In this blog series we will be highlighting some unique and extremely talented artists local to Southern Ontario. Botanical Jewels is excited to be able to work with these local artist to develop the 'Positive Plant Connections' series where artist are given full creative freedom to create a piece in their own style and medium that best represents our slogan. We also are excited to have been able to dive a bit deeper with these artist to understand their process and to learn a little more about themselves and their work. Lets dive in!
Our first artist in this series is Jess Ruprecht, also known as The Botanical Girl. Jess currently lives in Guelph, ON but has also lived out west in Edmonton and across Southern and Eastern Ontario. She has been making art ever since she was a little kid. Jess recalls that she's "always been drawn to anything crafty and artsy, from sewing, to embroidery, to painting" and has tried many different types of creative art. Jess says "there are so many more things I want to try at least once (wheel pottery is probably next)"!
Jess has always been drawn to both drawing and painting. When she was younger, she used to explore a lot of pencil/linework drawings and enjoyed acrylic and watercolour paint. Eventually, she discovered that she could combine both drawing and painting with mixed media, adding black linework to my paintings. After taking some time away from producing art while in University, mixed media (watercolour and fineline) self-portraits have been her focus to help reclaim body and identity! This is reflected in the style of digital art that she now creates, often combining linework with colour fills and textures.
"I believe that anyone can make art! I really don't think that there is such a thing as 'good' art because as long as it's a form of creative expression, it counts as good in my books. Art has been so important for me as a form of reflection, rest, and expression over the years. I also think it's important to society for a similar reason, art holds meaning, identity, expression, and emotion. It means something different to everyone, and can carry important messages that contribute to change." - Jess, The Botanical Girl
When asked how she was inspired while developing this piece for Botanical Jewels, Jess responded with "I really loved the prompt of 'positive plant connections' because my mind was immediately drawn to the idea of being connected to each other and to nature. In this design, I wanted to include both human and plant elements into the piece, and represent that relationship and the care involved in those connections. This came together with the combination of two hands cupping a plant and some smaller leaves and sprigs that you might find on the floor of a greenhouse or nursery."
Finally, Jess concludes that her "favourite type of art to make is that which helps others feel represented and empowered in their body and identity". Jess has had the chance to do a number of linework portraits of larger and fat bodies to help folks reclaim their body," which she feels have been so very impactful. This is something that has drawn Jess back into producing art for herself and she feels honoured when is asked to produce a piece to help empower others.
Botanical Jewels is overjoyed by the piece Jess produced for this series. As Jess mentioned the connection between plants and people is a story of care and love and we feel this piece speaks to this completely. We simply want to say thank you for Jess's hard work and beautiful contribution.
You can find Jess's Positive Plant Connections piece in our online store! This piece will be available for purchase on a variety of items such as, totes and stickers. We are also working to have this design printed locally on clothing which we will announce when available.