Jezahna Jones: ‘My imagination sometimes feels clearer than memories’

Beautifully crafted imaginary worlds are what makes Jezahna Jones’ work a pleasure to absorb yourself in. We discovered her as part of our ‘100 Days. 100 Commissions.’ project and spoke to her about how she came to be a master of digital art.

Tell us about yourself and how you got started as an illustrator and concept artist?

I live and work in regional Australia, sharing my space with my partner and a fairly grumpy yet lovable cat. Like many artists I have been drawing since I was young, being primarily introduced to illustration as a career path through artists I admired online. Most of my work revolves around humans and fantasy themes, which are two subjects I don’t think I could ever get bored of illustrating. When I had the opportunity and stability through part-time work to begin dedicating more time to illustration, there was really no question that I was going to do just that.

I started to draw characters when I started writing my own stories. I remember having such strong visions of the characters and scenes, and that describing a character, a weapon, or environment could only go so far before overcomplicating my storytelling. My imagination sometimes feels clearer than memories and my lack of ability to capture that clarity in words was what lead me to draw my characters; albeit initially nothing like my imagination at first given that I had never seriously practised before then. From that point on, I almost enjoyed the process of drawing the character more than writing their story. Eventually, I gained more interest in the visualisation aspect as I studied more anatomy and painting. The stories themselves are still in my imagination for the day when I am next ready to take on a big personal project.

What equipment do you use in your creative workflow?

Most of my ideas will get sketched out on any art pad available with a mechanical pencil, colour pencils, and/or Pitt artist pens. I have had multiple sets of artists graphite pencils, but they usually end up collecting dust because I prefer sharp pencil tips.

“I actually learned to paint digitally before I learned traditional techniques.”

Given that I actually learned to paint digitally before I learned traditional techniques, I spent a long time trying to find a medium that felt similar to my digital workflow. I’ve found that with some practice, watercolour and gouache feels most similar to the experience that I have when I digitally paint. I believe It’s something about mixing the low opacity of watercolours with the high opacity of gouache, giving me a greater feeling of control and the ability to rework areas whilst being easier to clean up than oil painting. Therefore if I intend to work traditionally my preferred materials are usually watercolours and gouache. I still enjoy experimenting a lot and will often switch up mediums.

Speaking from a digital standpoint, my Huion GT-220 is my main work tablet which I have been using for a couple of years now. It was my first non-Wacom brand graphics tablet and I am still very happy with it! I also purchased an iPad last year for digital sketching on the go and for cold mornings when I want to start drawing but do not want

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