After Hours 11.10.21
Discussion 6: Finding Fun in the Process
with Jamie Jones
Thank you for joining us for our latest edition of After Hours at Thread Spun, a series that aims to reflect our values of education, expression, and empowerment. We believe firmly in the nexus between people and their individual creations and expressions and their wider communities. After Hours exists to share the ideas of local southern California makers, creatives, and academics, and hopes to foster connection and spark discussion and creativity. If you like what you read and haven't had a chance, make sure to check out earlier editions on our blog. Read on for our interview with local Leucadia artist, Jamie Jones.
If you are local to Encinitas and North County San Diego, you may already recognize Jamie's work. Her illustrations grace several children's books and we also carry her colorful greeting cards in our shop in Leucadia. Keep an eye out for the latest @leucadia101mainstreet 's Small Business Saturday 2021 Limited Edition Poster, designed by Jamie! We sat down with Jamie this week to chat about creative work-life balance and quarantine hobbies that kept the last few years fun.
Did you go to school for art or are you self taught?
I went to Academy of Art University in San Francisco where I got a BFA in Illustration. I follow quite a few illustrators who are self taught, but for me, school was where I learned the process that works best for me. It's where I learned how to combine my love for traditional art with digital art, which is what I now mostly work in. It was great to be able to play with all different mediums from charcoal to ink to traditional paints and later on to photoshop. Eventually, I learned what mediums I liked best and how to combine them.
Where do you find inspiration?
I'm really inspired by different kinds of folk art as well as the art of Mary Blair and Eyvind Earle. I'm definitely a Disney kid, and I've always loved the art from the classic Disney animated films, particularly Sleeping Beauty. I also really love getting the opportunity to explore different worlds and learn about different cultures for illustrating new stories and projects. I'm always inspired by people and places.
How would you describe your style of illustration?
I'd describe it as whimsical and playful. I really like to play with shapes and colors as well as textures!
What are other hobbies you like to do when you aren't creating?
I have a lot of random hobbies but one that I've been doing the longest is playing piano, and one that I just picked up this year is roller skating! After sitting and creating or staring at a screen for hours on end, it feels so good to get outside and move around. During the lockdown in 2020, I got back into surfing, and I'm so thankful to live close enough to the ocean here in Encinitas to be able to do that. Lately though, I've found that roller skating is an easier activity for me to practice consistently. I bought my first pair of roller skates in January of this year, and I totally fell in love with it. It's become therapeutic, and it's also inspired me creatively, so it's a win win.
Jamie wears the Recycled Cotton Puff Sleeve Sweater by Back Beat Co
If you could travel anywhere in the world for a week, where would you go?
That’s so hard to pick! Costa Rica sounds beautiful and really interesting, though. I’d love to learn more about all the different types of wildlife that live there and experience their jungles and ocean. It seems like a place full of bright colors and inspiration.
How about a month?
Maybe this is a little ambitious for just one month, but it would be amazing to do a giant trip through Europe. I’d love to travel through the UK and see Ireland and Scotland in Autumn. It’s also a huge dream of mine to visit Switzerland and see the alps. These are all places where I imagine I’d find a lot of inspiration, and one of the things I love most about traveling is learning about the history and stories that took place there.
Do you have any time-management tips or advice from your experience working multiple jobs, including your freelance illustration-work?
I make a lot of lists! Even if I end up losing them or not sticking to them, I’d like to think that it helps to just write things down.
Do you ever feel pressured or rushed? How do you handle that? What do you find has helped you the most?
Oh, definitely. One thing I’m working on in regards to that is just practicing being present with wherever I’m at or whatever I’m working on. My anxious brain always wants to go to the next thing I “have” to do, but I end up working more efficiently when I’m completely focused on whatever it is that’s in front of me, and THEN moving on to the next thing on my list.
How do you process an artist-block?
It’s good to step away sometimes and go outside, move around, skate, maybe run an errand or two. Sometimes it even helps me to turn a show or a movie on and just relax. I think artist-blocks happen when we’re so overwhelmed by the urgency to create or finish a project, that we lose the ideas that would otherwise naturally come to us. Worrying about the outcome too much can take away from the beauty of the process.
Any words of inspiration for the artist inside of us?
Keep on doing the thing that brings you joy, whatever art form that may be. Whether you’re someone with a creative profession or not, make time to still do the thing you love, and enjoy the process of doing it. Focusing on the process rather than the outcome changes everything entirely. For me, it’s what separates personal work from the rest of my art. Sometimes the best things can come from it, too! You just never know, and that’s half the fun.
Shop Jamie's looks and all of our ethically-produced clothing HERE