Yet another trip to Shop Local made me curious about South Africa. I have no idea why; I just...was. I found Jesse and I'm glad I did. I love her fabric. I can only imagine how fantastic a garment with her fabric would be!!
Where were you born & raised?
Grahamstown, a tiny university town in the eastern part of South Africa. I went to school and university there; it's the kind of place everyone wants to leave as soon as possible, except I found it endlessly fascinating that my perceptions of a place, and my life in it, could change so much from year to year. I'd probably still be there if I thought that I could find work.
Where are you now & what led you there?
Now I live in Cape Town. I'm a free-lance illustrator, and need to be near publishers and magazines for work.
What types of creations do you sell in for your Etsy shop(s)?
In the one I sell block-printed cloth and ribbon, and soon I'll be listing ceramics decorated with transfers there too. In the other (jezzeprints.etsy.com), prints. At the moment all my prints are digital prints of drawings and pages from my graphic novel (called "I Don't Like Chocolate") but I'll be adding linocut prints once the exhibition they're on comes down.
What's your educational background, as it relates to your work?
I have a BFA in printmaking and my MFA was on drawing and comics, so it's a pretty direct relationship!
How'd you get started creating?
Everyone in my family has always made things. I'm busy frogging a cardigan that my grandmother knitted over 40 years ago, if that's any indication. All the women in my family own trunks and boxes and suitcases stuffed with cloth and buttons and braids and spare zips, and the family philosophy seems to be that you only buy things you can't make yourself. I didn't know until recently that it was possible to buy ready-made curtains, or even that anyone did... so creating has always just been part of how you live.
What's your muse, or what turns that little creative light inside you on?
Spare time! Actually, it's hard to say; making things also seems to make ideas, in a sort of vicious cycle. I'm always making the next thing in my head already, before I've finished the one I'm working on.
Do you belong to any Street Teams? If so, which ones and why? If not, why not?
I don't, and it's something I really should look into. For quite a while Skinny laMinx and I were the only two South African sellers on Etsy, and I think there was a sense of being 'outside' Etsy.
What's your favorite thing about selling on Etsy?
Knowing so many of the sellers through their blogs, and the huge variety of things available. And not having to factor in that 100% markup that shops add on, when I figure out my prices. And being able to stock my shop as and when I have time, between other work.
Recommend your five favorite shops on Etsy.
Give us three images of your favorite work:
1. 'Coffee', a page from my comic that I really enjoyed drawing
2. 'Proteas' blockprinted cloth
3. 'Red Stars' blockprinted cloth
Thanks so much! - Jesse
No thank you because your fabric is stunning.