Lucy Goldsmith, Arts Editor, interviews budding third year Illustration student Jessica Meyrick about her work, her aspirations and her inspirations
Firstly, how are you enjoying being a Falmouth student?
I love it! It’s a privilege to be here. Both Falmouth Campus and Falmouth itself are beautiful, and the pace here is a lot slower and calmer than being in a city.
As you’re incredibly unique in that you got married in your second year, how are you juggling that dynamic with student life?
It’s interesting! Often married life and student life feel worlds apart because the responsibilities are completely different. Time feels really precious. I find it really helpful that my husband Luke is creative as well, and studied Graphic Design at Falmouth. We both encourage each other’s creativity, and we can support each other whether our day has been completely manic or not.
What mediums do you work with? And how would you describe your themes and subject matter?
I’ve discovered inks and brush pens in the last year – which I love! After that I started experimenting with watercolours to maintain a ‘fluid’ feel. A lot of personal illustrations began with my favourite things – our many houseplants, my all time love of coffee, but I also love creating characters and illustrations that have a story behind them. It’s also important to me to try and explore deep issues, and concentrate on illustrating the meaning so others can relate to it.
Does it come easy to you? Are there things you do while you work that help fuel your creative process?
Often its hard – sometimes I can feel like I’m on a creative streak, or I’m just not inspired at all. When that happens I find it’s important not to stop drawing. I spend a lot of time researching other illustrators I admire to look at what they’re doing too. I also spend spare time reading, which really fuels my imagination.
Who is it that you would say inspires you?
I’m really inspired by female illustrators such as Monica Ramos, Tallulah Fontaine, Eleni Kalorkoti and Lizzy Stewart –to name a few. I really admire the way they work, their use of colour and the themes they choose to illustrate.
It may sound lame but definitely my husband as well! Seeing projects he’s working on that go out into everyday life, and how much they affect people is inspiring. I love knowing one day my work will be ‘out there’ – and it will make a difference to people.
What are the biggest challenges you face in creating and in the art world?
Initially I shy away from anything that feels competitive – I don’t enjoy the pressure or the thought of trying to beat other people. But unfortunately, the art world can be competitive. It’s a challenge and I’m still not sure how to handle it the best way; but I just try to focus on what I’m doing and keep that separate from what others are doing.
What are you creating now that is giving you joy? Is it a big change from your original artistic direction do you think?
It does feel different, often projects such as editorials or book covers felt intimidating – but now I love them! Right now I’m actually enjoying all my projects, but I am trying a lot of things that used to really scare me even up to the end of second year.
What do you want your work to do? What fuels your desire to create?
The thought of other people looking at my work and being inspired by it the same way illustration always inspires me is the main reason I love to create. It’s amazing being able to depict stories, emotions; often communicating to other people without using any words at all. You can reach so many people that way.
What are your aspirations after you graduate next year?
I think my main aspiration is to be prepared for whatever’s going to come next! Hopefully it will be a career in illustration, but beyond that I have no idea.
To see more of Jessica’s work, find her on Instagram @jessamymeyrick