Today we are SO excited to feature one of our favorite artists right now, Jessica Rae Sommer. We first caught glance of her fashion illustrations over Instagram & immediately fell in love. We decided to interview her to get inside her world and get a glimpse of her creative process. We were inspired to say the least & extra stoked to get an illustration of our own!
Jessica was born in a little town called Graeagle, near Lake Tahoe, California. She spent most of her childhood there with her older two sisters. Even in those non techy days, what technology there was, they were limited to. Her family didn’t believe in video games, entertainment tv (unless it was educational), or candy (her dad was a dentist). They were also taught school at home during their early years. She says, "What could have been a tragically boring childhood forced us to get creative." They spent their days dressing up in their mom’s old silk scarves. They were gypsies, indians, artists, actors, jewelers- they were a million things. Jessica says, "looking back, it really shaped who I am. And I kind of like that."
When was the first time you realized you loved art Jessica?
"It’s hard to say! I feel like I grew up with a crayon in my little fat hand. I was constantly drawing and creating since I was a kid. But I don’t think it was until much later that I realized how much it meant to me. In my first few years as an adult, I went through some really hard struggles. We all do. But I realized, for me, that when life was too full and I was brimming with emotion, pain, whatever- art could be an outlet. I could pour my soul into it when there was nowhere else to spill it out. I love to create beautiful things- emotional things. When I paint or draw it is a release- it can feel like mourning, but it can also feel like love."
What do you find most inspiring when creating your pieces?
"Emotion, fashion, editorial photography, interior design- I can’t get enough."
Tell us more about your process of creating?
"Wether it is for my interior design projects, fashion illustration, or paintings, I always need a jumping of point of inspiration. It can be an image, a group of colors and materials, something I see or feel. Whenever I am inspired I try to jot things down. There is always a moment of confusion on which path to take at the beginning, but the more I explore my ideas the clearer my direction becomes. Everything falls into a sort of flow."
What does a typical day in the life of Jessica Rae Sommer look like?
"Yikes. Well right now, as a full time interior designer in a luxury hotel design company AND nearly fulltime artist/illustrator- my days are busy. 4:45 am I am up and gulping down coffee. I have an hour or so of work on sketching, illustration, or any of my ‘art’ work before I hit the gym for an hour, or go for a run. It helps me be calm throughout the day. Then I work at my design firm for the next 9-10 hours, designing hotels, restaurants, homes- what have you. I have a few really fun projects right now (I recently went to Beijing for one of them- so inspiring!). Then it’s home with some food to settle into usually….. more work- painting- emailing-sketching. I usually zone out for an hour and then start again. Oh I have an amazing roommate and she keeps me sane while I run my life a million miles an hour."
And a few fun ones...
J: Rarely- but if I do it’s oatmeal
Tea or coffee?
J: Both- and lots of them!
J: Dark chocolate and frozen yogurt. I eat way to much.
J: I have so many but one of my favorites to work to is The XX
My favorite outfit is?
J: Hands down- skinny black jeans, edgy boots, loose t-shirt, and black leather embellished jacket with lots of hardware. I like hardware on my cloths- preferably gold.
My favorite accessory is?
J: I have so many! You won’t catch me a day without a few statement gold chains around my neck. There is always a slight jingle in my step.
What was your process when creating your fashion illustration for Thread & Stone?
"Ahhhh! I was so inspired by the delicate and strong beauty in your stone and metal pieces, I wanted to capture that! The photos from your fall release were so beautiful, and I thought that the image I chose showed that emotion in her expression, her body language. When I am really inspired, a sketch usually comes easily. It is about layering color and using expressive lines and colors. I was so happy with how it turned out!"
Be inspired by Jessica Rae Sommer's site here!