Jess Park is a watercolor artist who has been painting from a very young age. She took her first fine art class at age 11, and has painted casually over the years. Recently, Jess began her journey as a professional artist, creating custom original paintings for private collectors. She is also in the process of developing new painting and lettering workshops.
Jess also sells her artwork and tutorials in her Etsy shop, and has a substantial Instagram following. Her Instagram was initially created as a personal record of her creative accomplishments, and grew as people began to recognize her work. She says, “I’ve met some great friends through Instagram who encourage me to step outside of creating as a hobby, outside of my comfort zone, and take risks in getting my work out there as an artist. Without Instagram, I don’t think I would have had the courage to do that.”
Influenced by artists such as Degas and Picasso, and inspired by intricate details in nature, Jess once painted as a means of release. “I used to paint and draw at the low points in my life,” she recalls, “I would put that sorrow on paper. It would be painful to look back at those pieces, and often I’d throw them away. Now, I paint because it brings me joy. I think that those feelings are reflected in my work. I enjoy looking at all my work now. It actually makes me sad to part with them.”
For brushes, Jess says, “I have been using Princeton Heritage brushes for a very long time. I still have my brushes that I used to use as a kid. I absolutely love the amount of snap the brush has. I also love the Elite line which has amazing water holding capability and keeps its shape very well. More recently I got to try the Velvetouch series and am enjoying using it for lettering. It has a nice point I’m able to get very small details with it.”
Jess describes her connection to watercolor, “Watercolor is like an old friend. I love to try new media, but I always come back to watercolor. Every time I come back to it—the tapping of the brush on the glass of water, the smell of the paint, the way the paper feels—it’s familiar and comfortable. It brings me back to the days I painted as a kid. It brings back old memories of my late grandmother who would walk me to and from art class and tell me stories about when she used to paint. Her stories made me feel like I had art in my blood, coursing through my veins.”
“…But at the same time, watercolor is an old friend who sometimes has a trick up his sleeve—unpredictable and exciting. You never know how a wash will settle or blend. I love that I can paint the same subject multiple times, but it will look and feel different depending on my own mood. It’s sort of a mirror. The days I feel frustrated, I’ll produce work that looks overworked. The days I sit down more at peace, my work will look more loose and free. And then, every once in a while, I’ll get a happy accident within a painting that is just so perfect. Those are the moments I wait for and sometimes the watercolor gods grant them to you.”
Artist Instagram: @jeshypark
Artist Online Workshops: Watercolor Bootcamp