We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Logan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
An affirmation that I live by is “Trust the Process”. It is so easily said, but often hard to do. There have been times when I’m working on a painting and the piece is just not looking good. I get frustrated then start to doubt myself and my abilities. Sometimes, I have to step away from the piece and remind myself to “trust the process”. That reminder encourages me to have patience in what I am doing. Whether it is creating a painting or building a career one must have patience and trust in oneself.
In a world where instant gratification is handed out daily, it is easy to forget that growth and success take time, patience, and persistence. This affirmation is one of my favorites because it’s basically saying that when the journey gets rough and rocky it is important not to give up on yourself.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I always knew I wanted to be an artist. As a child I would sketch images that reflected the emotion I felt at that moment. I would spend hours creating illustrations for my zines and comic book stripes for my imaginary publication. Around the holidays, I would create cards and paint pictures to gift them to my friends and family. I loved experiencing the positive impact my art made on others.
The journey towards becoming a professional artist/creative has not been without some difficulty, pain, and tears. Truthfully, there have been many times I wanted to give up but I always knew I was created to create. It took some time, patience, and a lot of soul-searching to find my unique voice as well as find the courage to use it.
I am educated in both fashion design and animal science. Two fields of study that are seemingly opposing but both have contributed to the artist I am today. My fashion degree helped me expand my creativity beyond the pencil and paper and into fabrication and construction. My animal science degree helped me develop my empathy for other beings and my desire to heal. My art is a reflection of who I am, my journey, and my community. As I evolve, so does my art. While paint is my main medium, I also like to incorporate fabrics. sand, ceramics, etc to provide depth and dimension to my work.
My current body of work represents the beauty and courage that exists within the black community despite the pain and suffering endured by historical and current events. As an artist, I feel a responsibility for the images I share with the world, therefore I am mindful of the message I chose to send through my work. As a black artist, it is my duty to honor my community. Art has always been an outlet for me. I address the world in which I exist in through the pieces I create. My hope is that my work can be visually therapeutic for others.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Of course, if you’re hanging with me we’re going to go see some art! The Richard Beavers Gallery in Soho is my go-to gallery to visit. They are one of the few black-owned galleries in the city with their curated art highlighting issues within the black community.
Another one of my favorite art spots is the Storm King Art Center. It is about a two-hour drive north of the city and is the perfect blend of my two favorite things: art and nature. This place has acres upon acres of art installations making it easy to spend the whole day there.
After a day of gallery hopping, I would head uptown for my favorite Italian spot, Bar 314. They have THE BEST pasta and brick-oven pizza in Harlem!
For the nighttime vibe, I would journey further uptown to The Honey Well. I love this place because as soon as you walk in you are transported to the 1970s. The atmosphere is very laid back and intimate. They also serve up delicious cocktails.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would be nothing without my tribe of warriors!
I proudly stand on the strong shoulders of my parents who have always nurtured my creative spirit by encouraging me to explore all creative outlets as a child. They deserve a major shoutout because whether I wanted to take ballet lessons or sign up for quilting summer camp they always were to support. My parents are the reason why art is so fundamental in my life.
My friends are my biggest cheerleaders! When I moved to New York City to pursue creative endeavors, I was so blessed to form a bond with such a solid, supportive, and spiritual circle of friends. A few of them deserve a special shout-out: fashion designer Fanayè Negussie; artist and fashion designer Cecil Dove; and singer-songwriter Carl Ray. These three, in particular, have been a beacon of sunshine on some of the coldest and darkest days of my journey.
IMG_9526 2 (headshot)- photographed by Josh Sells