jessica of the disaster life

This interview is a part of a new collaborative series with Fuck Yeah! Women Artists to highlight some of our favorite young illustrators and artists. Tricia and I have been followers of Jessica's series of paintings and drawings, The Disaster Life, for quite some time and were thrilled when she agreed to participate. Her subject matter includes self-portraits, ghosts, cats, portraits, haunted houses and she sells original artwork, fun stickers and accessories for very affordable prices in her etsy shop. Jessica also runs a blog where she muses about her art, amazing outfits, and upcoming projects.  

Q. How long have you been painting and drawing? And what type of things (artists, films, fashion, real life) inspire you?
I have been making art for as long as I can remember, but I never became serious about it until around 2006. I realized that I no longer had to make artwork for other people and I could finally explore developing works to my liking.
I garner inspiration from a lot of different resources. I love looking at runway fashion for cues on patterns and textures; Prada, Miu Miu, Rodarte, and Tao are among my favorites.
In addition to fashion, I also pull ideas from traditional fairy tales, comics, religious iconography, expressionist works and outsider art. The artists most influential to me are Yoshitomo Nara, Madge Gill, Henry Darger, Egon Schiele, Ray Caesar and Junko Mizuno.

Q. Do you have a narrative in mind when you create a piece? Or do you draw what comes to mind? 
I come up with the story along the way while I am drawing. I am really fixated on composition, so I will keep adding elements to the piece until it is balanced which helps to create the narrative. I usually forget what the story is by the time I am finished, though haha.

Q. What direction do you see your work going in the future? And do you have any upcoming projects planned? 
Hopefully at some point I can land an illustration job for children’s books or free-lance work for magazines; that is my ultimate goal.
I have an upcoming show at Blackbird Attic Boutique in Beacon, New York, which I am really excited about! The show will be up from April 8th- May 13th and you can see more info here: www.blackbirdattic.com.

Q. Any advice to anyone just getting into illustration and drawing on how to develop their own personal style?
It definitely helps to be interested in learning about other artists and their process, taking that information and trying to turn it into what works for you. I make things with the knowledge that I know I can do better; if there is something that I like, but I know I can make better, I will draw it over and over until it changes into something I am satisfied with. I have no issue with being repetitive. I feel like repetition is one of the means for developing a style and once you have figured out your technique, everything falls into place.

You can find more of The Disaster Life on Jessica's websiteblog and in her etsy shop. Check out Fuck Yeah! Women Artists for more highlights of her artwork + the work of other talented women artists.


  1. Yay I love Jessica! I enjoyed this interview, especially regarding her influences. Interesting!

  2. thanks eline <3 and thank you, carly and tricia for featuring me!


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