Originally from the Island of Jersey, East London based artist and graphic designer Jacqueline Colley chats about the ins and outs of being an artist. We cannot wait for you to dive into her vibrant world of colour!


When did you realise that you wanted to be an artist?

It was always on the cards that I would go to art school I think my parents identified that in me very early on! 

I remember my Dad driving me to school when I was about 11/12 and I was complaining that I was different to the other kids and didn’t fit in and he said “Don’t worry about it, one day you’ll go to art school and you’ll fit in with all the other weirdos”! 

I think it was probably something he had wanted to do but not been allowed to pursue so I’m very grateful that he always encouraged it in me! 


What do you think you would be doing today if you weren't an artist?


As a child I was obsessed with animals so I distinctly remember having a 'I cant to be a vet' phase but then I realised that you'd have to do things like put some animals to sleep and so I decided against it! 

 

What would you say are the challenges of being a full time artist nowadays?

You have to get to grips with the marketing yourself. Being comfortable with promoting your own work and not just updating your website but engaging with social media and attending events too. 

It doesn't feel like it's enough anymore just to be capable of making decent work, you have to spin some extra plates! 

What does a normal day as an artist look like? 

At the moment in isolation they are all blurring together and very much about sitting at my computer doing admin but I’m finding time to draw and work on some screen print ideas that have been germinating in my mind for a little while! 

Normally I’d be working on a variety of projects and perhaps going to the print studio to prep a screen or mix some inks! 

"My work is often about positivity and the joy that we can find in visuals"

Can you tell us a little more about your creative process when it comes to designing and making?


So it often starts with and idea or concept that I want to convey, like the feeling of a place. 

My work is often about positivity and the joy that we can find in visuals. 

I love to reinterpret old ideas in new ways like the series I’m working on at the moment which is objects like a basket of fruit but hopefully the image feels fresh and new and the viewer feels joy and sunshine when looking at it, I would like to think so!


Each artwork is different and unique -  how long does it take you, on average, to make one of your prints?


I It takes a while! 

I make really rough sketches first that look crap but pin down an idea, then I’ll draw out something more developed using a limited colour palette. Sometimes this is easy and straight forward and sometimes it’s an up hill battle, but probably altogether that’s a days work. 

Then I scan in those sketches with some hand drawn lettering into the computer. I work in photoshop to create my screen print separations as I can use a limited colour palette and test how those colours interact with each other, it’s a flexible way of working and I might introduce some hand made textures. Drawing the layers takes a couple of days as my prints are generally fairly intricate. These layers are then printed in black on a clear and durable polythene which I use to expose my silk screen once I’ve coated it with a light sensitive emulsion. 

I then print the lightest colour first before removing the stencil from my screen re coating it and exposing the next colour. This process takes a couple of days depending on how energetic I am and how large the edition is, but once I’m set up and printing I can be quite fast, it’s a great arm workout!

What are your favourite materials to work with?

I like felt tip pens (I love Tombow dual brushes) I also love colouring pencils (Caran d’Ache are my faves).


What do you want to communicate to the person who purchases one of your prints? I think my work is often about optimism, personally I put something on my wall because it makes me feel happy so I try to work backwards from that place, the content might be things I love to look and the colour palette will be a combination that is bringing me joy at the time! 



A sustainable lifestyle is extremely important to us and to our customers.

Could you tell us how you commit to a more sustainable way of running a business? 

Yes I’ve moved my focus towards printed paper products as I can hand make or work with a riso print partner in London to produce them. This way I am keeping things small scale and local rather than having to rely on an outsourced manufacturer who is often in a foreign country.


Do you have any plans for the near future to increase your sustainability even further?

I’m working on removing plastic from my packaging and I’m excited to say that I am 90% there so hoping to get all the way to 100% soon! 


If you had to choose only one of your prints that you have made to take with you forever, what would it be? 

The ‘Love is Power’ print that message is universal and forever in fashion!