A couple of years ago, I stumbled on Melbourne Artist, Jessie Breakwell’s Instagram feed (via the equally FAB Zoë Foster Blake..) and have LOVED her continuous talent ever since. I adore EVERY piece of artwork Jessie shares and really hope to have one of my own one day to proudly display, but for now, I am just honoured to have had the opportunity to ask Jessie about her talent and what inspires her. Jessie is one seriously cool woman, I challenge you not to swoon over her fabulous self and her art…
Leigh: How would you describe your artwork style?
Jessie Breakwell: Quirky, upbeat, kooky, crazy, whimsical, fun, intricate, balanced, packed with personality, enticing and a colour-fest! And at times peaceful.
LV: How long do you spend on each creation?
JB: It really varies, sometimes three months, sometimes six or more. I have to love my work 200% before I send it to hang forever in someone else’s home. Often the creativity just flows and other times I need to leave the studio and feel inspired by the environment and people around me. It’s not like a 9-5 job, which is great, but also means I am technically always working!
LV: Personally I am IN LOVE with ‘Elsie’ & ‘Lottie’ in the Elephants range! Zebras and Elephants in styles only fit for a ‘street parade’ feature often, is this by choice or what just pops out of your creative genius mind?
JB: Elephants and Zebras are such elegant and beautiful creatures. Elephants are so regal and remind me of my travels to India and Africa. I love that they can adopt such individual personalities – its all in the eyes!
LV: Having lost my own Mother, as you sadly have also, and reading that your mother influenced you in many ways, can you tell us how influential she was to making you the woman you are today?
JB: My mother encouraged me from a very early age, she was always the creative in our family home and I think in a way I really wanted to be like her. She always said that there was never a right or wrong way to do something and that it is important to try; which is a lesson I like to think I pass on to my own daughter.
Mum was a designer at ‘Georges‘ (an iconic Melbourne Department store, no longer trading). I used to love all the intricate beading and detail she would put into her hats and accessories. She was creative but also very, very entrepreneurial, which often does not come hand in hand! Artists often have one or the other. Fortunately mum and I have both.
She had 100% faith in me that I was going to follow my passion with success and enjoyment… Lucky me.
Jessie and her daughter Olive
LV: Your paintings are a colour explosion and you surround yourself in vibrancy, why is colour so important to you?
JB: Colour for me is like a puzzle. I love figuring out how colours and patterns tie in together. I feel I see a lot more in colours than your average person; the effect they have on my mood or in fact my mood on the colours I choose to wear or paint with each day.
LV: Are you living your dream? What advice do you have for other women who look up to you?
JB: I am extremely fortunate and truly thankful everyday that I have been given a talent than enables me to do what I want to do when I want to do it. To have the freedom to dedicate a lot of time to my daughter, friends and family as well as pursue my travel aspirations. Every job has it’s challenges, I’ve learnt to get over them quickly.
LV: Who inspires you and why?
JB: Obviously my mother believed in me and taught me to follow my own dreams. But also individual people, who are innately good humans. And of course not forgetting my little Olive, who is growing up as a lively, amazing little spirit.