Studio Visit Book Vol. 1

00:00.00
Jess Currier
Sounds good.

00:02.00
charukaarora
Yes, let me begin by a breaking question. Okay, will you so I’ll do a separate intro and everything. But since because we’ve got into the hang of the conversation I want to ask you a couple of questions. Um i. I saw your Instagram of course I thought we follow you I remember 1 of your posts I was reading and I was like I have to ask Jess about this which was like you had this real where you if was it a real I don’t remember but I remember reading this specifically after 7 years of making art. You finally feel like you found your style.

00:35.94
Jess Currier
Yes.

00:37.76
charukaarora
And I love your captions I love your captions I’m a person with like you know, deep thoughts and I love deep conversations and digging the surface. So let’s talk about that and let’s start from here because this is a typical topic someone who’s like you know 7 years and um, after that you’ve been now you’re creating a work that you really feel. Connected to and you just said that you know it’s been um, seventy s and you finally feel like you’ve arrived in the style that you wanted. Can you talk about that.

01:06.30
Jess Currier
Oh absolutely I Love that. That’s the one that stood out to you and I love that question because I could talk about that all day long. Um, it’s also deeply connected to my journey as a painter because and as a.

01:18.14
charukaarora
Ah, nobody is I’m here.

01:25.42
Jess Currier
As an artist and because I I knew I wanted to do art I knew I wanted to be an artist from when I was like a tiny child. Um, but it took me a very long time to really begin to put the work in and it’s been about seven years now since i. Really committed to painting as my primary creative expression. Ah, and before I started I really believed that style or your creative voice um was something that you.

01:48.75
charukaarora
Now.

02:03.43
Jess Currier
Had to choose and kind of impose on your work that you had to come um to your creative work. Not only with inherent talent that was just magically there but with.

02:08.30
charukaarora
Right.

02:20.72
charukaarora
Is it.

02:22.84
Jess Currier
Are developed because that’s the tip of the iceberg that you see when you’re exposed to the work of art artists in the world when you’re exposed to creative Work. You’re seeing. That outcome way further down the line from these creators. Um, and that’s across all media you consume right? So Whether you’re listening to a song or watching a movie reading a book looking at artwork you are engaging with um. The creative product from someone who has really developed their voice over time and I think we kind of fall for this mythology that to be an artist. You must be. Ah.

03:07.87
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

03:12.92
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

03:19.57
Jess Currier
Naturally good at it without trying and without practice and you must have a natural unique voice that comes through immediately and both those things really prevented me from putting the work in for a long time.

03:21.64
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

03:26.74
charukaarora
Yeah.

03:33.39
charukaarora
Can you can you elaborate on how like what are the things that you feel that prevented you like how would you interpret that.

03:44.53
Jess Currier
Um I didn’t want to be bad at it. So oh absolutely I Yeah and I I because.

03:46.53
charukaarora
Yeah I think that’s one of the biggest fears. We all have bad art.

03:59.38
Jess Currier
For me I knew I wanted to paint I knew I wanted to be a fine artist quote unquote, whatever that um I I really didn’t like my ego could not handle being bad at it I didn’t want to be bad at it and I had this you know I think most creative.

04:04.76
charukaarora
Um, yes, yes.

04:12.48
charukaarora
Yeah. Yes.

04:19.34
Jess Currier
People their taste taste outpaces your ability. Um I think that that’s for your entire life. Um spoilers It never so it never stops. Um, but at the beginning especially there’s a big gap there right? um.

04:27.64
charukaarora
I.

04:36.99
Jess Currier
And because I really cared about painting and I really saw myself as an artist and that’s who I knew that’s what I knew I wanted to do with my life. Um I What ended up happening for me was that I would dip my toe into it I would try it here and there. Um.

04:41.32
charukaarora
You were.

04:55.70
Jess Currier
But never with enough dedicated effort because as soon as I created something that I wasn’t happy with I would get really discouraged and I would give up and I ended up doing a lot of other creative work. So I did photography ah graphic design.

04:56.68
charukaarora
Yeah.

05:03.84
charukaarora
Um, gave out. Yeah yeah, he.

05:14.62
Jess Currier
Um, interior design and project management. All all these other things. Um ah interiors so like commercial interior branding. Um, so all and I’m grateful for all those detours I learned a lot.

05:14.89
charukaarora
Oh Wow interior as well.

05:24.40
charukaarora
Amazing. That’s amazing. Um, yeah.

05:33.50
Jess Currier
Picked up a lot of skills but they were all just a different version of me running away from painting because I was afraid of being bad at it and it was until I I got to the point I had.

05:40.80
charukaarora
Oh my god.

05:50.35
Jess Currier
I had been doing photography for a while I was doing portraiture and weddings and I decided to close down that business and I started doing design work and as the momentum picked up for that I I got to this point where I was like oh I recognized this place. This is exactly where I was with photography where. Couple years in I’m I’m like okay I’m gaining Momentum I’m starting to go down this career path but I know that it’s not what I want to be doing I know that I and.

06:17.64
charukaarora
Oh my god I can relate to every bit of it. You know what I have been a fashion designer I’ve done Julian work with places who at that point I didn’t come from jewelry background but they will you know I wanted to explore I still didn’t know where I was fitting in.

06:27.13
Jess Currier
And.

06:37.36
charukaarora
And I thought okay um I could do this and then I didn’t enjoy it and then I thought okay branding and design because I still am pretty good at it when it comes to branding but I thought I had to be good at something naturally to be there.

06:54.64
Jess Currier
Um.

06:55.89
charukaarora
And and I felt so unsatisfied but from all of that I was doing but also so un satisfied from my own self because I was like I do know what I feel I want to do I Want to be creative but I didn’t know how and When. And I was still doing all creative jobs none of the jobs that I’ve done so far education apart from history which I feel like is still creative but never taught creatively but I felt like I don’t know if if something is wrong with me. Did you ever feel like.. There’s something wrong with you because you are moving from one point to another I felt that for a very long time.

