FEATURED ARTIST: Interview with Salt Lake City Artist, Jessie Webster

Jessie Webster

Charcoal Artist | 27 | Salt Lake City, Utah

@wfineartstudios | Etsy Shop
We are super stoked to have, Jessie Webster, as our Featured Artist, she is an incredible artist that creates fine charcoal art that is simply amazing, and the world world needs to see it! So after reading her interview head over to her wall and take a look at her awesome skills, and while your there support a fellow artist by hitting that follow button!

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How long have you been an artist? What is your specialty? Where do u find inspiration?
I have been an artist all my life! But for real, my whole life. My mom is an artist so I grew up surrounded by it. My mom is a very talented artist and taught me many trade tricks and techniques throughout my childhood. My specialty has ended up being charcoal and realism for subject matter. I find inspiration from a lot of moody photography, and honestly a lot of my style is inspired by the misty, gray, dreary weather of the PNW.

Do you have a job in the art industry? If So, what’s one thing you don’t like about it? If no, where would your dream job be?
I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Design and currently work in my field as a product designer. I do a lot of graphic design and branding work as well, along with 3D form development and design. One thing I don’t enjoy so much about it, is how restricted I am by the clients ( who are NOT creative people in the slightest ) . It doesn’t allow me to create truly unique or innovative product. My dream job right now would be something super random – a florist – particularly a wedding florist. Flowers make everyone happy.

Do you have a favorite Artist?
I don’t think I have one favorite artist, but after studying a LOT of art in college, I found Mark Rothko’s work to be absolutely stunning and profound. It is polar opposite of my work, but I sure do appreciate an great abstract artist. I also really appreciate the work of Andrew Wyeth – his sense of color and detail are outstanding. I recently had the chance to see an exhibit of his at the Seattle Art Museum and was blown away – talk about a true modern art genius.

What is one accomplishment you’ve had in your life? Does not need to be art related.
I think graduating from the program in college I went through was huge. It was an extremely competitive program, that only graduated 12 students a year, and required 2 rounds of portfolio reviews during the freshman and sophomore years. I was accepted as one of the 12 to advance to the junior year and completed the whole program in 4 years where many students take 5-6 years to do it. While in school, I placed in a few design competitions, was nominated for Design Student of the Year, received an international student design scholarship from a Rotation Molding project, graduated with a pretty darn good GPA, not to mention my curriculum was in the engineering department. That is a whole different level of ‘art’.

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
Hopefully still doing creative work – but I hope it changes, the commercial art I am currently doing is really fun, but I want to do more ‘serious’ art – get back to subject matter that I prefer. While the geek and pop culture subjects are great, I want to start doing Fine Art Festivals in the next year or two. In the next 10 years I would love to move back to the PNW, open an art gallery with my mom and have it double as a special event venue.

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How is one way you make money with your art?
I just attended the Salt Lake’s Comic Con – sorry ‘fan x’ – this past September and sold my art for the first time ever, there. It went really well, which was great, because I had no idea what to expect really. I mean I hoped it would go well, but it went well enough I realized I could make this a legit business. I now sell online via Etsy. I have had sales go international which is so awesome to have my work expand all over the world. I will continue to do local events and Comic Con’s – maybe start traveling if I can to other cities!


If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I want to go back to Europe with my husband and travel around – Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Amsterdam, etc. I can’t pick one! I am NOT a fan of tropical places – which is why parts of Europe appeal to me! I have been to Italy and Greece, and am ready for a few other Euro-Destinations with my partner in crime.

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What is your favorite brand of art supply? Whether it’s a brand of pencils or brand of camera or software
It doesn’t matter the brand, I use charcoal in all it’s varieties and brands – willow, pencil, sticks, compressed. I am more picky about the erasers I use than the charcoal!

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Any advice for young artists?
Keep doing what you love, for you, and don’t expect everyone to like it, which is why YOU need to love it. Also, take some formal training, even if you are really talented, you will learn more than you think, that in the end will only help you grow.

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