Jessica Morgan-Helliwell

by Nisha Btesh April 23, 2020

Jessica Morgan-Helliwell

7 am: I am still fast asleep (it’s safe to say sleeping is one of my favourite things to do)

8:30 am: My alarm goes off and I stay in bed for about 30 minutes, I tend to check my social media and messages and just try and wake myself up ready to start the day.

9am: It time to get up! First thing I do is go to the bathroom and freshen myself up. Then I check on my plants make sure they are looking healthy and give them all a mist.

9:30 am: Breakfast time. I usually have some avocado on sourdough toast with some freshly squeezed orange and ginger juice- So yummy!

10 am: Once I'm all fed and dressed, I then check my diary and see what’s in store for the day- I liked to stay organised and plan my days ahead. Each day I try and mix things up a bit so I don’t get bored!

10:30 am: Time to head to the studio, depending on what I have planned it usually consists of lots of painting, research and digital pattern designing!

11 am: Tea break! A cup of tea always helps me get through the morning of designing! 

11:30 am: The painting continues when I'm in the middle of a project I spend most of my days painting away- I love it!
  

Tell us about how you became the woman you are today. Where did you grow up? What moments in life have influenced your character most?  

I was born in Swansea, Wales which is a city in the UK. I would spend most of my days (when it wasn’t raining) at the beach, soaking up all the fresh sea air, collecting shells and walking my dogs. Growing up I have always been fascinated by accentuate patterns and drawn to bold and bright colours- this sort of resembles my personality and the woman I have become today through my dress sense as you won’t see me without a hint of leopard print on or a bright coloured lippy -Coachella colour by Charlotte Tilbury to be exact!

Moving to the gorgeous, quaint town of Bath, UK in 2017 helped me grow as a woman and become more independent, going to University to studying Textiles for Fashion and Interiors I was able to let my creative juices flow and continue to develop recognisable ‘style’. 

Tell us about the exact moment or period in time when you realised you were to create.

I have always been very creative and drawn towards anything “arty”. I remember when I was around 8 years old, I was set a project in school which was “what job do you want to have when you grow up?” I knew straight away my project was going to be on being a fashion designer. A few years later I took Graphics and Art for my A-Levels which I loved and spent all my lunchtimes in school hiding away in the IT room practising my photoshop skills and constantly wanting to improve my work. I was never bothered or interested in

academic subjects and knew an artistic route was the only path for me (apart from the slight change of direction when I wanted to become a marine biologist, but I quickly released it was for me and returned to my creative path). 

Tell us a little bit about what drew you to your medium. Did you choose to work with this medium or did it choose you?

Ever since I studied art in school I have LOVED experimenting with a whole range of media. From collaging, weaving, sewing to ceramics. I struggled to find my ‘style’. It wasn’t until I went to university I was able to really lock my innovative style of working through a lot more experimentation and practice. I have found that my favourite medium to work with has to be painting, after experimenting with so many different styles of paints I found that Arteza Gouache is most definitely my favourite paint to use as the colour choice is amazing and always seems to fit in with my colour palette! anyone that hasn’t used gouache paint yet- you need to it will change your life!
 

A lot of women believe they need formal training in order to succeed as a Female Artist. What’s your take? Did you have formal education or are you self taught?

I don’t believe that you need formal training to pursue something your passionate about. Art and designing is all about practice, practice , practice. Going to university I guess you could say I am in formal education but I would say I am self-taught if anything university is there as guidance they give me constructed criticism and help me push my creativeness to the limit. Being surrounded by other aspiring artists and professors with years of experience helped me as a designer, being able to bounce ideas around and ask for opinions really helps the creative process. As well as having a degree out of it I have made some best friends for life and learnt so much about myself!
 

What do you want the younger female artists coming up behind you to know about you, your journey, and the art industry in general?

Do and make what makes you feel happy! Be proud of your work, every designer always has days where they have a creative block and don’t like anything they create- but don’t give up. Go for a walk, step away from your studio space and relax! Being in the art industry is tuff, but when you work hard and stay true to who you are as a designer- it can be very rewarding and makes all the blood, sweat and tears worth it! Keep going, you’ve got this!! 

Being confident is definitely needed in the art industry, talk positively about your work. Promote, Promote, Promote- social media is an amazing platform to raise awareness of you as an artist, so share your work processes and support fellow artists too!!

How do you define your creative gig? Full-time career or side hustle? Explain why you’ve chosen one over the other. 

My creative gig is Full time as I am a uni student, creating every day! But my business side of things is currently a side hustle and a work in progress. Using my Instagram platform I can interact with a huge variety of people, creating commissioned pieces and selling prints. I also have an Etsy shop that I sell my prints on and have sold my work at the Bath Christmas Markets which was an amazing experience- Hopefully when I have graduated from university I will be able to take my creative gig further and make it as a freelance designer.

What is the message you're sending into the universe with your work? Why do you feel so strongly about this message?

Being heavily inspired by tropical elements, botanical plants and all things ‘leafy’ i would say my message I'm sending to the universe through my work is to appreciate the nature that is all around us. My work is busy and full of life so by bringing my designs into your home you added a slice of paradise into your life.  

How do you stay motivated? 

If I am honest sometimes I find it quite difficult to focus. One thing for me is I can’t work at home, I have to be in my studio where I can concentrate without any distractions. Staying organized is key!! On a Sunday evening, I write out my plan for the week, what I want to achieve every day. I find this helps me stay focused and motives me to complete my daily tasks.

 What is your biggest focus and/or goal in your career right now? What plans do you have for yourself 1,3,5 years from now?

My biggest goal at the moment is to put all my effort into my Final Major Project at university- this is going to be the biggest collection I’ve made so far and at the moment I'm so happy with how it is turning out, make sure to check out my Instagram @jmhtextiles from daily updates and to see my process. Once I have graduated university, the first thing I am going to do is TRAVEL- see the world, soak up an array of cultures, and get a load of inspiration from various places to further inspire me for future projects!! 

My goals for the next few years are to work for an established textile studio as a surface pattern designer, and along the side continue to grow my social media and Etsy shop. 5 years from now I hope to have had some traveling under my belt, have my own home that I can cover in house plants with 2 little sausage dogs running around. I hope to have many experiences within the textile industry and hopefully become a freelance designer full time! That would be the dream, now I'm just working ma a** off to make it a reality!! 

Give us three of your favourite/ most inspiring things right now. It could be a book, a food, a destination, a song, a person, etc. 

My new plant cutting of a variegated Monestra (cheese plant), Bali- the first place I will be going traveling once I graduate. Arteza Gouache paint- the best gouache I have ever used!!

What's the best advice you've ever been given?

Just do you

 

It’s karaoke night and your up. What song do you sing? 

I'm outta love - Anastacia. An oldie but a classic. 

Finish this sentence. I never leave home without my…

Phone, House keys, lipstick. 

Finish this sentence. I find myself most inspired to create when I am…

Organized and know that I can have a cocktail at the end of the week!! 

Name 3 of your guilty pleasures. 

Pink Gin, Binge-watching David Attenborough programmes and Houseplants 

If you had to give a 30 min. speech without preparing to an audience of 1,000 what would it be on? 

How to take cuttings of your houseplants and propagate them to grow to plant collection!!




Nisha Btesh
Nisha Btesh

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