Studio visit: Artist and seamstress Jessica Doyle
Jessica Doyle is an artist who has journeyed far and wide geographically and artistically. Her story is inspiring, one of perseverance and redemption. She creates whimsical sometimes fantastic illustrations that tickle the imagination, full of colour and life. Her creativity seems unbounded and not limited by time or medium, she is the energizer bunny of art and craft.
I “met” Jessica online several years ago when I started reading her blog, and even then I was struck by her honesty and transparency. She shares about her struggles and victories from the heart, which is really refreshing. When I visited her a few weeks ago, she talked to me like a was a friend. As I got to know her, I could see how her creations come from a deep inner place, where emotion and experiences are translated into something colourful and tactile. Jessica’s creative work is how she expresses herself to the world.
She was always doing creative things growing up, so it was a natural transition for her when she enrolled at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in 1992 to study graphic design, illustration and surface design. From there her journey went from starting a business with a friend selling screenprinted cushions and bags to moving out West and going back to school to learn digital design and video editing. In between there was serious illness, severe loneliness, addiction, rehab (it's all on her blog)... through all the ups and downs there was her art.
Jessica has come full circle, back in Saint John and back to surface design. She and her partner Chris recently bought a full package deal of industrial sewing machinery, fabric and thread from a man who was going out of business. Jessica has been making bags and wallets on which to print her illustrations, which she sells online and at craft shows. They also recently got the contract to make 5,500 bags for the “Born to Read” program, where every baby born in New Brunswick gets a little red bag with some books in it. If you are a parent, you know what I’m talking about . I have three red bags, one for each of my children! Jessica has been sewing up a red storm to finish these bags by September on top of her own creative pursuits.
Living the creative life is challenging as a mama with two small girls, but Jessica is one hard worker who just keeps on going. I look forward to seeing what she does next. Also I want to buy all her stuff!
Thanks for the visit Jessica.
Find out more about Jessica's work: