We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Roux and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Becoming an artist wasn’t a conscious decision, as my creativity has been the driving force in my life since I was a child. I spent a lot of my childhood outside, drawing and painting the natural world, writing stories, and exploring in my own backyard. When it came time to apply to colleges and pick a major, I actually briefly studied journalism first. Writing has always been a passion of mine (and it still is – I write and illustrate books), but I found myself painting during my free time, sketching when I should have been taking notes, and finding everything but the journalism classes I was taking to be inspiring. I ended up transferring to study illustration at another university. When I was younger I don’t think I understood that illustration could be a job, so writing seemed more practical. But, now I know it’s the only job I would be happy having.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My distinctive, old world style sets my artwork apart. I’m inspired by nature, history, mythology, and folklore, and these influences are clearly present in my work. I pack a lot of detail and texture into each illustration, combining traditional graphite drawing with digital painting with subdued colors. My work focuses on flora and fauna, with a dash of history and fantasy.
I started my illustration career with primarily editorial projects, then expanded to create my own line of stationery and products. Today, I primarily work on books with many incredible publishers, authors, and editors. It wasn’t an easy, direct line from creating illustrations for small, local magazines to writing and illustrating my own books. There were periods of time where I had no client work, but during those dry times I worked on creating new illustrations for my portfolio and shop to market directly to my audience. I’ve learned to trust myself and my ideas, and I’ve learned to follow what I like rather than what is trendy. That way, my work is always true to my own voice.
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?
My husband Nick deserves the biggest shout out. He’s always encouraged me in my career, been with me through the ups and downs, and helped out in more ways than I can count. We’ve spent countless nights meeting tight deadlines together, packed hundreds of shop orders together, he reads every draft of my books and gives incredible feedback, and he still takes every order to the post office before he goes to work in the morning.
Other: Shop: https://www.shopjessicaroux.com
Michelle Gevint took the photos of me, the rest are my artwork and my photographs.