07:38.11
Jess Currier
Oh I I definitely felt that um I think especially because when I was when I decided to leave photography I felt like something was wrong with me because I was doing well in it. It was something that.

07:52.25
charukaarora
Yeah.

07:55.61
Jess Currier
Naturally inclined towards um and I looking back now I think what had happened was I didn’t I didn’t care about it as much as I cared about painting and so I was okay, being bad at it at the beginning I put the work in to get.

08:09.70
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah.

08:15.54
Jess Currier
Better and became good at it I became proficient in it and I built a sustainable business doing it and so many people who were starting out um, looked up to me and would tell me all the time. How much they admired what I was doing and they wanted to learn from me and so I felt like something was wrong with me because I felt guilty like I wasn’t appreciative of this dream that other people had for themselves that I was living but I knew that it wasn’t right for me. And knew that it wasn’t the work that brought me alive and and I had to get to the point where I I was okay, leaving something that I had become good at to do something that I would be bad at.

08:53.15
charukaarora
Okay.

09:03.60
charukaarora
Yeah.

09:09.12
Jess Currier
That I Really loved.

09:09.74
charukaarora
But truly did you think even when you started painting or being a painter were you bad at it because I think it’s just I think the imposter in us. Ah, or when we like I think I honestly I this.

09:24.21
charukaarora
What you’re sharing right? now is bringing so many questions and I’m looking at myself also and like really what you’re saying is something I also need to retrospect because I’m just thinking sometimes like were you were you really bad at it or it was just your eco because you truly wanted it and I think of your when. I think I just knew I at least when I look back today I think I just knew graphic or branding or all of those things that I was doing felt a lot more safer um because they were paying they were paying my bills and that was a big big.

09:53.20
Jess Currier
Not present.

10:00.97
charukaarora
Big thing for me that I needed to I knew that I had something that was covering my back in terms of money but also for me at least I think where I was I also have felt this pressure of being relevant like I wanted to do something that um I was appreciated and. Would be taken Seriously, let’s say and when I did all of that and I was like you know what? I don’t enjoy being taking that seriously because at least as long as I’m not I I am not taking myself seriously because whatever I was doing I was like okay yes, what I’m doing has value but not. Value in the sense of what I want you know? so I truly want to ask you were you bad at it because I doubt that you were bad at it because I don’t think any of us are bad at anything that we feel naturally called for? yes, but our standards are so high.

10:39.47
Jess Currier
You know.

10:51.50
Jess Currier
Or.

10:56.14
charukaarora
That we I don’t do you think you are how good. Okay, let me ask this question. How do you? How good? do you think? are you today.

11:03.11
Jess Currier
Oh hey I I think today I can I’ll put it this way when I started the gap between.

11:21.17
charukaarora
Yes.

11:21.29
Jess Currier
What I envisioned in my mind wanted to create and what I was capable of producing that app was very big, good or bad I I don’t know and that’s so relative that’s.

11:28.75
charukaarora
Um, of doing yes.

11:36.33
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, right? absolutely.

11:40.41
Jess Currier
So subjective but the gap between what I pictured in my head and what I was capable and had the tools and the skills to create with my hands that was a very big gap Now that Gap is a lot smaller and so the.

11:56.26
charukaarora
Smile out.

11:59.40
Jess Currier
Process of creating the work is a lot less frustrating than it was at the beginning and I think that the reason I like to talk about that online and share that part of my story is that.

12:03.11
charukaarora
Yeah.

12:13.16
charukaarora
Yeah.

12:19.13
Jess Currier
That frustration is what kept me from putting in the work to close the gap and don’t put in that work. You’re never going to make that gap smaller and I think it’s really important one to normalize putting in the work but also to normalize the gap.

12:21.48
charukaarora
Yes, yes I Love that.

12:39.40
Jess Currier
Because um I I still do have a bit of a gap and I think I always will I think that’s just part of being an artist and if you hadn’t if there was never a gap between your vision and your ability the work would be so boring.

12:44.65
charukaarora
When yes, yes.

12:55.93
charukaarora
Yes, yes.

12:59.15
Jess Currier
That Gap keeps us exploring and it’s the when it comes to skill um and when it comes to style and voice like circling back to that original question. Um. I Think of it through the metaphor of archeology and that’s how I talk about it all time is I think of style as something that you are discovering like an archeologist doing a dig So the more you do the work the more you discover.

13:19.94
charukaarora
A wow.

13:36.84
Jess Currier
What is within you and you bring the world but you have to do the work to get there and that’s why I love creativity. That’s why I love art. But it’s never gonna get boring. There’s always gonna be that.

13:38.47
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

13:43.24
charukaarora
Um, yes, yeah.

13:53.96
charukaarora
Well yeah, yeah.

13:55.91
Jess Currier
That that gap between your vision and your ability that you work to make smaller but the goalpost keeps moving in a good way. Um, and there’s always going to be that sort of mystery of where will this lead me.

14:04.79
charukaarora
Yeah.

14:12.93
Jess Currier
And what else will I discover because as you change and evolve as a human that voice like what you discover as you dig ways to change evolve. So there’s always more to learn. There’s always more directions to grow into. Um, there’s always.

14:17.19
charukaarora
Your yeah, absolutely.

14:31.83
Jess Currier
Ways to develop and add onto your skills and so that’s a very long way of answering the question of doing good now I think I am um I am much more proficient at creating what I envision than I used to be.

14:36.92
charukaarora
And no, absolutely not.

14:47.24
charukaarora
Yes, yeah I Like how you put that way. Um, because I think yes I think you’ve really put it in a very consolidated format because a lot of us feel discouraged and I think it’s also because um I think it comes.

14:51.36
Jess Currier
Ah.

