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For The Girl Who Loves Couture, But Not The Price Tag

Tastemaker Tuesday: Jessica Peddicord

Posted on 21 November 2020

Meet our Tuesday Tastemaker Jessica Peddicord, a watercolor artist who lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and two dogs. Jessica shared her journey from wedding planning to pursuing her love of painting professionally, and her commitment to helping other artists and teaching her craft. Keep scrolling to see Jessica's gorgeous shoot for the launch of her Holiday Shop in our Shimmy Shimmy Tassel Dress!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
 
Hey y’all! I’m Jessica and I’m a watercolor artist currently based in Dallas, Texas with my husband and our two adorable pups! 
 
My company is Simply Jessica Marie - and I like to say that I create artwork that celebrates the people, pets, and places you call home. For me - that looks like designing art prints that help you bring back fond memories (like flowers that filled your childhood home, or the city where you took a really fun girls trip), classic home decor pieces like watercolor tea towels and candles that help you relax & entertain graciously, and watercolor crests that are personality packed. I also LOVE teaching budding watercolor artists how to become comfortable with painting, and to grow flourishing businesses of their own.
 
Walk us through your journey as a watercolor painter. Where did it all begin?
 
I’ve been painting for as long as I can remember - I have this cute photo my parents snapped of me when I was probably two years old sitting in my high chair with watercolors and the biggest grin on my face. I also have early memories of my great grandma teaching me how to color inside the lines.

While I didn’t get a formal art degree (I studied Sport & Event Management with minors in Business and Psychology - I was a wedding planner for a few years!), I took art classes any chance I could.

My junior year of college I started Simply Jessica Marie as a lifestyle blog, and then started my shop in 2013 the summer after graduation with a handful of art prints and hand painted canvases.
 
That was 7 years ago - and my business has taken a lot of twists and turns along the way, but I feel like I have finally settled into a beautiful rhythm of creating watercolor products for my shop, designing unique crests for my sweet clients, and educating budding artists.
 
I always want to keep learning and growing myself (both as an artist and a business owner) and am excited to see what the next 7 years hold!
 
When did you get into teaching? What made you decide to expand past making your own creations to teaching your craft?
 
I started teaching in person watercolor floral and brush calligraphy workshops a couple years into my business, and had so much fun with it. But as people all across the country were asking me to travel to different cities to teach, I realized it would be a great next step for me to film online classes!
 
I've always been a helper (I'm an Enneagram 3w2) and don't hold things too tightly to my chest - if I can help someone else feel confident in their artistic skills, I truly want to! I love teaching in a way that’s thorough but not overwhelming - with classes that cover everything from how to pick up your paintbrush for the very first time, to more advanced classes covering how to digitize your artwork for printed products. 
 
So, in 2016 I filmed my four signature online courses: intro to watercolor, brush calligraphy, watercolor florals, and digitizing watercolors. I also came out with my Printing & Production Partners Guide, which is my vendor guide of all the vendors I use & trust, along with pro tips about what to order and how to work with the vendors. It’s what I wish I had when I first started and was spending hours googling! In 2017, I launched all of those resources as a part of my SJM Art School.
 
Since I loved the community built during my in person workshops, I also decided to create Facebook communities for my online course students. It’s probably my favorite part - as the students are all super engaged and we help each other with business questions, printing advice, design ideas, and even client referrals. 
 
How would you describe your artistic style? What attracts you to watercolor?
 
I’ve kind of coined the term “refined whimsy” for my style! I love combining looser washes of color with finer lines and shading to make my artwork pop while still having a soft aesthetic.
 
I love watercolor because it encourages you to slow down and lose control a little bit. You can have a vision for how a painting will come to life, but the watercolor paint itself will flow and dry in a unique way with each brushstroke, which I feel adds a really gorgeous authentically handmade feel to each piece. 

What is your favorite part about designing custom pieces for clients?
 
I love storytelling, and feel that every time I have the chance to design a crest for an individual, couple, or family that I get to artistically tell their life's story through art! That's why I love that there are so many icons (80+ and counting!) available to choose from in my Crest Bar - my clients can really showcase their personalities through their crests, which I find so important. It's a true honor getting to design heirlooms for my clients, and I always try to make each crest as unique as possible!

Where do you source inspiration for your paintings?
 
Oh gosh, I love pulling inspiration from so many places - the ballet, interior design, travel - so hard to pick! But I’d have to say my greatest source of inspiration is travel.
 
It’s always so eye opening to see how different colors (and color combinations!) are prominent in different parts of the world. It’s like mother nature’s own color palette!
 
And my constantly growing city collection was initially inspired by my travels, too. I always buy a piece of art from a local artist in each new city I visit, which sparked the idea to create map and landmark art prints for my own shop of my favorite cities!
 


Anything exciting in store for 2021?
 
Yes! I am planning to continue expanding my customer-favorite city collection by adding a few new watercolor maps and landscape/landmark art prints of cities my sweet customers have nominated throughout the years! 
 
I am also excited to be partnering with more boutiques and shops on a wholesale basis to bring my products into stores local to my customers (a branch of my business I've been really excited to grow!).
 
And I have a few secrets up my sleeve for my Crest Bar (a little hint: fellow dog mamas are going to be excited!!)


What draws you to the Mestiza brand?
 
I love the energy of the Mestiza brand - it's the perfect mix of classic elegance with vibrant, flirty femininity that just makes me want to plan a cocktail party!
 
And of course I love that Mestiza was founded by two fellow female entrepreneurs - I try to support fellow female shops and business owners whenever possible! 
 

Stephanie Bow Dress Georgiana Gown
What are your favorite Mestiza pieces? 
 
Oh my gosh they are all so beautiful, but I would have to say that my absolute favorites are the Shimmy Shimmy Tassel Dress (the one I have!), the new Clara Midi Dress, the Stephanie Bow Dress, and the Georgiana Gown. My closet is essentially full of blue and white, so of course I'm drawn to those pieces in your shop!
Photo credits to Sami Kathryn and Laylee Emadi.

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