Jessica C. White
Describe your style, influences, inspiration, and what you plan to bring:
I love a good story. My work is reminiscent of children’s book illustrations, showing a little part of the story with a caption that drives the imagination. I’ve recently fallen in love with crankies, a storytelling structure that involves hand-cranking scrolls in boxes where you get to be a traveler within the narrative. These moving panoramas have a rich history in the Appalachian Mountains where I live, and I love to bring a part of our history into the present.
In your experience, what has been your best venue for selling your work:
My work sells best in person, so I try to get my work into stores and craft fairs. The images and colors of my prints are subtle, so they don’t have the impact on screen as they do in person. My crankies are most effective when they are handled – there’s something so fun and comforting about
working the handles, scrolling the paper, and feeling the story course through your fingertips.
What is your favorite way to put yourself in the mood for creativity?:
A cup of tea and my favorite podcast is how I start my day in the studio. When the weather’s nice, the doors are wide open. Also sometimes when the weather’s not nice.
What is the weirdest job you have ever had?:
I once worked inside the vault in the Special Collections of the library at University of Iowa. I was a grad assistant, testing papers for gelatin content for Timothy Barrett, a bona-fide genius (MacArthur Fellow). I think the weirdest part, besides being inside a vault all day, was that I “graded” handmade papers from the 16th-18th centuries based on on the quality of materials and craftsmanship. I always wondered what a papermaker from the 1500s would think if he got a C or D from me in the 21st century.
Which artist at The Handmade Market are you excited to see/meet?:
I’m a printer and bookbinder at heart, so I’m always excited to see new things on paper. I’ll probably make a beeline for R&B Printery, The Void Catalog, and Lydia Kuekes Design.