15:05.18
charukaarora
I don’t know I’m just introspecting like a like you said sometimes we feel like being creative is natural like or being good at something like you know something like that and you wouldn’t like let’s say if you’re a lawyer or if you’re a doctor nobody would um, put that pressure on themselves like okay, you know what I want to be a lawyer and. And I have to be good on the day one. We all know that we all learn on the job and um, once you set your mind to it. You put the work and you get better but with creativity I think even though I I truly re believe that the moment we come on this. Planet our practice of creativity um starts when we are young what we are looking at how we are expressing how you know how we interact with things is how how we are building a subconscious mind and. Some of us choose to use that subconscious mind and that creativity let’s say you know for our professions for our passions and for some they want to keep them to themselves but we also feel this pressure as artists I think that we have to say ground baking. Make work that you know I don’t know I don’t know very like very sometimes it sounds insane because I you know I remember for a very long time I felt the pressure when I was like still in India yeah, that I had to make serious art or art that had something to say and.

16:37.30
charukaarora
Like decorative art was not enough and like you said like you know all those questions were good to ask to push you deeper. But when you ask them and you feel them too early. It became a ah roadblock. Do you.

16:41.80
Jess Currier
Um, and.

16:53.67
Jess Currier
Um, exactly and I but go ahead. Um I was just gonna say I you touched on something that is very near and dear to my heart.

16:56.15
charukaarora
What sorry, go ahead? No I have a next question but I want to hear what you say.

17:09.42
Jess Currier
And it’s essentially what all of my work is about and it’s this idea of um, feeling like you need to save the world with your art essentially like feeling like you need to there needs to be some sort of deeper ulterior purpose.

17:26.52
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

17:28.22
Jess Currier
For your creative work that it has to have some sort of function in service of society in service and and being decorative. Oh being decorative that’s almost like a bad word right? And where.

17:33.76
charukaarora
Yes, and being decorative is not enough. Yes, yes yes.

17:47.39
Jess Currier
And I really struggled with that too. Especially I was I was raised in a very um like strict religious environment and in the United States and so that was also very instilled in me I I really felt like my work had to be part of this sort of mission to.

17:48.29
charukaarora
Oh me too.

18:01.20
charukaarora
Um, yes.

18:07.22
Jess Currier
Save the world and that is a whole lot of pressure for your art for 1 and so a lot of pressure on people. Um, but also it assumes that beauty is not doing that and and it was.

18:08.91
charukaarora
Oh my goodness. Absolutely.

18:19.87
charukaarora
You know? yes I love that it.

18:27.80
Jess Currier
It really was um when I started really dedicating myself to painting I had to come to terms with that because the work that got me most excited the work that really like just lit my soul on fire was like. Painting flowers and and I had to come to terms with that and be like oh okay, this is deeply meaningful to me like and I have become now fiercely.

18:45.72
charukaarora
Yes I know that.

19:00.90
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

19:04.78
charukaarora
Yeah.

19:05.67
Jess Currier
Protective of the idea of beauty as being inherently valuable and good and worthy and creative work for the sake of creative work being inherently worthwhile. And good and valuable. Whatever it is that you’re doing it doesn’t even have to be aesthetically pleasing. But if you’re just doing work because it’s aesthetically beautiful that is bringing value to the world. It’s bringing value to your life like you leaning into that is.

19:38.44
charukaarora
Um, yeah, and.

19:42.83
Jess Currier
Not only valid and worthwhile. But I have I think that for me embracing beauty in my work isn’t actually an act of brave Rebel. It’s an act of.

19:56.42
charukaarora
Important. Yes I Love that love that.

20:02.13
Jess Currier
Grave rebellion against despair. Um, and that goes into my own story and um, you know ups and downs with mental health and depression and all you know life life is so hard and so painful and none of us.

20:15.68
charukaarora
Yeah.

20:21.26
Jess Currier
Ah, avoid suffering. Um, and so within that to to hold space for encounters with beauty to hold space for those moments of transcendence. Um.

20:21.56
charukaarora
Yeah.

20:37.49
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

20:39.27
Jess Currier
That is the the pursuit of life.

20:40.70
charukaarora
Yeah I love that and I think with the pandemic. So I think how I have tried to comprehend this for myself in my own daily life I remember so like you know with the pandemic. Um, a lot of us like listen to music and let’s say I have had incredibly hard time in the past two years ever since I lost my mom. My life has been like a goodness but.

21:13.13
Jess Currier
You can’t imagine.

21:15.55
charukaarora
My moments of joy have been when I looked at something which probably wasn’t like you know it was just a piece of drawing I saw somewhere or a music. Um.

21:33.40
charukaarora
That was just fun and I started to think about this like you know how how music works like you know if musicians started to think that okay I have to write something which is deeply profound always and you know has to have a reason has. We would all be so Depressed. We All would be so so depressed because we would all start to find problems and solve like you know reasons and just I think there’s so much good music out there I specifically rely on because when I feel like I’m not feeling good. I Know when I play something that’s just casual, fun look at it and it it brings me so much peace and it it really it soothes me and that is a big therapy. Couldn’t do that? Um, life couldn’t do that. Nothing could do that and just.

22:29.40
Jess Currier
The art does.

22:31.18
charukaarora
Just someone who created yeah and you know just looking at something that’s I’m a person who finds a lot of joy in Beauty in the sense of you know something that just the colors and you know just just art in general and sometimes you know I started to realize this that. When I was putting that pressure on myself of really doing something that had something to say that was profound or something I started to feel uncomfortable in my own practice because ah, specifically after my mom that was a very confusing period because I didn’t know that. What should I do I had too many emotions from me and one way I was grieving so much that it was of course becoming a part of my work but on the other end it was becoming so heavy and hard that I was thinking how. I started making really these little things that I enjoyed like you know jewelry and even those were just beautiful pieces that I enjoy Even though they had a purpose that I understood later but I just knew that I had to make something that just. That didn’t feel so heavy at that point it wasn’t even for anybody else I just wanted to make something that and would make me feel a little more relieved and I wouldn’t have to be have this. You know So if and I I have nothing I mean I and like I said in the beginning like you know, sometimes it’s nice.

