Wednesday, March 5

Unexpected Guests: Jessica Gonacha.

We're in for some southern hospitality today, folks, by way of Duluth, Georgia, a suburb just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, where artist Jessica Gonacha resides. Jessica spent her childhood in Boulder, Colorado, raised by two creative parents where she grew and nurtured her passion for making art, until she left for Ithaca College in New York in 1998, and graduated with the highest of honors. Jessica is avidly pursuing her career as a contemporary artist and designer and is recently engaged to her life love, Ryan. Jessica's artwork is popping up everywhere these days, so I'd say life is good. Here's what Jessica's got to say today.

Where do you live?
I live in Duluth, Georgia, which is a suburb of Atlanta.

What is your favorite outing in your city?
Well, Duluth is not the most exciting place, but one of my favorite things to do in Atlanta is just going out to explore. I’ve only lived here since August, so there is so much to discover. I like to compile a list of places to check out (shops, galleries, etc), and then see where the wind takes me. It’s so inspiring to be in a relatively unfamiliar place. It doesn’t feel like home yet, so it’s very exciting.

What's the best thing about your city?
Atlanta is beautiful! I love driving around and looking at all the old Atlanta mansions. The neighborhoods here are amazing.

What don't you leave home without?
I don’t go anywhere without my camera and a sketchbook. I usually have a large and small sketchbook that are used at the same time, so I take whichever is more appropriate. I also never leave without dental floss, but we don’t need to get into that. :)

What's your favorite shop?
I love Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary in Boulder, Colorado (my hometown). I make all my own creams/lotions, and their selection of herbs and supplies is incredible. I would always go in for one or two things and end up walking out with an armload of stuff!

What's one thing about you that would surprise people?
Before I decided to devote myself to a career in art-making, my plan was to be a singer/songwriter. I taught myself to play guitar when I was 15 and wrote/sang/performed all through college and a couple years after. I don’t play much anymore, but there is always an itch somewhere inside me to pick up the guitar and start writing, singing, and performing again.

Who are your favorite artists?
Gosh, there are so many, I don’t know how to choose.
I love Egon Schiele and his moody portraits, Odilon Redon, Hilary Williams, Geoffrey Gorman, Whitney Bedford, Julie Maren, and my recent favorite is Christina Romeo.

Where do you find inspiration?
Where don’t I find inspiration is really the question! I am always inspired by nature- I love irregularities in the natural world; nothing is really symmetrical or perfect, and that’s sort-of how my art is, too. I am also inspired by books, pattern, books about pattern, artists in the blogging world, fantastic store displays, paint swatches, artists with extremely positive attitudes, traveling….

Who do you admire and why?
I admire my dear friend Caroline Douglas so much—she is a fantastic artist and never stops creating, and she is so in love with what she does. It’s a huge motivator every time I talk to her. I also really admire Jonathan Adler (as clichéd as that sounds)—I love the manifesto on his website, and I love that his mission is to bring ‘happy chic’ into people’s homes and lives. It’s so quirky and perfect!

What's the last great book you read?
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I loved that book so much and didn’t want it to end!

What's your favorite film?
Lost in Translation, hands down. I looove Bill Murray. I wish he was my next door neighbor.

If you could photograph anyone in the world, who might that be?
Probably Bjork. I have such a crush on her. I would love to see the contents of her closet!

Who would you like to sit down to tea with?
Bill Murray. He would make me laugh endlessly!

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Grapes. I know it doesn’t sound very guilty, but I buy them about 5 pounds at a time when it’s grape season, and I eat them until my stomach hurts. I can’t stop myself.

Is there anything you would change about yourself?
I am a worrier, and I would love not to be. I worry about everything and waste a lot of time doing it. I would love to be able to just go with the flow more, and just let life happens as it happens.

What is your most treasured belonging?
Probably my guitar. It reminds me of old times and good friends, and it has traveled many places with me. I’m convinced it’s what got me through the emotions of being in college.

What souvenir did you bring back from your last trip?
An engagement ring! My boyfriend (now-fiancé) asked me to marry him on the beach at midnight on New Year’s Eve while we were visiting his family in Palos Verdes, CA. It is the best souvenir I can imagine!

Greatest indulgence?
Lately, it’s Ugly Betty on DVD. I became obsessed recently, and will lay curled up on the couch with a blanket and watch episode after episode. I’m not a tv-watcher, so it’s pretty funny that I’m so obsessed with the show.

What is your idea of living hell?
Doing something I don’t care about at all day after day. Having a job that I can’t stand and that doesn’t contribute anything worthwhile would be the worst.

What are some of your favorites websites/blogs to visit?
Oh, so many! Lately I’m loving:
Design For Mankind, Wolfie and the Sneak, Go Fug Yourself - a daily read for sure! Ffffound, The Bedlam of Beefy, Sweet Juniper, sfgirlbybay (of course!!), Dear Ada, Orange Beautiful, Creature Comforts, Primitive Culture...and on and on. I could read blogs all day long.

Thanks so much Jessica, for allowing us to drop in on you and check out what's going on in your life right now. Much happiness to you and Ryan! And loads of continued success with your art. Fore more about Jessica and her artwork, check out her blog, flickr photostream, and shop for her lovely work on etsy.


Stephanie said...

This was so fun to read! I love Jess and all her work, she is so amazing and her work it so wonderfully different and textural. So happy you featured her.

Fiona Cartolina said...

I really enjoyed that interview and the photos are really good too. Its great to see how other artists and crafts people live and work.
Thanks so much for that.
Jess's work is wonderful.

Aesthetic Outburst... said...

So great! Her artwork is so interesting and fun...I just love all of the patterning. Hooray for Jessica (and Victoria too)!

Matt Mewis said...

Awww...Jess is great. Thanks for blogging about her. I love watching her work on flickr and her blog. Both of you are very inspiring people, great to see you've connected!

matirose said...

Loved reading about Jess!!! It's so great how you tie all these bits together into a cohesive story of the person. Lovely!

Esti said...

She's good.

Anonymous said...

So many prett colors!