion industry gave me a creative stepping stone to be creative in a career that allowed me to design and travel, but also give me important business skills.
Tell us about some of your inspirations? What really drives you?
I am naturally a very driven person, there are never enough hours in the day! I have always been inspired by art and the creative process, and particularly fashion and the history of different eras. Travel gives me a lot of inspiration and I have been fortunate to travel through work which has opened my eyes and inspired me. In particular, Paris is my favourite destination and I will be headed there in July purely for an inspiration and art related trip!
I am a bit of a bowerbird, I collect everything! I pour of fashion magazines, I love visiting art galleries, but even everyday items and nature inspire me, I am always collection feathers on walks and looking at things around me for textures and design. I feel like I can find inspiration everywhere, If only there were more hours to create! – Oh and I am a little obsessed with Pinterest!
Do you have a favourite artist? If so who and why?
Hmm… my all time favourite artist/design is Alexander McQueen and currently Sarah Burton, I simply adore her creativity and style and courage in design! Purely from an art perspective, I am drawn to Degas and Rodin for their subject matter, line and sculpture. I can’t wait to get back to Paris to visit Rodin’s garden again, and to sit with my sketchbook and just draw!
You are clearly talented and have received a positive response in social media, how has the impacted how your work is received?
Social media is now such a powerful tool. Having worked in my own business I can recognise just how much this can impact on an individuals profile. There are so many talented artists out there and social media is a fantastic way to build an awareness of an individuals work. For me, it is a process of putting myself out there, and receiving feedback (good or bad) to fuel me on my journey and validate a change in career direction. Creative careers can be quite solitary at times, and it is amazing how instant positive feedback from instagram or Facebook can keep pushing me and encourage me to create. It is also a great way to be able to connect with other business’ and to show them an instant profile of your work.
Where to from here? What big plans do you have in the mix?
From here I plan to keep studying and refining my art skills. I would love to collaborate with other creative business’ on illustrated product and fashion. My long term plan is to create pieces of art using vintage and antique pieces that I have collected over many years as my inspiration. I have a story for each piece, which I hope to be able to convey through my art. I am open to where the road leads for me which is daunting but super exciting! Being a Saggitarius, I am always up for the adventure that lies ahead, it is the unknown that excites me. I do know that if I could draw, paint and illustrate everyday of my life, I would be one happy fulfilled girl!
I am glad to have had the experiences I have had in fashion and business, I feel like it has given me a great set of skills to work from, and a clear view on what inspires me. Now having made the decision to pursue my love of drawing and painting, I know that I am on the right track of pursuing my absolute passion!
What made you choose We Are Handsome as a part of your inspiration and what is your favourite sketch of the renditions?
Having a fashion background, I love to be inspired by creative fashion and was drawn to ‘We Are Handsome’ because of the unique imagery and themes favoured. I think WAH designs are bold and fun, and typify a creative process that is not always evident in the fashion industry. They are unique, and give your customer a statement about their own choice of style.
My favourite rendition sketch is ‘The Voyeur’ leggings – I love the colour and design, and I am particularly drawn to colourful feathers for painting and drawing!
If you had to choose one print/design to wear from our latest collection what would it be and why?
Ooh tough! Do I have to pick one??? I would choose ‘The Bahamas’ scoop one piece. Firstly I am always drawn to anything pink and flamingoes, and I could absolutely see myself wearing this by the pool to my Bali holiday in a couple of weeks time. I could then also wear it as a body suit with a skirt over the top out for afternoon drinks – win win! X
How can we find and follow you?
You can view my work on my wesbite www.thecolourofwhimsy.com.au
Follow me on Instagram @thecolourofwhimsy
Like my FB Page The Colour of Whimsy
Get Interest with Pinterest @colourofwhimsy