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Meet West Hollywood Artist and Illustrator: Jessica Klier

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Klier.

Jessica, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up with a passion for art, specifically, figure drawing and painting. My interests followed me through college and I graduated from The University of Montana with a Bachelors of Fine Art with an emphasis in painting. During my last semester, I helped some film student friends with storyboards for their short films and discovered a love for storytelling and illustration. I few months after graduation I left for Los Angeles. I found my place in West Hollywood, picked up a day job as a barista (as most starving artists do) and jumped into freelancing. Almost four years later, and by the support and inspiration of fellow creatives, I have had the pleasure of working on projects doing storyboards, concept art, book illustrations, etc. I have also been fortunate enough to showcase my fine arts background through a couple solo shows (SantaMonica/Beverly Hills) and a group exhibition (Hollywood Blvd).

Over the last year I have been writing and illustrating a graphic novel; a lofty and tedious personal project, but one I hope to see published by fall 2017.

Has it been a smooth road?
I definitely don’t think the road has been smooth, but that’s what makes it so worthwhile. The hardest part as a visual artist is to not sell yourself or your work short. I think I was my biggest road block. At the beginning, I lacked confidence due to my lack of experience. There were times I would pass on work I didn’t think I was ready for. I wouldn’t ask for decent rates. I was hesitant and cautious and if I had to start all over I think I would try to be more bold in my choices and challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone sooner. Fake it till you make it, baby.

What role has luck had in your life and career?
I think you can chalk just about anything up to good luck or bad luck. And I think you make your own depending on your perspective and how much of an optimist you are. Luck is multidimensional and subjective. I’ve definitely caught some nice breaks, met some incredible people who have believed in my work enough to support my career. If you keep good company, work hard, take rejection in stride, stay humble and hopeful, then yeah – you’re going to have good luck. Won’t come without some pitfalls. And if those pitfalls set you on a more successful or fulfilling path then I guess you could say they were good luck, too.

Is there a quality or characteristic that has played an outsized role in your success?
Good question. A consistent and realistic dose of optimism and confidence definitely helps keep things going. I think all creative types needs that. It’s hard to create anything at all if you don’t feel good about what you’re putting out there. Last thing you want to do is kill your desire to create. I’ve never been at that point because I work at my skill in order to maintain confidence when I go out for projects outside of my realm of experience.

Tell us about your favorite and least favorites things about our city.
I love the diversity in art and people. There’s always something happening, something being created..by one person or by a team of people. I love the collective effort and the positive energy behind it. I dislike the superficiality that sometimes sets the fame seekers ahead of the genuine storytellers. But that’s something we all kind of signed up for.

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