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Don't Grow Up Illustration - Wonderful Wild Souls

Hello, World!

I think a lot of people start out this way – I, too, had a passion for art beginning at a young age. I think it was Pablo Picasso who said, 

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

So here is my story.

I was actually a terrible artist growing up. Like up until I was a Sophomore in high school. Probably more like a Junior or Senior actually. I was involved in 4-H for ten years where I participated in drawing every single year. Each year was like pulling teeth – I would end up doing it last minute – unsure of what I wanted my drawing to look like, asking my mom her opinion and shooting down every possible suggestion she could muster and ending in a miserable cry-fest. It only came out a few years ago that my mom and sister would actually talk behind my back, "why is she doing this again" and "she obviously doesn't enjoy this" and "she's just miserable." (They may not sound great, but they're actually super supportive.)

But something inside me knew, one way or another, I had the potential to become what I always wanted to be – an artist. I was pretty good at most subjects in school, but nothing sparked inside me the way art class did. We didn't have an expansive program, but I made sure I took nearly every single one.

I'm not sure where my talent finally kicked in, but maybe it was the years and years of crying and being miserable and practicing and determination. Because today, I stand proud with a Bachelor's of Art degree in Visual Communication Design from Purdue University and I forever hold a passion inside my soul where art is concerned.

I developed my passion for illustration and handlettering by following hundreds of successful designers on Instagram. I am most influenced by powerhouses such as Jessica Hische, Lauren Hom and Mary Kate McDevitt. I just recently attended an AIGA event in Indianapolis where I was able to meet Jessica Hische on her book tour for Tomorrow, I'll Be Brave and I almost cried and had a heart attack when she shook my hand. More on that later in a separate post!

So here I am, world. Living my passion via these crazy, quirky Wonderful Wild Souls. More on the development of this project later. :) (View post on development here!)

And my final words of advice...

Don't grow up.

March 02, 2019 — Jessica Emery-McGregor

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