It’s once again Friday and that means both Bijou & Boheme and Heirloom & Knot are ecstatic to share with you our latest instalment in our collaborative Art Fair Fridays series.
This week we had the pleasure of interviewing the talented Jessica Rowe from The Aestate, whose bohemian inspired watercolour prints are the perfect mix of edginess and glamour. Her self-described ‘fast and wet’ style of painting has defined her signature look, finding beauty in the mistakes and the unpredictable nature of watercolours.
Green Paddle Cactus
How long have you been in business for? I opened my etsy shop in 2011, and then my free-standing web store, shoptheaestate.com last year.
What is your background – What has lead you on this venture? I’ve been drawing since forever, then five years ago I started experimenting with watercolors, totally self-taught. I shared some of the first paintings I did on my interior design blog and I was really surprised at the response. So many people were contacting me asking to buy that I ended up opening an etsy shop and kept painting new pieces. It’s just taken off from there. Growing up, I watched my father start and run his own company, so I think that’s where I got my entrepreneurial spirit and head for business.
How would you describe your creative process? I never start anything anymore unless I can see the finished product in my head first. Everything begins with a sketch. Once the general image is laid out I’ll begin painting. Watercolors are notoriously unpredictable, but I use this to my advantage and make it a part of the process. The end result is never exactly how I pictured it, most of the time it’s actually better.
Where do you find your inspiration? It’s hard to say. Often something will just pop into my head, usually when I’m trying to fall asleep, so I keep a pen and pad on my nightstand for quick sketches. I devour hundreds of images a day between pinterest and tumblr, so maybe it’s a combination of things that struck me marinating in the back of my mind all day to become something new.
What is your favourite medium to work in? I’m still so in love with watercolor. The pigments are so beautiful and there’s something hypnotic about watching them spread and bleed over the paper. The way I paint with them, the end result can be unpredictable, but that just makes it even better.
Of all your pieces, which is your personal favourite and why? I tend to be really critical of everything I do, so its rare that I’ll actually be able to enjoy any of them, but when I finished the “Lola” lips piece, I was kind of in love. I think it’s the big scale (30 x 30″) and that particular shade of red that got me. I considered keeping it for a while, but eventually decided to let it go.
Which piece would you say is your best seller/most popular? Everyone loves the “Beverly” tropical leaf series. I can’t keep them in stock.
What advice would you give to an artist starting out? My advice to artists starting out to remember that there are people less talented than you who are successful. It’s often the talented people who doubt themselves the most, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and go for it.
What do you think sets your work apart from other designers? I’ve worked hard to cultivate a distinctive style. Most of that just comes naturally, but you always have to be mindful that what you’re creating will be recognizable as yours.
What would you say has been a career highlight for you? Seeing my originals in the Jonathan Adler Fall 2014 catalog was one of the coolest things that’s happened so far. He’s been one of my favorite designers since I was a student studying interior design in college, so that was definitely a “pinch me” moment. It still trips me out if I stop to really think about it.
No. 1 Whats Inside You By Eleonora Carish – S/S Collection – Price Upon Request
No. 2 House Of Harlow 1960 – Classic Station Necklace in Resin – $75.00
No. 3 Holt Renfrew – Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish – $20
No. 4 Heirloom & Knot – Bungalow Rose Fabric & Wallpaper – Price Upon Request
No. 5 Black Rooster Décor – Gold Faceted Table Lamp – $912.00
No. 6 CB2 – Weave Embroidery 16″ Pillow – $39.95
No. 7 Drake General Store – Golden Cactus Mug – $15.00
No. 8 Sophia Webster – Rousseau Jungle Printed Satin & Leather Sandals – $544.03
No. 9 West Elm – Flaneur’s Pocket Geometric Wooden Planters – $50.00
No. 10 IMM Living – Desert Oasis Cactus Pencil Case By Miji Lee – Price Upon Request
I’ve been a fan of Jessica’s since I started blogging way back when.
Her watercolours and prints always add the perfect hit of edgy regency glamour to a space…they’re references are most definitely feminine but with a butchy undertone that I love and adore.
Also Ms. Rowe is the loveliest, most supportive person ever so it’s amazingly awesome to see her work now featured in places like Vogue Living and Jonathan Adler…I’m proud as punch of this rising star.
As always, here’s my top 5 most coveted from her beautious collection of art pretties…
Also this one….
…as inspired by this quote “Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave,” by Constantin Brancusi…love, love, love. My brain’s morphing to the idea of that as a tattoo along the bone of my lower arm. Anyhoo…I digress…for now I want that print.