the SFWA Artist Spotlight is on…
“Unexpected views of the ordinary and ordinary views of the unexpected.”
“I have always done art,” says Jessica Levant over a cup of tea. “I’ve taken photos since childhood – always spending time on composition and making it interesting. I loved to make collage and paint when I lived in a big house. I moved to digital art because I was living in small quarters, on a boat actually, and I could do it without getting paint on the floor!” Jessica is intensely practical.
Jessica’s eye for detail has served her well in her work as a web designer. She has built and managed the SFWA websites, four of them over the last six years, donating long hours of expertise and precision every month to promote the gallery, its members and events. Finally she is going to take a break and turn over the website to the incoming board and perhaps have more time to do her own artwork.
“I’m on the cusp of doing more ‘wildy’ things, cutting, playing, working with mixed media. I need to be my own art teacher. I’m very precise, but that gets in the way sometimes. I need to tell myself to just draw a bunch of lines.” She modestly waves her hand around as if scribbling the air. “I like the unusual, the quirky, the visual irony I see everywhere – sometimes even the simple white space between two buildings. I love angles and color and light.”
“I taught myself to use photoshop. I love art but I also love computers and technology and the magic of manipulating pixels. I can paint without using paint. I don’t take beautiful pictures of a Sunset or the Bridge. That’s not where I want to go. I prefer to present something the viewer can question or get involved in, or even just like for their own reasons – it’s not my story at that point, but theirs.”
“The SFWA Gallery has been pivotal for me as an artist. In 2010 I had 3 pieces accepted in the first show I entered. It felt like an affirmation that I was an artist. I became a member of SFWA shortly after that and it has given me an art world to be a part of, friendships have developed and I’ve been exposed to many ways of doing art and being creative.”
I love texture in my life and in my art. I love to use textured paper, to layer digitally, to work with pure abstraction and this has brought me back to colage. I have lots of parts of me and I can’t compress them into one. Once, at a conference in New York, I spent an afternoon with an elderly Swiss psychologist; I felt like I was talking to Dr. Freud. He told me I was “richly differentiated.” I like that. I can’t do just one thing. I love the weird and wonderful. Put two things together and I’ve created something else, then I accidentally click something and this whole new thing happens. That’s the joy of creating for me.”
Written by Renee McKenna