24:00.17
charukaarora
These questions are incredible I think we all should ask ourselves because we all have I think no art anything that we create doesn’t There’s nothing that doesn’t have a purpose but the pressure that we put ourselves on to know the purpose before we do the work I think I have.

24:17.18
Jess Currier
I’m going.

24:18.30
charukaarora
Who work actually in the opposite direction I feel like I’ll do the work if I’m doing this.. There’s a reason I am doing this otherwise I wouldn’t go through with it I’m not a person like you said you know we’ve moved things you quit photography you did that and if you were doing this there Raor purpose and. The purpose Unfolds itself with the work in itself and it evolves and we all we change and the purpose changes and like but the pressure that we put on ourselves specifically as artists with fine art and all of this okay being worthy. It’s so problematic.

24:54.21
Jess Currier
Um, oh my gosh. So good I This is where I come back to the metaphor of archeology because in the same way of.

25:08.47
charukaarora
Yeah.

25:13.28
Jess Currier
That’s how I see finding your voice finding your so your style and as an artist I think it’s the same thing with the meaning of the work like the the only way to get to that Discovery is. Through the work and so you don’t I think that’s a mistake that that we all make kind of when we’re coming into creative work. Um, early on is that pressure that we put on ourselves feeling like. I Have to know where this is going I have to know the purpose of it. It has to um, earn its right to exist somehow it has to be worthy of my time and my energy and.

25:53.23
charukaarora
Um, yet.

26:07.65
Jess Currier
It has to serve this purpose or I I just I have to know where it’s going and I just think Creativity doesn’t work that way. There’s so much about it that is mysterious. It’s it’s more like a dance like you you show up.

26:16.13
charukaarora
Yeah.

26:22.10
charukaarora
Yeah.

26:27.48
Jess Currier
You do the work. You have an idea you feel inspired. Um but showing up to participate like that’s you doing your part but then inspiration and creativity and your work dances with you. And you discover what’s there you you do the dig you do the archaeological work of discovering not only your voice and what it is that you are are drawn to Create. Um. And that’s like an ever evolving Beautiful journey. But also you discover what it is that you need to say and you I don’t think we know that fully I don’t think we’re capable of fully knowing that we might have an idea like I came.

27:09.66
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

27:17.76
charukaarora
Yeah.

27:21.16
Jess Currier
Work that I’m doing now with the idea of you know the relationship between us and beauty and florals and nature and this sort of these moments of transcendence that we have when we feel completely lost. Nature Um, that was kind of the vague idea that I had but it started as something completely different and I had to explore that work I had to do that work to get to the work that I’m doing and they look aesthetically completely different from one another. Um.

27:50.22
charukaarora
Yeah.

27:58.76
Jess Currier
But the way that I got here was through doing the work and the way that that idea developed the way that even this language I have around it now that this idea of um, you know Beauty and creativity is acts of brave rebellion against despair.

28:00.15
charukaarora
That.

28:17.86
Jess Currier
That came from doing the paintings I didn’t come to the easel and say I have this idea and here’s ah it was really I was going through some deeply challenging traumatic things in my personal life.

28:22.47
charukaarora
Yeah.

28:36.85
Jess Currier
And I I came and this is this is the work that came out of me during that time and it wasn’t even until after and and this is why I Love what you shared about creating what you created when you were grieving. Um.

28:41.10
charukaarora
Yeah.

28:56.20
Jess Currier
I didn’t know that I was grieving in the work that I was doing until after I did the work and now I the paintings um that I did during that time that I’m very similar to the work that I’m doing now. Um.

28:59.80
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah.

29:14.62
Jess Currier
And I can see it all over them I look at them. Wow that that painting is holding space for a lot of grief and loss and wrestling with where I was going to find hope to keep going I told you that at the time I couldn’t.

29:16.65
charukaarora
Yeah, um.

29:23.38
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah I love that intense. Oh my goodness I Love that this is incredible.

29:32.17
Jess Currier
Do that at the time but now I can see it but you have to do the work and you just have to show up and and do it and see where it takes you.

29:41.43
charukaarora
Yeah, and I think you know particularly like you said making the work specifically for people who’ve had um grief loss or any kind of traumatic experiences that they are processing I think I also my take away from the past two years was that for me even even though art is a way to process. Um, what I’m feeling I realized that it also needed to be a place of hope so when even though when I was making something from a place of I didn’t know at that point that I was grieving because I I actually wanted to escape. Everything that I was feeling and I was like okay this is one of the best way for me to do but that when you’re in where you grieving or you’re going through a hard time like this. It’s very difficult to separate yourself from what you’re feeling. it’s it’s it’s very hard I couldn’t do it at least and. I learned that if my work was only about the hardships and it wasn’t giving me hope or it wasn’t giving me today when I look at my work. You know so let’s say when I started um to make jewelry so I started painting jewelry and. Ah, indian um, a lot of those things that remind me of my mom but in a positive way and it doesn’t make me um you know break into yours or it really excites me and I’m like I want to look at um.

31:02.78
Jess Currier
Is.

31:16.14
charukaarora
Next piece of jewelry. Um, trying to find connection and also building my own story and even though I know that it has a purpose and that purpose is very personal to me. But it’s also giving me a lot of like lot of joy specifically in in an area that is very sensitive. Like it for me that became a necessity I needed to feel excited relieved and good about something and it needed to like I needed that I I couldn’t take the pressure when. It it wouldn’t bring that ah bring that out and making something that I just found beautiful was of course one one way and that’s how I started you know I started painting the jewelry thing only because I was so I love indian jewelry I love everything that is you know a culture has to offer the craft you know all of that with jewelries. 1 thing that I’ve always like you know the. You know it’s it’s always stuck my mind and I was like you know what? let me just paint this. Let me just draw this and I would have like these random scribbles and I was like why would someone paint jewelry like the practical sign of my mind or the purpose one like just jewelry doesn’t have anything profound to say there’s no purpose There’s not this. Like get it get this out of my way. This is what I want to do and and I found so much so much joy and surprisingly I have not received such an incredible response so far on any of the work that I did with this one and it wasn’t intentional. It wasn’t.

