Jessica Krantz is an illustrator and writer, from the Pacific Northwest, who creates works with a charming hand-drawn quality; full of painterly textures, pencil shadings and restricted colour palettes. Her artwork is deeply inspired by the subconscious-dreamlike states of being. She often describes her work as having profundity, that invites open interpretation.
“It’s my belief, that everyone comes to art from their own life experiences and what speaks to each individual can be completely different and completely true for each simultaneously. With art, we grapple together with life’s most vital issues. We grapple with what the piece of art we are experiencing means and, at the same time and often without even noticing it, we grapple with what our own piece of art, our life, means. When we dig deeply like that, (which art invites us to do, implores us to do), we return to the very attributes that make us human and inextricably link us at the seams.
Novelist, Franz Kafka said, “A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.” The same, I believe, can be said of art.”
Jessica’s passion for creation was an overwhelming obsession from a young age. A self- taught artist, Jessica spent her formative youth, exploring pen, pencil and mixed mediums on her grandmother’s kitchen table. In 2010, while living in Cabo Mexico, Jessica being an apprenticeship with painter Francisco Nava and the two began touring and showing at local art festivals. It was during this time that Jessica’s profound love for Dia de Los Muertos (day of the dead) Illustrations began to take hold.
“I started out painting and illustrating skulls as a cultural curiosity. The more Francisco told me about Dia de Los Muertos, the more I painted it. Eventually, I had upwards of 20 paintings just laying around the studio. Francisco noticed and one afternoon sold several of them while I was away running errands. When I came back I was pretty shocked. Not because he sold them (although that was quite shocking), but because someone actually wanted them. It was a very powerful and meaningful moment for me. It was the start of my creative fuel.”
Now fast forward to 2017 and Jessica has a bit more obsessed with illustrations, detail and thought provoking creative spaces.
“I have always loved illustrations and over the years, I have begun challenging myself to add more detail, be more creative and turn ordinary things into little works of art. Black ink and watercolour are my new go two mediums. They’re always reliable and help to leave the design to do all the talking. Nowadays, I spend my time creating these little characters. Sometimes they’re playful, sometimes they’re dark, sometimes they’re nerdy, sometimes they’re intriguing but they always aim to delight and invite open interpretation.”