“Time allows for anything to happen…”
Paul Zimmerman in conversation with Jessica Patterson
Paul Zimmerman: What is the main story you tell in your works?
Jessica Patterson: Currently I’ve kept the concepts to my lucid dreams and a fascination with how to construct these ideas into a reasonable piece. My work often depicts my everyday life and the emotions I experience on the regular. While the colors often lead to vibrant areas of my creative impulses, I think the subject matter is relevant to my state of mind this week, month, day, hour or whenever I choose to start working on another part of my story.
PZ: Your creativity is expressed in paintings, drawings, illustrations and graphic works. What does it depend on?
JP: The last few years I’ve experimented with trying different methods to keep the ideas going such as illustrations and graphic works because the format to work feels completely different for each. What works for my painting sessions often doesn’t work well when designing for illustrations, but techniques learned from those sessions are applied to whatever I’m working on at the time. Unfinished paintings often become a focus for an illustration layout and if nothing clicks during this process I will usually make notes for future references.
PZ: What is your artistic process? How do you create your works?
JP: My creative process has been consistent throughout my artistic journey with 2 simple steps: sketchbook/journal and quiet time to process my thoughts. I often find when I’m able to just sit or stand with just my thoughts, the amount of ideas comes into a realistic mindset. This realistic mindset is a manifestation of thoughts that come from words, color and objects. The sketchbook/journal is always necessary because the ideas come sometimes at the most unexpected times like when I’m driving or walking. This then leads to collecting these ideas on paper and conceptualizing these general thoughts as they first appear mentally. I never constrict this mental process and just allow whatever I can write/sketch out happen naturally.
PZ: Do you have any particular goal in mind when your start a new piece?
JP: The challenge always comes into view when completing one piece and immediately starting a new one. I’ve always managed to learn how to keep a consistent mood with the process and allow for the subject I decided on to lead to that next goal of clearer perspective less repetition. This goal for myself in my creative journey always restarts everything back to the basic composition of the newer piece and allows for the question of “what now?”
PZ: Where do you find inspiration for your paintings?
JP: Realistically my inspiration is reflective of my introspection of the world around me or even in front of me. Music lightly playing in the background gives me a necessary boost to keep my energy levels up for a 6–8-hour art session, any genre will help. Even playing an older film in the background inspires me to have different perspectives when working, a good sci-fi or animated film.
PZ: Has your practice changed over time?
JP: Yes, incredibly different over the years. I started painting when I was sixteen years old but have always considered myself an artistic person since I was a kid. I could spend hours without a break just glued to a piece of paper to create a newer sketch or even sit in one spot painting all day but now I’ve found my concentration and time divided so less focus happens on the regular. My practice still consists of conceptualizing an idea at least 3 to 4 times a week with sketching/journaling but now with technology I record the process more often.
PZ: Which artists are you most influenced by?
JP: I still have a fascination with modern art mostly the fine arts and have always studied the styles/techniques of what those artists explored creativity with. Vincent Van Gogh still is a top choice especially for his storytelling within his pieces. Leonardo Da Vinci for the amount of work but also someone that was noted to push beyond his limitations no matter the result. The list would be too long here honestly since I often am fascinated with what I studied about these artists but also about different eras in art history. Not only fine art/artists but also film and literature.
PZ: How do you see the role of art in our society?
JP: I think about this often considering how much art is a common part of my everyday activities. Art while still limited in certain areas of general conversation, I feel will continue to be a great educational exchange globally. Everyone should be allowed to be expressive and normally this is what, in my opinion, art allows. There is much to learn from the idea of creativity and
critical thinking when so much presented normally is generalized while having a generic perspective with one possible outcome. I think art in our society will only grow more as people continue to explore the changing landscapes due to our human connections. Time and growth always open up those once limited possibilities while art is often influential in future conversations of what inspires us.
PZ: What are you working on now?
JP: As always, I’m constantly working on newer pieces for the upcoming year as well as a project I’ll be announcing in the upcoming weeks on my site. 2023 will keep me busy with just newer content for vlogs related to my creative process, working on limited edition pieces coming soon and mostly more showcases in the near future nationally and globally.
PZ: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
JP: I’m an artist that paints with a vivid perspective of my often expanded ideas that are often inspired by my lucid dreams. I simply never allow any idea to not be emphasized without a quick sketch or completed drawing before realizing I should have just wrote that down first. I allow for multiple ideas to shape or form into what usually turns into a painting or illustration before realizing the newest challenge before me might take a while. I’m an artist that feels that time allows for anything to happen in the span you allow yourself to be creative without thinking too long about your next move.