This lovely lady is Jessica Gill. When not illustrating, she likes people-watching, floral patterns, blueberries, music, laughing, running, tea rooms, family occasions, layering clothes, US teen dramas, list-making…the list is endless.
‘I have a real fascination with language,’ Jessica says, ‘particularly our own mother tongue. I think it’s perhaps the most amazing thing that ever happened to us human beings.’ This interest in language has resulted in uncanny knack for impersonation, and she has ‘an arsenal of regional UK and continental accents in my voice box!’
Tell us a bit about yourself…
Presently, I’d describe myself as a budding (fairly young) creative, specialising in fashion, lifestyle and decorative illustration and design. I’m based in the heart of England, where I work from my humble desk, romanticising, observing and making marks, endeavouring to spread a little visual joy.
Academically, I’m a certified BA (Hons), attaining a first class degree in Visual Communication (Illustration) courtesy of BCU. Truthfully though, it’s the time spent since graduating; exploring, experimenting and developing my style, where I’ve truly been able to refine and tailor what I’m about. Realistically, I still have a way to go but I’m always seeking new opportunities and exciting challenges that will push me, even scare me a little, to expand on my creative learning curve.
What are your inspirations?
What’s your favourite piece of work you produced?
I wouldn’t say I have a favourite piece par se. I guess there is always a certain degree of sentimental attachment to anything you’ve spent spent time over, juxtaposed with the feeling ‘it could be better’, via the fact I’m completely indecisive. I would, however, say there are a certain pieces/projects I’m proud of maybe, on a more personal level. Recently, I was fortunate enough to be commissioned by Ferment, who attentively combine creative writers with illustrators, to create a harmonious literal and visual zine. I saw the opportunity as a challenge, mainly because I hadn’t attempted any text interpretation since uni, and convinced my skills were a little rusty. As it happened I really enjoyed the process and without wanting to sound too pretentious, pleased with the final outcome. ‘Outdoor Swimming’ represents a time when I need a little confidence boost..although literally it portrays a person fantasising about swimming naked with their loved one, with lots of wistful and emotive discourse thrown in for good poetic measure.
Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?
I am a little besotted with Tim Walker. Technically he’s a fashion photographer, but his work is so beautifully conceived, composed and executed, it becomes evocative of something illustrative. It’s hugely theatrical and playful, yet the idyllic dreamy visions seems almost tangible, like memories from your childhood. It’s all very charming. I can’t help but smile and feel a little hopeful when I see one of his photos.
There are so many other creatives whom I admire though, and innately stumbling across new loves all the time. In terms of illustration, I recently discovered Katie Daisy, who hand paints rather delightful lettering/decorative based pieces. I’m also a huge fan of Deanne Cheuk, David Downton, Marguerite Sauvage and Stephane Manel to name a few.
All images © Jessica Gill. To view the images in clearer detail, click on them.