INTERVIEW: Jessica Marie
"Art has been something I have been drawn to for as long as I can remember."
21 year old LA based artist Jessica Marie finds inspiration from her roots. Highly influenced by late 90's - early 2000s' hip hop/r&b and European art, Jessica proves she's a creative force to keep your eyes on. BEYOND THE SOUND recently spoke with Jessica about finding inspiration in Los Angeles, taking criticism, and much more in the interview below.
A while back you tweeted pictures of you holding up art you made as a three year old and then as a twenty one year old...(see above) it’s clear art is a big part of your life. When did you know it’s what you wanted to do as a career?
Yes, art has always been a big part of my life, but I knew it was what I wanted to do as a career right after I finished high school. I was going through difficult times at that point and I turned my focus to creating, and from there a string of events propelled me to really want to pursue art even more.
You stated music plays a huge role in your art. Who are some musicians that influenced you early on?
One of the most influential musicians I’ve ever come across is probably going to be Pharrell. His music, what he’s produced, and his demeanor are all things that not only inspire my work, but inspire my work ethic. I really aspire to be as accomplished and as versatile as he is. Another huge inspiration of mine is FKA twigs, a singer and dancer from the UK. I really admire her uniqueness, her music, and how she strives to get what she wants. She’s always been a muse of mine.
I’ve never been, but LA is a very artistic place in every sense of the word. Are there certain places you go to find inspiration?
Oh yes! Los Angeles is teeming with art, it is definitely the place for any artist to flourish. I really love being downtown, specifically in the Arts District. At first glance it might not seem like much, but as you walk through you will find yourself face to face with hidden, but enormous street art and murals. Also around Mid City there are a lot of art museums that I really enjoy visiting. Tons of inspiration.
I like to ask artists this because the answer is always different: what’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned as an artist?
There are so many lessons to be learned as an artist in general (whether it be a visual or music artists). I think the most important thing that I’ve learned is that not everyone will believe in your vision, and that’s okay! I went about two years listening to some family and friends tell me that what I was doing with my art was just a “hobby” or “not serious” and that I should be in college, not “messing around”. It was very hard because at times I began to doubt myself and my abilities, but I learned to stand by my dreams and was able to overcome the skepticism. It wasn’t until I curated my 1st and 2nd art shows that the critics began to sit down. By that time though, I realized I didn’t need anyone else’s approval. It was the hardest thing to learn to ignore people’s opinions, but it’s an essential part of following your dreams.
I wanted to circle back about music inspiring you. This year has been a crazy year for the hip hop/R&B game. What’re some of your favorite albums from this year (so far)?
I totally agree! If I had to narrow it down though to top albums, I’d probably say that Frank Ocean’s Blonde has been my favorite. I love his voice and his choice of beats, and I feel like his album was well worth the wait. I’d say that Drake’s Views and Kanye’s The Life of Pablo tie for second, just because I love the versatility in either album and I have a handful of songs from each that I really enjoy.
Anything exciting in store for the rest of the year?
Yes, actually! I’ve been planning to curate my third art show in October. I’ve been painting away in my room and just trying to put everything together, since it’s coming up soon. It can be stressful, but I’ve gained so much experience within this last year that it’s fun for me now and even more fun the day of the show. I love getting to meet amazing people that stop by to show their support, it’s truly a blessing.
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