32:48.98
charukaarora
Anything. So sometimes you I think allowing ourselves to feel what we are feeling and also chasing joy I don’t know I mean why? Ah why do we feel guilty about it at least I did.

33:03.63
Jess Currier
This week

33:07.70
charukaarora
I Felt like oh if I’m having too much fun. Um, if this feels easy am I not pushing self enough. Did you feel that way.

33:13.52
Jess Currier
Um, ah.

33:16.72
Jess Currier
Um, um I think well I don’t know that it ever felt that way for me because in my journey with painting at least? um.

33:27.20
charukaarora
Okay.

33:34.94
Jess Currier
I Went to grad school I got an Mfa in a very traditional program so it was a lot of disciplined work and effort and showing up there. It was a lot So and.

33:49.49
charukaarora
Absolutely.

33:53.58
Jess Currier
I was also during that time going through some really difficult things I had a lot of personal losses I had moved a lot. So I I think in a similar way I came to painting. Looking for joy and it also similarly surprised me in the way that it held space for the entire paradox of my experience the grief and the loss.

34:13.32
charukaarora
Yeah I Love that.

34:27.90
charukaarora
Yeah.

34:32.61
Jess Currier
And the the suffering and the discipline and the frustration and the joy and the hope and the longing and the desire for for more the hope for what was to come the possibility of better.

34:50.94
charukaarora
Yeah.

34:52.61
Jess Currier
Of of lightness of beauty it held space for all of it and I think painting for me has always been that kind of paradox.

35:10.00
charukaarora
You know I Love my not very true.

35:11.12
Jess Currier
Like it. It’s held space for the whole spectrum and I think that Creativity has such a unique ability to do that Which is why I love it so much because. Like you said you could come from that place of grief and you can do this work and then it it surprises you because it’s like oh and but also there’s room for joy in it and it take away from the the heaviness of the other things. It.

35:39.84
charukaarora
Yeah.

35:49.00
Jess Currier
You almost have both at once you have heaviness and lightness within it and and I think because the creative process is is so unique to the human experience and it it has this sort of mystery to it.

35:51.17
charukaarora
Yes.

36:07.87
Jess Currier
And and a sort of magic to it I think um, you can’t lie to your creative work it because it’s that sort of Arche archaeological Process. You’re going to dig up like the creative Work. We’ll dig up what’s there and so even if you come to a project with a particular intention. Um.

36:42.58
Jess Currier
You know for? for example, like the work that you were that you’re describing so beautifully. You know you came to it looking for something to bring you joy. You came to it looking to to be delighted to delight in your work and to escape that pain.

36:49.89
charukaarora
Yeah.

37:00.56
Jess Currier
And yet it held space for your grief because that’s what was the surface and I it the art just does that So beautifully and I love that we can’t lie to our work I Love it.

37:04.10
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

37:14.38
charukaarora
Um, yeah, you know.

37:19.65
Jess Currier
It will bring that up. Um, and it always surprises us and I think that’s beautiful.

37:26.37
charukaarora
I Love that thought this is wonderful on that thought I Also want to ask you something which is the second part we’ve spoken quite extensively actually about a voice style. Just like so much deeper than just on this surface something that I also found particularly interesting when I was speaking to you was you know why? and I think you I I do feel that we have a lot of similarities I think um I do feel that um.

38:01.21
charukaarora
Something I can feel like a connection of how similar we are. But um I also want to ask you like you know you have this incredible um work that you share on your social media. You’ve built this extensive profile and we’ve also spoken about um.

38:19.93
charukaarora
There’s so many things that you’ve done in the past and then landed here. So my question is I know that everything that you’ve now that you tell me like okay you were a photographer now I can make sense. Okay, why your imagery not just your work. But how your document and share your work is so beautiful. Um I want to ask you like how has these um skills that you’ve learned over the years um on regular days on other jobs in life helped you become a better artist and what were one of them. Do you think like the most um. Top 3 or like just most valuable skills that you felt like may help you a lot.

39:03.74
Jess Currier
Ah, that’s a great question and I think probably the easiest way to answer that is photography because it’s such a direct translation to paint um and then obviously to.

39:15.59
charukaarora
Yeah.

39:21.82
Jess Currier
Social media to document take my work but I think it also influenced the way I paint hugely because my entire the the development of my voice as an artist I think started with photography um the way that i. Approach composition value lighting and all of that is hugely impacted by the work that I did as a photographer and I did photography for for about 7 years actually I started when I was still in high school. Um.

39:54.14
charukaarora
Well.

40:00.20
Jess Currier
I did portraits of my friends and I’ve always loved portraiture that was always kind of my central focus and that’s now I I paint portraits I paint the figure and so I think that in some ways it gave me a head start as I began Painting. Um. Because the way that I had learned to see light to compose an image with my eye for those things had already. You know I had spent years developing uncovering my voice um through a different medium and so.

40:22.37
charukaarora
Oh my goodness. Yes, yes.

40:37.36
Jess Currier
That certainly translated and and influences how I paint um and what I paint and then of of course the practical side of it I learned how to run a business I learned how to work with clients and sell a service. Um.

40:48.79
charukaarora
He asked.

40:57.14
Jess Currier
Build a website you know and this was I was doing photography before Instagram really dating myself. But um, so it I didn’t show up on social media in the same way. But I I did learn how to become an entrepreneur.

41:01.46
charukaarora
Yes, mouth.

41:16.57
Jess Currier
Essentially and that absolutely translates into being an artist because you’re not and you’re running. You’re running an art business. Um, and that’s that’s part of it it it is. That’s the the way of the world. You have to figure that out.

41:19.80
charukaarora
How you read your book. Yes.

41:34.75
Jess Currier
Um, if you want to dedicate more of your time to it. Um, and so those things certainly translated. Um I also think and this one this one’s a bit unique to my situation. So I um moved 12 times. In the span of 11 years. Um, my former partner went through a lot of job changes and moved around a lot more than one more than once a year on average so I was constantly starting over and and because of that I ended up.

