Q – Could you introduce yourself briefly to the readers?
I’m Oldtown based and work mainly in acrylic, oils, ink and pencil. I also enjoy photography and use photographic images in my work. My style concentrates on line and is generally loose and sketchy.
|Self-Portrait by Jessica Harding|
Q - How did you become interested in art?
I don’t really remember a specific point where I became interested in art, I loved to paint and draw as a toddler, I’d go through masses of scrap paper in a single day! I suppose art for me is a compulsion, even when I’m not working on something, I’m thinking about what I’d like to do next.
Q - What inspires you most as an artist?
I tend to be drawn to anything that appears imperfect or disjointed in some way, it’s the little details that fascinate me - whenever I go for a walk it’s often the nooks and crannies and overgrown weeds that I find most inspirational(!) - things that appear somehow to have taken on a life of their own.
Q - What is your favourite medium or media? Why?
Although I like to use pencil, acrylic and oils I think if I had to pic a favourite it would be a simple ink pen - no way to erase, just keep going, in the moment and see what happens(!). I like the appearance of bare line, where the skeleton of the work is still visible.
Q - Could you tell us some more about your work?
As well as creating portraits I am also interested in 'doodles', I often think of them as links to the unconscious mind. I like to use a ‘sketchy’ style when I work, I feel it allows me to be more free. I often work from photographs that I have taken.
Q - How would you define your style?
Scribbly, messy and a little anxious!
Q - What are your influences; artists from the past or present who inspire you?
I’m drawn to artists that use a lot of visible line in their work such as Egon Schiele - his subjects appear imperfect, sometimes even grotesque and yet they are all the more beautiful for it. I’m fascinated by the under drawings of the great masters, where the energy and thought processes are still very visible, it’s like a narrative for their creation.
Q - How do you choose the subjects of your works?
I don’t really have a system for choosing subjects, if I see something I like I then think about how I might go about recreating and reinterpreting it.
Q- How do you prepare yourself for an exhibition or a show like the Open Studios?
I like to be aware of deadlines etc but also try not to be intimidated by them, I tend to continue to work on pieces as usual and then make a selection.
Q - Are there territories (media, subjects, etc.) you want to explore in the coming years?
I made a few videos when I was studying at university (one of which involved crushing fake snails!) and it’s something I would like to experiment with again, there are certain concepts I’ve struggled with in the past that I think could be better executed as a videos piece.
Q - As an artist, what would be your dream?
To be able to sustain myself completely from my work, always creating and always moving forward - I think being able to do what you really love is an ideal for most people.
Q - Could you share one thing that you have learnt in your own art practice that would be useful to other artists?
Never wait to be inspired or for that ‘right’ moment - I think it’s possible to waste a lifetime this way, sometimes you just have to force yourself to do something, just keep on creating - it doesn’t matter if you don’t like the outcome, the process is still important.