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Check Out Jess Campbell’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jess Campbell.

Hi Jess, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I moved from Colorado to LA in September of 2018 to pursue Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM). While attending FIDM, I picked up various freelance projects that included designing and sewing a piece for an independent music artist and also designing and creating a Red Carpet gown for an Oscar nominee. I also worked as a paid intern for a few local fashion brands. I completed my A.A. in Fashion Design in March 2020, and then I continued on to my Film & TV Costume Design program in October 2020. As part of my costume design program, I learned more about designing for individual characters as well as for larger demographics. I finished this chapter of my education in June 2021 and obtained my second A.A. degree. After taking extra classes throughout my education, I completed my B.A. in Professional Studies only 6 months later, finishing just at the end of 2021. Currently, I am working as a Costume Production Assistant under Costume Designer Laura Jean Shannon and her LJ Supersuits company. I truly love this job because specialty costuming includes a very niche form of costume design for film and TV!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It is never a smooth road! We wouldn’t make any headway if it WAS a smooth road. Some people you will work with will clash with you and that’s just the way that it is. I’ve learned how advantageous it is to maintain professionalism and just continue to be helpful and kind. Every project/job is entirely unique, and every team is equally as diversified. I’ve learned through being a PA that you cannot take things personally and you just have to move forward with whatever solutions you can possibly bring to the table. Production keeps moving forward and the timeline keeps moving forward, so there is no point in fixating on the past when you could be changing your mindset to cultivate solutions for the present. I’ve found that it is also so important to have integrity and purpose for your work. Integrity has helped me make the best decisions when I’m feeling conflicted, and purpose has helped me see the bigger picture of what I’m working on and how I am a valuable member of my team. I also take a lot of notes and I make a serious effort to say hi to everyone! You want to be an asset to your coworkers so that they can carry out their own important tasks and not have to worry about you as well. It feels so great when someone has your back, and I want to be that underlying support that is always there when everyone gets busy!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’ve included some illustrations from my portfolio for this interview. I love illustrating because it corresponds well with the ideas I have for costume designs. I am able to communicate the look and feel of a costume through my illustration, which is why I enjoy sharing these pieces. Although I have skills in sewing, pattern making, illustration, graphic design, and computer-aided design, my ultimate goal is to design costumes for Sci-fi and Adventure films & shows. There is so much room for creativity in this area, and I am anxious to push forward into this field. Design is an opportunity for me to explore other cultures and constantly learn more about the world around me. When I design for a character, I have to consider the character’s background. I have to consider which colors correspond with how they are feeling in the moment, which patterns pay homage to their heritage, how I can convey something about their personality through the way they wear their clothing, and beyond. Every design is a new challenge and another persona that I get the chance to connect with. I am most proud of my eagerness to learn and my journey getting to where I am today!

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
I’ve learned that you always have to be ready to adapt! I had to work on a production virtually during the pandemic, and it was quite a different experience. I have realized that we are all in this together and we are all making sacrifices. Patience is key and it is a good idea to avoid adding any unnecessary stress to other people’s plates! We’ve been making it through and it’s been a long road, especially for the entertainment industry.

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