Step into the world of creativity and adventure with Jessica Ferrara, a visionary graphic designer whose journey is as captivating as the designs she crafts. Born with an innate passion for aesthetics, Jessica’s artistic prowess transcends the conventional, seeking to captivate not just the eye, but the very essence of the soul.
Hailing from the esteemed College of Saint Rose, Jessica’s foundation in graphic design was strong. However, she dared to venture beyond the ordinary, spending three formative years as a tattoo artist in the vibrant city of Albany, New York. It was here that she found a unique way to blend her skills with the human canvas, adding a new dimension to her creative odyssey.
Yet, the confines of a single city could not quell Jessica’s insatiable thirst for exploration and discovery. Setting her sights on the grandeur of Europe, she embarked on a transformative expedition. Backpacking through storied landscapes and immersing herself in the tapestry of cultures, Jessica gathered inspiration from every corner of the globe, breathing life into her designs through firsthand experiences.
Upon her return to the United States, the heart of Texas beckoned to her, offering a fresh canvas upon which to paint the next chapter of her narrative. Here, she seamlessly transitioned into the world of digital expression, harnessing the power of blogging and Instagram to weave intricate tales and review the written works that sparked her imagination. In this space, Jessica’s words flowed as vividly as her brushstrokes, evoking emotions that resonated deeply with her growing audience.
Jessica Ferrara’s artistry was a testament to her fearless spirit. Her designs bore the imprint of her boldness, marrying imagination with technique in a dance that reverberated through every stroke. Whether through her website, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok, her creations spoke a language that transcended borders, inviting viewers to embark on their own journey of contemplation and self-discovery.
As we sit down with Jessica, we delve into the tapestry of her experiences, tracing the lines of her artistic evolution from graphic design to tattoo artistry and her expeditions across continents. Join us as we uncover the story behind the designs, the inspiration that fuels her, and the aspirations that continue to drive her forward. Get ready to be transported into a world where creativity knows no bounds, and where Jessica Ferrara’s art becomes an open invitation to explore the vast landscape of the human imagination.
TW: What are your hobbies?
JF: I’ve taken up gardening. I’ve been learning as I go, but so far I’ve harvested some jalapeno peppers and onions.
TW: Do you prefer tea or coffee?
JF: I prefer tea. Living in suburban Texas, it has been an adjustment how many coffee shops don’t offer a London fog. Taking me out of my comfort zone encourages me to try new drinks at the local coffee shops though, so that’s fun!
TW: What is your favorite season?
JF: I’ve always liked autumn. I was the weird kid who looked forward to going back to school every September.
TW: What inspired you to become a writer, and how did you get started?
JF: Growing up, I always had a knack for the visual arts, but as a big reader, I wanted to be in the literary world. I majored in graphic design so I would have a career designing book covers. It was while I was in college that I became friends with a classmate who’d already written four novels. Before meeting her, writing a single novel was an incredibly daunting
task, something I never assumed I’d be capable of. Her accomplishment inspired me to try. My first serious attempt was while I worked at a resort that provided me with room and board for a summer, between semesters. That book was a disaster but it taught me I could write a novel.
TW: How do you approach the writing process, from idea generation to publication?
JF: I am a planner. I have a long list of ideas, some more fleshed out than others. Ideas can come from anywhere, but the ones I keep playing with and building on are the ones with novel potential. I begin each project by outlining the plot. While I’m working on the first draft, I maintain a list of characters and places. The characters are created to fit the story. I also build a timeline and I track my word count. The first draft has to hit fifty-thousand words, minimum, before I’ll take a break from it. Then I talk the story out with a peer, pin-pointing what the main themes are and how better to express them. The second draft is for organizing the chaos. Later drafts are for addressing plot-holes, fixing the timeline, condensing the cast, and addressing spelling and grammar issues.
TW: What advice would you give to aspiring writers who are just starting out
JF: Keep writing. There is no such thing as too much practice.Find a writing community. It doesn’t have to be an in-person writing group, though those sound wonderful. Just being aware of what other aspiring authors are saying on your social media of choice, is going to help you understand the industry better.
If you want to be traditionally published, you’re going to have to either query agents or submit your stories to publishers directly. Try not to be discouraged when not everybody wants to champion your work. Just like how you don’t enjoy every book thrust your way, not everyone is going to adore your writing. The reasons will vary. It’s normal to accumulate many rejections. Recognize that when those emails contain a critique of your work, that feedback is a blessing you can grow from. Be persistent.
