Stocksy – curated with love

Stocksy is so much more than an image library. Its website is home to a curated selection of royalty-free photographs, illustrations and videos that have changed our expectations about what stock images can do. They’re also a co-operative believing in creative integrity, fair profit sharing, and co-ownership – every voice is heard.

We'll be meeting some Stocksy artists over the coming months to find out more. Next up is Jessica Woodhouse, who’s based in Portland, Oregon. (You can also meet Liliya Rodnikova here)

What are your favourite colours to work with? I love using warm colours and earth tones because I feature nature in my illustrations. I feel like it gives my work an organic and relaxed feeling. That being said, I’ll use bold colours and pastels when the mood strikes.

What inspires you? So many things bring me inspiration! I have a lot of strong, supportive women in my life who I represent in my work. I love vintage style and try to incorporate vintage fashion and objects into my drawings. Riding my bike around Portland, which connects me to my surroundings in a completely different way, has been a source of endless creativity. Leaving town for a few days of solitude in nature has always been something that gives me clarity and new ideas.

What is the creative scene like in Portland? I moved to Portland about four years ago and it’s been the perfect place for me to focus on growing my business. I’ve found the creative community here to be very supportive of each other, especially women supporting other women. I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for the network of creative friends that helped me get established as an artist.

The laws surrounding cannabis use are very different in Portland to over here in the UK and we’ve noticed you like to feature it in your work… I think the stigma surrounding marijuana is quickly fading away and I want to represent it in my work because I believe it’s important to normalise its use. I live on a street with more cannabis dispensaries than coffee shops. It’s everywhere, it’s commonplace, and that’s great for everyone in the community.

How do you get past the fear of a blank page? Sitting down at a blank page can be so overwhelming! It’s easy for me to brainstorm and develop a sketch when I have to work within certain parameters. When I am starting from scratch I like to pick a narrow topic like riding a bike, traveling, cooking dinner with friends, etc. I’ll sketch out four to five scenes and, inevitably, I’ll see potential in one of them. From that point, I’ll dive into the deeper process of creating a final piece. When I limit the possibilities it’s much easier to focus.

What creative project would you like to work on next? I would love to continue developing my animation skills and eventually work on creating a series of videos with sound effects and music.

And your dream commission? I would love to create more illustrations to accompany stories for newspapers and magazines, especially more animated gifs that can be used within online publications. Most people, including myself, are getting their news and magazines digitally these days and I can imagine there will be loads of opportunities to create animations specifically for an online audience.

What materials do you use in your illustration? My illustrations are created digitally. I use an iPad, Procreate, and Photoshop to create all of my work. It’s so easy to draw anywhere, wherever I'm travelling. If I'm at home and I have only 20 minutes, I can get on the computer and jump into my work right away. That said, I love painting with gouache when I have the time and the space because nothing beats working with physical materials.

Stocksy: stock photography + cinematography, made with love