Each month, we love to feature an independent maker that you can find on the shelves in-store or online at papersource.com. This month we celebrate Jess Weymouth, the illustrator and watercolor artist who is the maker of the 2024 Flora & Fauna calendar, available in stores and online. Find out more about the influence behind her designs, personal style, and hobbies here.
Hi! My name is Jess Weymouth, I am a watercolor & illustration artist from Long Beach, CA! My work is mainly product sales, such as rainbow-making suncatchers, calendars, prints, etc – but as an artist we wear a lot of hats, so I also do murals, custom collaborations with brands, workshops, etc – there is always something to look forward to!
Aside from my artistic endeavors, I am also a video game streamer – so a typical day for me looks like spending the first half of the day packaging products, shipping orders, coming up with new ideas – and the latter half of the day looks like hanging out with my gaming community on live stream! My artist name is Jess Weymouth, and when I’m gaming I go by “moreplants”! It can sometimes feel like I’m always doing something – but I love what I do and I am really grateful to have the ability to do both!
When did you begin water coloring?
I have always been a “dabbler” – I loved picking up new creative hobbies and trying new things. One day I found an old watercolor set in my box of crafts, and I decided to give it a go! I immediately fell in love with the medium, I love that watercolor feels like a collaboration between you and the medium – with watercolor you have to relinquish some control and let the paint do what it wants to do! Very quickly I began printing and selling some of my work – which continued to expand into other types of products.
How did you become involved in calendar making?
At the time, I was creating so much work that I had dozens and dozens of prints available. Making art that is accessible to people of all backgrounds and financial status has always been at the forefront of my work, and the thought of creating a calendar that could include 12 designs for the price of one product seemed all too fitting!
Have you always been interested in celestial motifs, moon phases, and other natural elements?
I remember as a kid I would go into a bookstore and head straight for the Astrology section – I loved the concept of learning more about yourself through the moon, stars, and planets. As a Sagittarius, I’ve always felt like the characteristics fit my perfectly – so I developed an interest in the celestial at an early age. When I began painting, my first illustration I did was a moon & sun and I just never stopped creating those concepts.
Tell us about your style. (Dreamscape Surrealism)
I sort of created the concept of Dreamscape Surrealism because I couldn’t really find a style name that fit my work. Surrealism is a movement in art dating back to the 20th century which sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind, and while that could be used to describe my work, there is more of a “dreamy” nature to my illustrations, so I came up with Dreamscape Surrealism to describe something that felt difficult to describe. Much of my work is influenced by a dreamworld, so it felt fitting!
What inspires you as a Maker?
I feel most anything can be inspiring, if you look at it in the right way. I am inspired by nature, the cosmos, wild animals, the way the moon influences the tides, the budding of a new leaf on a houseplant, the sound of a bumblebee, my friend’s laughter, my dog’s eyelashes, my favorite books, the feeling of the warm sun on your skin, the serendipity of life, the feeling of love and the feeling of grief, the reality that everyone’s lives are equally as valuable and complex as mine. Inspiration is all around us, you just have to look for it.
What are the essentials in your maker toolkit?
A round-tip paintbrush, a good quality watercolor set, some 300lb watercolor paper, and a unique idea!
What advice would you give other makers, designers, and creators given your experience?
Keep creating, no matter what! You will make hundreds of paintings that you just want to toss out but you have to keep going – do not let your own self get in the way of the magic you will create!
Do you have any specific goals for the future or dream projects?
I recently did a large-scale mural of over 1,000 feet (see photo below) and I was surprised by how much I loved working on such a large scale! As a watercolor artist, I am used to very small scale and fine-line details, so scaling that and creating something that can be enjoyed by the community really meant a lot to me! A dream project would be to continue creating large-scale work, all over the world!
What is Your Favorite Colorscope Color at PS?
This is a hard one, because all of these colors are amazing, but I’m going to have to go with Peacock – it’s a perfect blue-green that is timeless!
Do you have any favorite PS items that you are loving right now?
As a very competitive person and lover of board games, this Yahtzee Cup of Noodle set makes such a perfect gift! I’m obsessed!