41:58.20
charukaarora
Okay, now.

42:03.63
charukaarora
O god.

42:12.46
Jess Currier
Um, sort of figuring out how to share my work as I began painting I learned how to share my work in the ways that I could which was predominantly online and so I found Instagram as this sort of safe haven.

42:23.64
charukaarora
Yeah.

42:32.90
Jess Currier
Of consistency when I was going through all loss and transition and constantly having to start over. Um it it was a constant that I could maintain momentum in that space I could um, find community.

42:33.82
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

42:44.40
charukaarora
Um, yeah, we all like that stability in your life was coming from that part? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

42:49.97
Jess Currier
Yeah, ironically like that’s not what you think of when where do finds to build social media like obviously that’s a little strange but it really was.

43:02.20
charukaarora
No, but that’s truly I think that’s that’s really that’s at least ah I think you moved so much I think in the past two years I’m a stable person I just I know that now after years that I need stability in the sense of my patterns and like. I need to have some kind of structure to know to have that space to create past two years I just didn’t have it and I was suffocating I was suffocating so much because I didn’t know how to be.

43:25.34
Jess Currier
Question.

43:36.38
charukaarora
I think I knew now when I look at back at it I think I knew how to be creative. No matter where I was that never was a problem but that was never also a parameter for me as ah, if I’m doing well in my career or if I want to move forward or whatever. Um I have been creative in the past two years definitely but this desire of making work and you know sharing work and um, you know like you want to move forward in your career also because if it was only like I think this paradox of doing it for joy but also doing it for um.

44:14.13
charukaarora
I’m not completely doing art for a living I have so many other things that happening around me but also the desire that I want to excel at that as well. But I wasn’t just having enough medium and at that point I think a sketchbook became my go to that wasn’t before.

44:28.55
Jess Currier
The.

44:32.83
charukaarora
Because I was like you know and like you said Instagram but has been something even though I’ve been off every time. Um, but just like you know it would be that 1 thing because nobody was sitting on my head and be like draw or like make something but I was like you know what.

44:45.60
Jess Currier
If.

44:49.59
charukaarora
I need to share something. So even if I was able to do 3 Yes, yes, so even if I showed for three days I wouldn’t have showed up for either. But at least I did for 3 that was ah I mean that was me I’m holding myself accountable with something. Um.

44:50.61
Jess Currier
Exactly It’s an it’s a levelable accountability.

45:07.76
charukaarora
Even though that’s another whole conversation of how risky that area can also be because you know, but just also making these little actions.

45:14.33
Jess Currier
Oh yeah, it comes with it. Ah yeah, so I think that that yeah brings this external accountability. Um, and for me it was where I found my people and I still some of my best.

45:30.67
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

45:32.26
Jess Currier
And in the world now are people that I met through Instagram years ago this is yeah I started sharing my work on Instagram in 2017 um and I think it’s also something ah ah I like to talk about that because I think it’s something a lot of people don’t.

45:36.68
charukaarora
It’s men who.

45:52.40
Jess Currier
Ah, similar to with style. You know you just see the tip of the iceberg. You just see like some you know person what you perceive is like this very successful social media profile but you don’t see the years of work that that person.

45:55.15
charukaarora
Right.

46:10.38
Jess Currier
Put in but it so the way that they developed their voice. Um, and so they do yeah, they don’t mean anything in terms of you don’t know what 1 ne’s actual practice like.

46:10.49
charukaarora
Yeah, and also numbers are not parameter of success. We all know that by now. But again I’m buying tricks. Ah yeah.

46:25.67
charukaarora
But it ah it satisfies our ego.

46:29.15
Jess Currier
Yeah, and and I think the value in it for me in in developing like cultivating ah an audience or community has been um, mostly as a space for those connections because I didn’t because I didn’t stay in 1 place I didn’t have ah a.

46:42.48
charukaarora
Yeah.

46:48.61
charukaarora
Yeah.

46:49.12
Jess Currier
Physical in-person community where I could share my work and have that feedback. Um I’m a big believer that I don’t think art can live its fullest life in a vacuum. Um I think it’s still valuable. Some people do their creative work for just for themselves and that’s beautiful. But for me I feel like there’s such a big part of the magic that happens when you get that feedback and someone gets to experience creative work and everything we’ve been discussing all of the ways it holds space for our experience.

47:27.50
charukaarora
Yeah.

47:27.34
Jess Currier
That’s translated in the work that stays work and when someone engages it. That’s what touches their soul and they get to encounter that and I think that is such a beautiful you know life of an artwork like that’s such a beautiful expression of creative work. Um, and that’s one of my favorite parts about it is when I can create something and someone can can engage with it and it resonates deeply in their soul in a similar way or it touches their experience and we can share that and have that connection I think that’s so beautiful and I didn’t.

48:03.62
charukaarora
So um.

48:06.45
Jess Currier
Of ah, a space where that could happen in person I think a lot of people can relate with the pandemic because most of us that was taken away from us during the pandemic if we had it before and so I I love.

48:10.63
charukaarora
Um, yeah, right.

48:16.85
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

48:25.22
Jess Currier
Social media as much as it has its ups and downs and its challenges and when you get the ego involved. It can get so messy and destructive absolutely. But also it’s such a beautiful opportunity for connection and I think. I committed really early on to show up pretty vulnerableably and I told myself in 2017 I was like okay I’m gonna post paintings on Instagram even if I think they’re terrible and I started doing that and I so i.

48:49.33
charukaarora
Um, named.

48:56.20
charukaarora
Me yeah.

49:03.92
Jess Currier
Still do that I still share work that I’m like I don’t feel like this is my best but I’m I wouldn’t gonna just put it out there. You know that’s part of its journey and maybe it’ll connect with someone and and that has just brought so much beauty into my life. Um.

49:06.36
charukaarora
Um, and.

49:10.16
charukaarora
I’m going to put it out there.

