[This is part of the Serendipity Series. Have you seen the other posts yet?]
Meet Jessica Brennan. I first came across Jessica at her new online store on MadeIt . Jessica is a freelance Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Artist.
What got you started and what keeps you inspired?
I think I’ve always loved mark making as a way of expression and have drawn or created things since I was little. So it has always felt natural to me, and I instinctively knew early on that I wanted to pursue a career in some kind of creative field.
I chose to study visual communication (graphic design) as I have always found my work commercially valid. I think that even as an artist I have strong graphic design sensibilities and influences that bleed into my work, and so this was something that I wanted to further explore.
I am also inspired constantly to simply create things. Sometimes it could be as simple as a new paintbrush or a blank spot on the wall. I think I feed off creating images and seeing them to what I feel is completion. I love the process and it always feels like I am solving some kind of problem.
I noticed that there is some continuity of colour and pattern amongst your pieces. What do you look for when selecting materials to work with?
I previously practiced as a more traditional artist or illustrator whilst I was learning. I was obsessed with more traditional stylings of famous artists sketch works throughout history and often worked with only pencil or black ink. More recently though I have been adopting mixed media and more colours into my work, this is something I am experimenting with now. I’m really loosening my style up a bit and would like to continue working with bright materials, and as such this is something I look out for when sourcing materials to work with. My favourite tools at the moment are ink and watercolour, as I love the richness in colour, spontaneity and flexibility they both have.
I hope to be able to expand my range from art prints to a lifestyle range. I would love to work with interior designers and curators to bring high quality original pieces into a practical space where they can be enjoyed and form part of a home. I would also like to explore placing my work further into fashion, something which I have begun experimenting with in my own line called ‘Tee Pee.’
What challenges have you faced starting your online store, and what are some things you love about it?
Starting an online store or a freelance business in general is always challenging for an individual when relying purely on self-investment. However I have also found it to be the most rewarding experience as I value having control over my original work as well as the flexibility to experiment with my ideas. I have enjoyed developing as an individual and artist throughout this process as well as being able to make new connections first hand with other like-minded businesses and creatives.
What advice would you give to someone considering setting up their own handmade store online?
I think as with anything, you need to love what you do. It is also important to invest not necessarily funds but thought and effort into whatever you are creating. Research is key, and a really important part of positioning and marketing yourself most effectively. For instance, evaluation of the market, your products and how you will most effectively reach you target audience is vital at any business stage. Networking is also important, not only for developing as a business and individual, but it also making your journey as a freelance designer more fun!
I greatly admire Jessica’s artistic talent. I think she has huge potential for future success with her creative endeavours. You can see more of Jessica Brennan at the links below: