In the Studio | Jessica Snow November 21 2014
Meet one of the most charming, vibrant (and smart!) artists in the 20x200 family, Jessica Snow. She's got oh-so-many tips and tricks to share with you readers! If you're in Cali, be sure to keep an eye out for the slew of projects she's involved in: currently, a group show at Helmuth Projects (San Diego) and in January, a group show at Traywick Contemporary (Berkeley).
Where is your studio?
My studio is in what was once a mattress factory, now called Yosemite Place, in San Francisco. When I only have a little time to spare, I work at home on the kitchen table.
What do you wear as you work?
You wouldn't like it, there's so much paint on it!
What's the first thing you do when you arrive in the studio?
First I put on my paint-smattered clothes, evaluate the work I did the day before, make some tea, and get to work.
What's your favorite "tool" in the studio?
That would have to be my new large plastic jars with screw-on lids. They're perfect for mixing up large batches of custom paint which will last for months.
What's on your studio playlist?
News, interviews, rock, a fan whirling, poetry, canaries singing, book reviews, atonal compositions, stories, jazz, barking dogs and other random noises, inner voices, spoken words, sung words, and swirling, curly words. It all becomes background sound when I'm really focusing.
What's your favorite way to sweat it out?
I jog with my husband Brett and our dog Lizzie.
Don't lie...what's your favorite way to procrastinate?
I research dream vacations to Brazil, Italy, Japan and Australia.
Which artist's collections from 20x200 do you covet?
There are so many I love! But if I must narrow it down, I will choose Laura Newman, Jennifer Sanchez and Walker Evans!
We love the bright colors and fun shapes in Jessica's work!
Whens, Hows & Whys
When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?
I didn't have a particular moment; the momentum in the direction just gradually built up to the point that I was doing little else. Making art all the time meant I was an artist: art seemed to choose me rather than me choosing art.
How did you get there?
To pin it down, studying for a time in Paris as an undergrad irrevocably sealed the deal for me. I went to museums constantly, studied Cézanne, van Gogh, and Matisse in detail, along with many other artists. I'll never forget a large retrospective of Fontana at the Pompidou. The truth is I forgot I was there to study film theory, although I did love late afternoon matinees at the cinemas!
How do you get over creative blocks?
I just work through it. Sketchbooks are good for this; I do random drawings—sometimes representational, sometimes abstract. I teach modern art history, and I also like to study the cross fertilization of European and Latin American Modernism. This particular avenue of study began 7 years ago when I was invited to Montevideo as part of the American Artists Abroad program. Nothing is better than drawing, travel and research for continual inspiration!
What is your favorite thing about 20x200?
At 20x200, from the proofing to the printing, the highest standards of quality are applied. As an artist, I can stand behind the work, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
The 411 on Jessica Snow
Jessica Snow was born in Berkeley, CA, and currently lives and works in San Francisco. She has had solo exhibitions at Rena Bransten Gallery in SF, the Riverside Art Museum, POST in LA, Jen Bekman Gallery and Merge Gallery in NYC. Her work is currently in the show "Object, Object!" at the Helmuth Gallery in San Diego, CA, and will be appearing at the Traywick Contemporary in Berkeley this January. Several of Jessica's pieces have been released as 20x200 editions!