When we were putting together Makers Collective we realised we had a lot of blank walls that needed to be filled- we knew we wanted some beautiful Art to compliment our furniture so we took to Instagram in search of a Melbourne based artist. It was there that we found the beautiful art of Gisborne-based Jessie Rigby; after snooping around her website I was intrigued to discover that both Jessie and I had followed quite similar paths career-wise…. We had both graduated from Fashion at RMIT, we had both gone on to work in similar roles in the industry before finding we were no longer being fulfilled creatively in what is considered a creative industry… I was so excited to spend an afternoon with her at her Gisborne home and studio and find out a bit of what goes into her art.
When did you first develop an interest in painting?
I’ve always had a love of Art and Design and after pursuing a career in Fashion, painting was a hobby that I would sometimes dabble in. To be honest, since the introduction of various media platforms such as Pintrest and Instagram, logging on and getting swept up in what seemed like hours of perusing, it was like a constant reminder that other people were out there painting, drawing, creating and it inspired me to put down the iphone or ipad and do the same.
When did you realise your passion could become your profession?
It was about 2 years ago when I didn’t feel I was getting enough creativity from my day job and felt I needed to change this. I invested in some beautiful watercolour gouache paints and started painting every night after dinner. I started painting bottles that I had around the house and then spoons to study the object of light and then was inspired by crystals. I had always dabbled in large scale canvases through school or whenever I had a spare weekend and felt inspired to get back into it. The problem was that we were in a tiny townhouse that couldn’t even fit a dining table but I shuffled some furniture and propped my brand new canvas up against the TV cabinet using it as an easel and off I went. That first piece sold that night to a beautiful family friend. After that I started an Instagram page and momentum started to build from there! It was toward the end of last year when I was trying to manage full time work and a 2 hour daily commute and then my painting at night when it all got a bit too much. The amazing Kara from Forman Framing was always saying to me, “You REALLY need to take this up full time you know”. It was the right time to take a leap of faith and with hard work, dedication and the most AMAZING and supportive husband and family I have followed my dream.
How big of a role does Instagram and social media play in the growth of your business?
Instagram and Social Media has played a huge roll in the growth of my business. It’s the foundation that I have built from the ground up! It’s very exciting to see where social media can take you however it’s very important to take a step back and limit how much of your day it consumes. it’s easy to get lost in what other people are doing and not focus on what you’re doing.
Where do your find inspiration?
I look out my living room window and am lucky enough to have the beautiful Macedon Ranges as a prospect. I’m also fascinated and inspired by cloud formations and the colours of the sunset and sunrise. Some nights the sky puts on quite a show for us! Having a background in Fashion and Design I have always loved working with palettes and developing harmonious variations of colour.
How would you describe your style and how has it evolved?
My style is definitely an abstract interpretation of mother nature. I want people to feel when they look at my work is calm, tranquil and happy. Like how you feel when you look at a mountainscape or a sunset or over a beautiful calm lake.
Talk us through your creative process? (concept to completion?)
Like most artists I suppose, it’s taken me a little while to grow into my self, to develop my style and my repertoire. I have many clients commission a version of my artwork that they have seen on social media but when I have a blank canvas, I really just start painting. I think that’s the beauty about abstract art, there is the rule of composition but other than that you’re free to go wherever your brush takes you. In regards to colour, I love using wall paint colour chips to map out a colour palette or if I’m drawn to any pages in magazines or books I my tear out the page or take a snap for inspiration.
What is next for you?
I feel so grateful to be a part of the incredible Australian Art community. I can’t believe the amazing love, support, and inspiration I have received from clients, stockists and other artists. It is truly remarkable. One of the goals I am setting myself is to have an exhibition toward the end of this year so stay tuned!
To find out more about Jessie’s art go to: http://jessierigby.com/