Thumbnail: Meet Jessica Simorte

Where are you from and where do you reside?

I was born in Scottsdale, Arizona but currently live and work in Kansas City, Missouri—which I love. I am half French and have spent a lot of time in Europe. I very much consider the south of France to be another home of mine.

How has your upbringing influenced your art and your career as an artist?

I remember expressing a distaste for Surrealism and Spanish bull fights one afternoon when I was around ten years old, and my concerns were met with “Alright, but why?” My father has the spirit of a philosopher and an educator—every experience was something to learn from. This was really trying as a child, but ultimately extremely successful in teaching me that curiosity is the foundation of all things creative. My mother has always been infinitely supportive, which is something that every artist needs beyond measure. She made sure that I could get access to whatever it was that I was curious about at any given time. Without a doubt, having the unique upbringing that I did absolutely prepared me for the peculiar path of art making.

There’s something really incredible about being able to hold a painting in your hand or lap while you’re working.

Jessica Simorte

How does panel and/or paper size play a factor in your work?

I choose to work small primarily because of the experience it allows for both myself and the viewer. Size and scale inherently play a primary role in the construction of an environment, within the individual paintings and the grander installation. Subtle shifts in color and texture regularly appear in my work, requiring closeness between myself and the work while in process, and later between the viewer and the work.

What necessities do you require when making your art (radio, paintbrushes, etc)?

Music is always playing when I’m in studio and although this isn’t a necessity, being able to have windows open lately is so nice. I use angled shaders more than any other brush lately and have become captivated with spackle as a drawing tool, I use it in almost everything I make right now.

Do you have a favorite quote?

I’ve recently thought of Miranda July’s quote “Don’t wait to be sure, move, move, move!” I think in many ways, that’s a good philosophy to have. Say yes now, figure it out later. Also, “A party without cake is just a meeting.” Amen, Julia Child.