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ARTIST EXPOSE: Jessie Somers
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
When I’m not in my studio, I work fulltime at an outdoor childcare center in Port Coquitlam. I have always enjoyed teaching children and have worked at the Mission Art Gallery leading watercolor classes and day camps. I find it refreshing working with young minds, full of creativity and unafraid to make mistakes. I’m inspired daily by both my work outdoors and the time spent with growing minds.
I also worked at Opus Art Supplies in Coquitlam for several years where I learned so much about different mediums and connected with so many local artists, all in different stages of their art practice.
Art is the truest form of self expression. Be it painting, dance or music, all forms of art are important and nurture the soul.
What’s integral to the work of an artist?
For myself, art making is as much about the process as it is about the product. We tend to get caught up in the finished piece, when for me, being in the moment with my materials is the most enriching experience.
What are your favorite mediums to work with?
Watercolour has always been my first love. While working at Opus I discovered Alcohol Inks and Art Resin, which I use regularly on wood panel. Framing watercolour, especially larger pieces, can be an expensive challenge. By learning to apply art resin, I find it eliminates the need for a frame while offering UV protection and an immediacy that you don’t get when a piece is behind glass.
I also greatly enjoy drawing, using traditional materials like graphite, ink and toned paper.
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
Not lonely, so much as it is challenging. It’s hard not to compare yourself, your work and your progress to others. What’s important is to step back, document everything you create and revisit what you’ve done. Celebrate your successes and ask for feedback. Keep an art journal and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Most importantly have fun!
Bumble, Coastal, Tundra, Bloom
Professionally, what’s your goal?
I would love to get to a place where I can support myself 100% with my art, and that day may come and it may not. For now I pride myself on making connections with other artists in my community, doing artist demonstrations at Opus and showing my work in galleries all over the lower mainland. I aim for one solo show a year, and have my work available for purchase at Arts Off Main in Vancouver as well as through The Art Hive. Supporting one another is key to growth and enrichment. I have a solo show coming up in November 2021 at The Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre Gallery.
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