49:22.47
Jess Currier
Not because of any sort of you know numbers or social media success. Whatever that means? um, but because of the people I’ve met and the ways that we’ve connected. Um and I’m really grateful to the internet.

49:37.79
charukaarora
I Loved on it. Oh my God I think you has not only incredible work. But you haven’t an incredible voice but I just feel like you have a you just have so many deep and wonderful things to say.

49:40.45
Jess Currier
For that.

49:56.67
charukaarora
And it truly I think while I was going just trying to do my groundwork. It wasn’t just the art that you were making but also the words that you were supporting it with you know how you were sharing it that surely resonated with me. So. Thank you so much for the work that you do It is. It’s truly. It’s it’s truly wonderful. Okay I have a fun segment for you though I have a quick rapid fire for us to have a little bit of fun and for people to learn a little bit more from you. So Are you right? ready.

50:15.80
Jess Currier
Thank you so much for that.

50:32.40
Jess Currier
I’m ready.

50:33.65
charukaarora
You’re ready. Okay, let me grace myself. Okay, let’s start with this or that okay creativity or Perfectionism which is more important to you.

50:42.10
Jess Currier
Um, we do are.

50:52.70
Jess Currier
Creativity. Do you want me to but I elaborate are we doing quick answer should I elaborate on any of these or are we just doing quick answer. Um I.

50:53.26
charukaarora
Okay, are you an early morning. So. Whatever you feel called to.

51:10.40
Jess Currier
Creativity because perfection can be crippling and it oh I would say I lean into done is better than perfect and I for a while my mantra was make bad art because I needed to get past my I needed to.

51:11.41
charukaarora
Create. Ah yes.

51:29.80
Jess Currier
I Appreciate Perfectionism which is why I hesitated because I I do appreciate like I’m glad perfectionist because I think it’s led me um to become more excellent at what I do. It’s led me to improve what I do. Um.

51:33.86
charukaarora
Very well executed.

51:41.18
charukaarora
Better. Yeah.

51:48.30
Jess Currier
But at the same time you have to keep it on a tight leash whereas Creativity um should be unleashed and so creativity.

51:49.53
charukaarora
Yeah.

51:55.39
charukaarora
Absolutely okay. Are you an early morning or late night person your your prefer time your time of creating what’s that.

52:04.83
Jess Currier
Ah, so painfully both because I I could really can get into a really good creative flow early morning or late at night but there is no one between like I try to paint. In the daytime in the afternoon and I am useless and terrible and I think the world is awful and I don’t know what I’m doing but get me like early morning or like late night and I’m like in the flow. So I have to pick um, lately It’s been late nights because.

52:27.45
charukaarora
Um.

52:31.60
charukaarora
Link and.

52:41.84
Jess Currier
Other things have interrupted my mornings. So I’ve leaned into that. But I think my ideal is early morning creativity. So when the sun comes up before the world is really moving. That’s my favorite time to paint but often I end up painting at night music. Always.

52:55.65
charukaarora
Um, music or silence which is your preferd mode of creating.

53:01.43
Jess Currier
I Like I always blast music when I’m painting every time sometimes I’ll listen sorry sometimes I’ll listen to a podcast or something but mostly music.

53:03.93
charukaarora
No Wow Okay, what has been one of the biggest struggles. Sorry.

53:14.91
charukaarora
Yeah I Love that I Love that I think ah the best time for me in the studio is also I Love like I Love moments of silence but I love having something played a book or a podcast in the back. And just immerse myself like I’m sitting with someone in a conversation and painting myself. Okay, what has been the biggest challenge that you think you’ve ah you’ve experienced in your creative part so far.

53:33.20
Jess Currier
Yes, exactly.

53:46.10
Jess Currier
To keep going ah time and time again I every time I come to the easel every time I get out of bed I have to decide am I going to.

53:46.90
charukaarora
Yeah.

54:03.69
Jess Currier
Keep doing this work because it’s hard. It’s hard. It’s self directed. No one is like you said no one’s sitting up like telling me I have to do this? Um and it’s vulnerable. You have to put yourself out there. It’s a risk um and.

54:05.79
charukaarora
Um, yeah, going to be yeah.

54:21.33
Jess Currier
You have to always over and over again decide and that you’re going to take the leap and keep going to. Yeah.

54:29.68
charukaarora
Yeah.

54:36.43
charukaarora
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve heard so far.

54:42.77
Jess Currier
Best piece of advice.

54:56.77
Jess Currier
I think the first thing that comes to mind is um, anything that Elizabeth Gilbert says her book big magic is my like just I read it what like a year

55:03.48
charukaarora
Oh my God I love her. Yes I do it twice in the beginning and the end of video I have to it’s like a ritual I can’t I can’t give up on I like it’s like a talk I need.

55:13.53
Jess Currier
To keep myself proper oriented. Has.

55:23.24
charukaarora
To get through to close in year to begin in year and probably I think I also listen to it as much as I wouldn’t want to like I feel like thrice a year because I’m I’m sure like I know there comes a point but I feel like too exhausted and tired and need someone to give me that pep talk and it is just. That one book that can do that for me.

55:43.81
Jess Currier
Yes, ah one ah hundred percent I I adore her and I love the way that she talks about creativity and this and I think the thing that has stuck with me everything from big magic resonates for me and has stuck with me but probably 1 of the most helpful ones.

55:49.70
charukaarora
Ten four

56:03.66
Jess Currier
Is that is that her concept of inspiration as something that exists desire to be made ideas want to be made. They want to come to life and you get to choose to receive that invitation to partner with them right.

56:09.28
charukaarora
Yes, yes I love that too. Yeah yeah.

56:22.18
Jess Currier
Operation strikes and that takes so much of the pressure off and at the same time makes it so much more transcendent and beautiful and magical to say yes and so it sort of simultaneously makes it like it takes the pressure off and it makes it better.

56:25.98
charukaarora
Yeah.

56:31.56
charukaarora
Yes.

