Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Bellamy.
Jessica, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been expressing myself through art since my finer motor skills would permit. My first painting ever was a genius and grotesque eight-legged horse at age four (I would like to revisit this subject). I grew up in Whittier and have lived in LA my entire life. This informs the urban sprawl aesthetic in my paintings, my love of the palm tree and street signs woven into the landscape.
I come from an artistic family where everyone loved working with their hands. They were serious about their hobbies but never relied on them for a living. I didn’t seriously start oil painting until college, which started as a reprieve from less creative courses but turned into a painting minor at USC. Four years after graduating I’m continuing to develop my own style. I’ve slowly realized that pursuing something that offers lifelong learning is what is most important to me.
Luckily, I’m still connected with my art professors & other young artists who continue to encourage me. I work in my Playa del Rey 2nd-bedroom turned studio almost daily when I get home from my day job at KCRW. Until I had my studio I would work on my kitchen table (thanks supportive & tolerant roommates!) and the art I was making was pretty tiny. I started selling my work on Etsy and went “viral” a few times for very niche audiences.
As I continued to explore and share my work, I stumbled into some interesting brand partnerships, painting for Google Pixel, Kenneth Cole, Hobo Bags, Coachella, and Pure Barre Marina Del Rey in the last two years. I was also selected for a contemporary landscape show at the CICA Museum in South Korea. Developing and sharing my personal body of work is my most important goal going into 2019 followed by brand partnerships and commissions.
I am in a few groups shows a year & I have one coming up this December at 0.0 La and will be a part of the December Unique LA pop-up! To see the behind the scenes work it’s best to check out my Instagram (jbellzamy) or my website jbellzamy.com.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In the beginning, my biggest struggle was deciding when to invest in myself and as a risk-averse person that was not easy. Saying “yes” to projects for clients where I didn’t have the direct experience but I had the skills forced me to reach into a different part of my ego where I could display more confidence.
Now that I’ve overcome those obstacles I struggle with ambitions that do not match up with my time & the dreaded imposter syndrome- which is something that many artists say will never go away and just needs to be managed. Each day is a struggle to decide where I should dedicate my time- marketing, painting, client communication, or organize the business side of things.
And how do I balance those needs with being a good friend and partner?! Thankfully I do not struggle with inspiration, but time management can be frustrating.
Please tell us about Jbellzamy.
As an artist, my personal brand & soul are at the center of my business. I’m selling people my POV. I’m very proud that my work is accessible to a wide audience & that I’m part of a larger movement to by artist who is making fine art available in various price ranges. I want people to invest in pieces they love and have personal keepsakes with my art, whether is it a print, painting, or a painted object like a jacket, shoe or handbag.
My work uses my love for landscape & current events to create oil paintings that evoke familiarity and strike a lighthearted and tone about a world gone wrong. The social and political insanity that I feel from a distance is frequently explored with the image of a burning palm tree. I use color too, and distortion and erasure create an intensified experience of a real place & time, with the vibe wavering between vacation destination & a chaotic meltdown.
This, along with my use of classic painting techniques for contemporary art sets me apart from others who might be working with similar subjects.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Love the scraggly palm trees, the more fronds, the better. I probably take like five photos of different trees around the city for reference a week. I also love the Ballona wetlands-just having so much land preserved in LA is a miracle. As soon as I see the grasses and the water driving down Culver, I feel an air of calm.
Dislikes and something that is on my mind all the time:
LA’s homelessness crisis. While it’s been decades in the making, it’s upsetting that opposition from certain neighborhoods have stalled efforts after LA voters did a really good thing by passing HHH 2 years ago. Now it’s just time for all cities in LA to respond like it is a crisis. My workplace, KCRW has done a lot of great reporting on homelessness and the housing crisis in LA.
- A new run of prints will be available on my website jbellzamy.com as well as some original oil paintings! Prices for prints start at $20
- Website: http://www.jbellzamy.com/
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: jbellzamy
Holly Daze Photos