We had a nice chinwag with Jess Le and here we are, excited to share it with you! Jess is a talented illustrator and book designer in her own right, who started her market career with us at our Sydney Rummage, selling her glorious and detailed artworks. We expect big things from this young lady!
Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? I’m Jessica Le, a 24 year old illustrator and book cover designer from Sydney. I love drawing classic storybook scenes, usually girls and nature, filled with a dreamy air in either pen or pencil and then coloured digitally. Apart from that I like making floral cyanotypes which use the same techniques as making traditional architectural blueprints. I’m also a published illustrator/author with work published in Australia, USA and France.
Why do you do what you do? I think the crux of it is that I really love art and want to see more of this classic storybook world out there. The process of drawing is really therapeutic to me, especially when I get into the flow of things.
Who are some other artists, crafters, creatives that you love? And why? I’m inspired by early 20th century book illustrators like Arthur Rackham, H.J Ford, Margaret Ely Webb, and fine artists like Frederic Leighton, Alphonse Mucha and John Singer Sargent. Some aspects of their work, whether it’s the way they draw portraits, or use of colour has influenced me in some way or another. I make yearly art trips overseas to see these works in person and it’s such a surreal experience.
What excites you? Delicate lines, muted colours and high detail.
We think of a rummage stall as a mini shopfront, how do you make your rummage stall your own? For my first Suitcase Rummage I tried to make it as personal as I could, using my grandmother’s suitcase (the one she immigrated to Australia with) so having that personal connection was really important to me.
Can you offer any tips on setting up a rummage stall? Not cluttering the space and having distinct areas/groupings of your wares. For me that was a matter of splitting my framed and unframed prints, and original cyanotypes. I found talking about the backstory to an illustration that people were picking up helpful in driving sales, as well as having a range of prices.
What do you like about attending Suitcase Rummage?
The really friendly and casual atmosphere. There are all sorts of people who come to visit Suitcase Rummage so you’ll be surprised by who comes to your stall!
What is the next step for you? Suitcase Rummage was the first stepping stone for me to try and get into other markets! Just recently I got accepted as a regular stall holder at The Grounds of Alexandria weekend markets so I’m really excited about that. I’m also trying to get into stationery, so we’ll see how that goes.
What’s your favourite place or thing to do in your city? The Art Gallery of NSW is my all-time favourite place in Sydney! Their collection of European art is something I visit every once in a while, if I need inspiration.
Where we can we find and follow you?