TW: How do you handle writer’s block or creative slumps?
JF: I find side projects to hold me over between big ones. If I’m not sure I’ve pin-pointed how best to improve the next draft of the manuscript I want to work on, I’ll prepare a bunch of blog posts, or I’ll practice writing poetry, or I’ll jump back into my memoir. Or, I’ll paint. Painting is especially helpful when taking space from writing, because it lets my mind wander, and inevitably, I keep coming back to the plot until I’ve resolved the issue at-hand.
TW: What are your favorite writing tools or resources, and why do you recommend them?
JF: I’ve consumed a great deal of writing advice from various how-to books and lessons. Of those, I think Brandon Sanderson’s 2020 Creative Writing Lectures at BYU, were informative for writers of all experience levels. The videos are free and easily accessible on Youtube. My writing has also greatly improved from what I learned from the how-to book, Save The Cat! Writes a Novel, by Jessica Brody.
TW: How do you balance the need for creative expression with the need to meet deadlines and produce work on a regular basis?|
JF: At the moment, I am self-employed. The majority of my deadlines are self-imposed. I remind myself that this is my dream, I want this, and if I am serious, I have to put in the work. This isn’t to say I don’t struggle with executive dysfunction and poor time management. I absolutely do, but by giving myself due-dates and keeping track of my word count, I hold myself accountable. Also, the second another person will be impacted by my actions, that raises the stakes and I must get my work done on time.
TW: How do you handle criticism or negative feedback on your writing, and what steps do you take to improve?
JF: I recognize that criticism offered is a chance for me to grow. Even if I don’t agree with their proposed fix, if a reader tells me I have a problem, I generally take that at face value and work towards a solution—which can involve discussing the matter with a peer and seeing what they recommend.
TW: What are your future goals as a writer, and how do you plan to achieve them?
JF: I would like to see my novels in public libraries. Libraries have limited space and resources. To earn my place, I’ve got to keep writing, keep submitting my stories, getting them published, and promoting them.
TW: How do you come up with ideas for your writing?
JF: I force them. Every now and again, I’ll give myself twenty-four hours to come up with twenty new story ideas. The first several will be better fleshed out concepts that were already floating around in my brain. Maybe they started as bits of dialogue when I was doing the dishes, or I took a piece of media and flipped a central aspect of it, rebuilding from the ground up. Perhaps I had a dream, and there was a scene that was salvageable. The next several ideas tend to be very vague, like a question, or imagery. Mulling over the problem all day, I’ve usually got something work-able by the final bunch. When I’m done, I highlight the better ideas, and adjust them later.
TW: What is the most challenging part of being a writer
JF: With painting, I can record & post myself making the mockup, then the final product on canvas, to virtual applause. A project doesn’t take very long, compared to writing a novel, and concludes with the immediate gratification of an audience reaction. This is specific to me, but when writing, I’m not comfortable sharing detailed progress posts. Sure, I’ll tweet when I hit a word-count goal, and I’ll share the log-line, but the overall process feels much more solitary than painting. I have to be my cheerleader. This is not a field for people who lack drive.
What does the future hold for you?
- Also, my adult fabulism novel, Light Step, will be released on 01/16/2024. Hugo fights for sanity when a storybook character haunts his waking moments. A figment, her dancing spurs a futile obsession he wants to forget. First his health, then his work suffers from insomnia until he’s forced to seek treatment. Then, learning she’s real, Hugo sets out to win her heart.
- Social media, website, etc. links*:
- Website: https://www.jesslynnstudio.com/
- Blog: JessLynnBabblin’ https://www.jesslynnstudio.com/jesslynnbabblin
- Twitter: JessLynnStudio https://twitter.com/JessLynnStudio
- JessLynnStudio (art) https://www.instagram.com/jesslynnstudio/
- JessLynnThriving (general) https://www.instagram.com/jesslynnthriving/
- JessLynnReads (book reviews) https://www.instagram.com/jesslynnstudioreads/
- Facebook: JessLynnStudio https://www.facebook.com/jesslynnstudio/
- TikTok: JessLynnStudio https://www.tiktok.com/@jesslynnstudio
- Anything else you would like to say?
Thanks for having me!