This section of my blog is all about supporting and sharing the talents within London old and new. Giving a space for creatives whether in design, art or Music and exposing the true talents and discovering new and beautiful things.

Not only am I lucky enough to interview this talented young women, but I can call her one of my closest friends. After starting out in Design and Studying At one of Scotland’s most prestigious design university Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, she came to London and immersed herself in all things creative. I met Jess while I interned at Joshua Kane. While she was there she was going to Life Drawing classes, which she saw as more of a hobby and something she enjoyed as a therapy.

Two Years later and she is taking the fashion illustration world by storm, and producing new and exciting pieces. Her vibrant use of colour and abstract angles creates the most eye catching pieces.

What is your background?
So I grew up in a small village in Scotland, and went on to study fashion design at university. That wasn’t what I imagined I would do when I applied – I hadn’t ever really considered fashion as a career before my general first year where I trialled it.

What made you do what you do?
Trial and error. I have interned/worked across many areas of fashion – sales, design, press, modelling etc. That helped me to gain a better understanding of the business as a whole but also made me realise very quickly what I enjoy and ultimately what makes me happy.

When you started your life drawing classes did you expect this to become your career? How have you Developed your career?
In no world haha. I was just attending the classes with my friend Josh as a way to relax in the otherwise hectic and stressful world of fashion and then friends and followers started to show interest in what I was producing and posting on social media. Then they wanted to buy prints and that got me looking into how best to do that, I created my own website and online shop and a separate business Instagram where I could post more work specific content. It kind of just spiralled from there!

How do you seek out opportunities to promote your work?
I’ve been quite lucky so far in that opportunities have found me! But I think that’s largely down to social media – I think my press/fashion background has made me quite savvy in that sense. I like to think that I am quite reactive with my work and around fashion weeks etc I draw popular looks or models from my favourite shows, make sure I tag the correct and relevant people – it’s such a great way of reaching people i.e designers who, prior to social media, would have been hard to get your work seen by. So yeah, I think Instagram has been a huge player in creating opportunities for me – Delpozo actually saw my work through Instagram after I tagged them in a sketch and got in touch commissioning me to draw live at their first LFW show. I also think I’ve built up quite a network of amazing talented and creative people working in the industry and that leads to opportunities to work on things together. Like with you!

Do you have to have specific surroundings to produce your best work? do you have a routine before you start?
I tend to work better at night, sometimes I don’t start working until 9pm. I make a strong coffee and put my headphones on, I feel like that allows me to be fully focused and immersed in what I’m creating. I don’t tend to create sketches first – everything is quite spontaneous and quick. Some of my favourite pieces I’ve even done blindly – where you only look at the subject and not the paper. I love the idea that it’s completely unique and from the hand and I’ll never be able to create the same drawing again.

What attracts you to using bright colours?
I’m not sure actually – but colour is very important to me. Especially colour combinations, my combinations are quite considered. And the colour of paper I use as well…I think about all of these things quite a lot before I begin.

when you see a fashion line or collection, does your focus point change on each piece? what do you want to enhance?
I tend to focus on the upper body, torso and face when I draw fashion. I like faces – and the make up and hair is always interesting to interpret in fashion – the wackier the better in my opinion haha. I tend to choose to draw interesting silhouettes, colours and patterns – I give a suggestion of the garment/mood rather than a technically correct representation.

Each one of your pieces is very specific, how do you know when a piece is completed?
You just know haha. Sometimes that’s after 3 minutes, sometimes that’s after a couple of hours. I never tend to work on something longer than that – it begins to look overworked.

To date what has been your most seminal experience?
Can I say quitting my previous job haha?! As much as it allowed me to grow and I met some amazing people, leaving allowed me to refocus and really think about what I enjoy, what makes me happy, what I’m willing to give up – I was giving so much time and effort to someone else’s dream and now I have the time and energy to dedicate to living my own!

Do you have a current art trend you are following?
Not that I’m consciously aware of…but I do think that fashion illustration is definitely making a big come back. Especially things like live illustration at shows – brands are tapping into something more genuine and unique, they are always looking for new ways of expression to inspire their audience through different disciplines and artists. So I guess in that sense I’m riding that wave.

Which other artists inspire you? do you use them as references in your work?
Egon Schiele, Rob Unett(previously known as Rob Phillips) and Jacky Marshall are big inspirations for me. I don’t reference other peoples work as such but if I’m feeling a bit lacking in inspo I’ll have a look through Instagram – there is such an amazing inspiring community of fashion illustrators on there doing so many exciting things. That usually spurs me on to get on with my own work!

Being in London can be consuming, and being able to be creative can be hard work. How do you find being a creative freelancer, working in such a competitive world?

It is hard, London is so expensive as well so I know that if I don’t make work, I won’t sell work and then I wont be able to continue staying in London. So the pressure is really on to create. I think competitively speaking as long as you are creating something unique it’s fine – everyone’s work is so diverse and I’ve found the creative community to be very supportive of one another. It can be hard in the digital age though, it’s easy to compare yourself to others, you can feel like you aren’t doing enough work or that you’re falling behind etc.

Did working in the Fashion industry first help you reach where you are today?
Yes, it’s opened my eyes to how the industry works and also it’s given me a large network of people around me.

Does your work have a subliminal message or purely to be a spectacle for people?
No subliminal messages are intended….but I’d like to hear other peoples interpretation of my work! I guess the life drawing work is just a celebration of the body. It’s fun, colourful and carefree!

Where can we find your work?
At the moment I currently have some prints on display and for sale in Dundee at Freedom Hairdressers, on the waterfront near the new V&A, they will be exhibited there until mid may. Otherwise you can find me on Instagram (@titsandtoess or @jessrosebird) or via my website/shop www.jessicarosebird.com.

Do you think there is still a huge market for artists such as yourself who don’t have the financial support, as I know you work in a shop to support yourself as well?

Yeah I still work part time in a menswear store to keep myself afloat. It’s a struggle definitely but I also think hard work and persistence pays off. I think if I was full time freelance working from home I would go a bit stir crazy, I would need to find a studio to keep social and sane – which is an additional expense in London I can’t afford! So working part time in the shop allows me to keep a foot in the fashion industry as well as continue to meet people and get out of the house haha.

Where are you hoping to be in 10 years time?
I’m not much of a forward planner…but to be able to comfortably support myself doing what I hopefully will still love doing would be rather lovely.