Letters From Jess – A newsletter

I have just started a brand new newsletter! If you would like to receive monthly letters from me right in to your inbox then subscribe here!

I thought I would give you a little extract from June’s newsletter below. Enjoy!

Hi, look, I’m really doing this! My very first letter, I am so glad you are here. 

Just as a proper introduction, my name is Jessica. I am an illustrator and work from my home in Derbyshire. I also have a part-time ‘regular’ job along side my business. 

I am planning to do these monthly, so I will be talking about what I have been working on for the past month. WHAT A MONTH. Time is moving very strangely for me, is it for you? It’s long and fluid and also moving so quickly I can’t believe it has slipped by me. I have been trying to not feel bad about ‘using time wisely’ – how on earth can we use it wisely when it has become a whooshing indescribable entity? 

Anyhoo, I have managed to upload a few new products on Etsy. I have created two new Father’s Day cards, and also a new range of birthday cards. I have been enjoying creating cute animal characters recently, they are just so cute and make me smile! 

Just to let you know that if you would like a portrait for a gift for Father’s Day, it would be wise to order as soon as possible. They take around 2 weeks to complete and delivery has been experiencing unfortunate delays recently, for obvious reasons. The Royal Mail have been FANTASTIC during this crisis and I cannot thank them enough. 

I also created a little comic story over on Instagram about my quarantine cat friend I have made. She visits the garden every day and I wonder about her often! Who is she!? Beautiful creature why do you grace me with your presence? 

You actually catch a glimpse of the majestic feline in my latest studio vlog that can be found below. I am planning on doing a Q&A for my next video so feel free to leave a question in the comments over there. 

Here is the part where I will recommend a few things I have partaking in this past month! 

Things to watch: 

I watched Years and Years on iPlayer – it came out last year but I have only just watched it and OH MY GOODNESS. Shows the future over the next few years and how it affects the life of 4 siblings and their surrounding family. Perhaps a little too close to the bone for what is currently going on with the world – but I definitely recommend if you can tolerate a bleak look in to the ‘future’ if things do not change. If you like Black Mirror I think you would like this. 

On a somewhat lighter note, I have just got so into Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! I wanted to watch the new Netflix interactive ‘Choose your adventure’ episode with Daniel Radcliffe (I LOVE HIM OKAY) so I am obviously watching them all from the beginning before I watch that one. Full of wit and heart, I love it for a humorous distraction. 

Over on YouTube, Contrapoints released a new video which is, of course, brilliant. Contrapoints is one of my favourite YouTube discoveries of last year – her videos are works of art! With genuine film-like quality she delivers really interesting discussions on topics I am usually woefully under educated on. The latest is a 1 and a half hour long masterpiece on ‘Cringe’. 

Normal People on iPlayer – I think I watched this month? I feel like the pain has been part of my life forever! The book broke my heart a couple of years ago, and the show did the exact same thing. I’m still not over it! Beautifully made, excellent casting and devastating in all the best ways. I assume you’ve heard of Connell’s Chain? 

Things to read: 

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

This book was last months book club read, and I am so glad it was. It tells the story of Cora, a slave on a plantation in the USA during the 19th century, who makes an escape to try and gain her freedom.  Chilling and devastating as you can imagine, I would usually file this type of book under ‘too upsetting to read’ and shy away from it, so I am glad I was encouraged by the book club to read this, an it’s also made me reevaluate my future novel choices. The story it tells is so powerful and gripping, and essential reading to remember what people have been through and just how much of the world was built on slavery. 

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

This was recommended in an online course I have been taking recently and was luckily free on my library app. I listened to this as an audio book, and it made excellent company as I was doing my illustration work this month. Gilbert talks about the nature of ideas, creativity and inspiration. I really enjoyed her insight and attitude towards being a creative person, and not needing anybody’s permission to live a creative life. 

I think that is enough for now. I hope you are well and keeping safe in all ways! Look after your self and don’t feel bad about it.

Love 

Jess