1. Your name, location
Jess Racklyeft, Melbourne
2. Describe your family
Husband Matt (musican/teacher), Ivy (almost 3) and a couple of weeks off a new addition to the family (baby due early July)! And a dog-person, Winston.
3. Describe your work
A very diverse illustration career – I design cards, have started doing kids books recently, do client projects, portraits, write/edit for Illustrators Australia, occasional markets, and a lot of other random projects in between. After working in an office environment for almost ten years, and building my own illustration business over the past three – it is a dream come true right now being able to work for myself doing something I love.
4. What is your career goal?
My career goal and life goals are all combined… this means doing something I love (illustration), making a decent living, hopefully with a studio in the country (woohoo!), with time for good food, friends, family, exercise, wine and all those great things. I want to create amazing kids books primarily, but also love having lots of different projects on the go to keep learning and keep my brain sparked.
5. Describe your art background
My university studies were in mass communications, I’ve studied art direction (advertising), done short courses in oils/printmaking etc, and learnt a lot about the publishing industry after working for Lonely Planet and The Five Mile Press (in sales roles primarily!). I remember always wanting to do children’s books from age 11, but it has been a long road to get back onto that dream and over the past year I’ve finished my first 6 books – three board books and three picture books.
So basically, a very diverse and unstructured (non-arty sometimes) background, but all these experiences have definitely influenced my art making, and I continue to learn as much as I can.
6. What do you love about the Challenge?
It’s a super supportive environment, and has opened up some amazing opportunities for me. The pinnacle being my first picture book, that I am illustrating for Exisle Publishing, and beautifully written by Tania McCartney.
|Jess Racklyeft - week 22 Childhood|
7. Tell us something that we don’t know about you
My studio name “Jesses Mess” is embarrassingly reflective of the chaotic space I seem to create very quickly. I just had my beautiful mum spend two days helping me clean it out – but it is already sliding back to papery chaos within a week!
See more of Jess online:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JessesMessIllustrations
Instagram: Jesses Mess
*Photos by Penny Lane*