Last year, Jessica Meyrick graduated from Falmouth University in the UK with a degree in Illustration BA (Hons). Then, she packed up her watercolours and inks and set sail for Sydney. Jessica has managed to make a successful career from her passion by creating illustrations for brands, magazines and websites.
“It does take time, but you just have to keep going”
Hi Jessica. I love your colour palettes! Do you play around with colour combos before you get started on a piece, or do they evolve once you begin a piece?
Usually I have a vague idea of what colours I would like to use. I prefer using limited colour palettes so I tend to plan the illustration beforehand, considering how the colours will affect the mood of the artwork.
I feel like fashion is also a big factor in your work. Do the outfits you draw reflect your personal style?
Interesting question – yes! Initially I would say I wear too much black to reflect much of my style in my work, but a lot of the things I value are there. I love good socks, which have become something I sneak into my work. Mostly I’m inspired by glimpses of what people are wearing in the streets, or exploring how fashion interacts with environments within illustration.
What is your take on Sydney’s local art scene?
It’s totally unique from the art scene in the UK, which I think is how it should be. I love the diversity and freshness of what is happening in Sydney.
Do you work in a studio? And how do you plan out your days as a freelance artist?
I tend to work from home, surrounded by houseplants. I have to keep my days as structured as possible, otherwise it’s too easy for me to be unproductive. I email A LOT, and when I’m not working on a commission I try to explore new ideas and ways of working.
What’s something you wish someone in your field of work let you know about when you first got started?
Luckily, I have an amazing group of creative friends back in the UK who gave me a lot of advice and support. So much of what they said has made a huge impact on how I started out going freelance. It does take time, but you just have to keep going. Your emotional and mental health is extremely important – be kind to yourself. Spend time around whatever inspires you, surround yourself with other creative people and learn about how you work best.