56:41.70
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

56:41.85
Jess Currier
And I just love mindset because um, it completely transformed the way I see my creativity.

56:51.54
charukaarora
Um I love that. Okay, how has technology helped you or hindered you in your creative process.

57:01.27
Jess Currier
Um, Well we talked about social media but already so I think I’ll leave that there but I use technology in my process a lot because for my double exposure paintings where I have the florals I I do paintings with. Florals overlaid on imagery of faces and figures. Um I use photoshop to create those references and then I paint from the references so creating digital references for my paintings is a hugely integral part of my process.

57:20.78
charukaarora
Oh.

57:39.51
Jess Currier
Um, and I really love that as a tool. Um, so that’s the way that it’s helped I think technology though. Ah, the hardest part is the distraction Limitless possibility having like.

57:52.87
charukaarora
I know.

57:58.42
Jess Currier
I’m so grateful for the internet but also um, it’s so much harder to focus on your work and that’s real. So yeah, that’s what.

58:05.40
charukaarora
Yeah, yes, absolutely okay, last piece of question. What is that 1 piece of advice you would like to give for anyone who’s looking who has creative aspirations specifically women. Um. And do not know where to begin with.

58:27.40
Jess Currier
Um.

58:29.91
Jess Currier
Begin with the work begin with committing to show up and create whatever that looks like for you. So if it’s a sketchbook or paintings or a daily study. Or you taking a class.. There’s so many different methods of doing this but the point is to show up consistently doesn’t have to be every single day. That’s a lot of pressure take that off if you want to do every day.

59:00.81
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

59:08.60
Jess Currier
Good for you. But you don’t have to but consistently over time show up and do the work and I think that like 90% of people’s.

59:11.78
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

59:18.15
charukaarora
I Love that advance.

59:26.26
Jess Currier
Problems and hangups around creativity will be solved there right? So many of the the struggles that newer artists come and bring to me so many of the struggles I had when I was starting out.

59:29.58
charukaarora
You know I’ve died.

59:43.14
Jess Currier
Are solved if you just keep painting just keep painting like finding your voice finding your style building your skill. Um, what are you going to work on next. What is it that you’re trying to say how do you do this or that like you figure that out by doing the work.

59:46.87
charukaarora
You know.

01:00:01.38
charukaarora
I am.

01:00:03.50
Jess Currier
The answers are buried and you have to do the work to dig them up and and that comes with just showing up consistently over and I’m talking years like I don’t mean for thirty days I mean like.

01:00:14.86
charukaarora
Um, yeah, um, yeah, yeah.

01:00:21.74
Jess Currier
For your life for years if you can show up and keep doing the work. It will not fail to reward you I promise.

01:00:32.67
charukaarora
Oh my goodness you have so many incredible things to say and this this podcast episode is I think back with so much honesty and I think it’s a great episode for anyone who’s who feels pressured and I think a lot of us. Do. It does not matter. On what stage of her career or life we are but a lot of times we feel boxed with opinions of what the gatekeepers or the society or the people around who you know and we often look up for advice. Um, you know I posted this reel on Instagram and. On Youtube yesterday on on my channels that one thing if I were to take aways that from my journey so far is that sometimes you have to believe in yourself the most then you believe in the version of what for people look. At you with their interpretation of you. We oftentimes believe so much in that and I think you’ve shared some incredible advices and your own experiences when it comes to how you approach your practice not just I think. All these conversations are not only valuable for someone who’s just a painter like you know creative but also in general I think we are all I truly believe that anything that we’re doing is a practice like I love yoga. Um I love this like what I’m doing and for me I know for me to get better at it or.

01:01:56.82
Jess Currier
Fit.

01:02:05.17
charukaarora
I just need to keep showing up and getting like you know like when I started the podcast I was like I don’t know what do I have to say or what I do ah but the more I do it the better I understand that why am I doing this so anyone who’s listening to this episode I think um. Um, major takeaway would be on how we can keep the pressure off make for the joy of making and if you know anyone who ah can take value from this podcast episode be an artist friend or you know. Just your own communities I think I think it could make a lot of difference because I don’t think these conversations are as open and as often as they should be so thank you so much. Jess thank you so much for your honesty. Can you also let me know. Where can people anyone who’s listening to this episode. How can they reach out to you support you if you have anything upcoming that you would want to share with us and just anything this is your flow.

01:03:10.92
Jess Currier
Well first of all, thank you so much for having me and for holding space for this conversation because I agree I think we need to bring this level of vulnerability and bring these conversations out more often and I’m just so grateful to.

01:03:30.28
charukaarora
Same.

01:03:30.46
Jess Currier
Get to talk with you and really enjoyed it. Um I am working on releasing prints soon for the first time so that’s going to be coming up. Um, people can find me I obviously hang out on Instagram that’s where I do most of my. Sharing community building. That’s where I have these conversations on a regular basis and where I share my work. Um, you can find me at Jess Courier um or at Jescourier.com and you can see my work and sign up for my newsletter if you want to hear about prince or any. Exhibitions coming up but those are the big things.

01:04:09.51
charukaarora
Lovely for anyone I would anyone I mean everyone actually um, this episode will be translated into a q and a in an article format on arts twohats project website. Not only that we will ask I will ask just. To send us the links to her newsletter and you know to um, her princes and also some exclusive shots and images that I’m sure Jess can share with us in you know in spirit of giving you a little bit mode inside. So. Anyone who is interested make sure that even if you’re hearing or viewing this podcast I think it would be so amazing if you go visit our website and take a deep dive into what actually just looks like in a studio how she’s making and. Um, support how work so make sure you visit make sure you tag me and Jess if you like this episode share it with a friend who could truly value from it I think that’s that’s ah, that’s one of the biggest reasons why I do this? Thank you so much. Thank you? Everyone who joined us today and I can’t wait to be back and thank you Jess. Thank you so much.

01:05:21.80
Jess Currier
Thank you.

01:05:27.30
charukaarora
Um, no, no yay.

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