Jess Warby’s work is bright, colourful and a constant exploration of all things mundane humour, popular culture, social taboos and femininity. Jess, better known as Messe Jesse joined Peckham Levels over a year ago as a studio member and has been creating some amazing illustrations, digital embroidery and most recently a series of rugs. Constantly challenging herself to explore new mediums we were thrilled to work with Messe Jesse across her first Large format Mural to celebrate International Women’s Day, photographed by fellow members Brother Film Co.
Was there any particular inspiration for the Mural?
I quit my job a month ago, I was previously working full time nannying and doing other odd jobs to try and support my artwork, however it was starting to have an effect on the work I produced. The Mural is really about taking a leap of faith with my work and marks a very big moment, so I wanted to reflect that with something big. It was definitely something out of my comfort Zone - and hopefully will be a really good way of marking that point in my life.
What experiences/advise do you have on being a female artist?
I think the biggest thing I can say is just be really brave! It’s harder than it sounds but you have to really trust in your own work and definitely don’t give up - just keep creating. There are loads of other amazing female artists/designers out there but remember to try not to compare yourself all the time - you can get inspiration from anything, and it’s always good to keep all your influences rounded.
What is the female community like at Peckham Levels?
I have been at Peckham levels from the start and it is one of the only studios in London I have stayed at this long - it is great to see so many other designers, creatives, makers and small business owners under one roof and with such a strong female presence - whether you just want to talk about periods or it’s giving each other constructive advice on our work.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to set up their own studio?
To be completely honest - it’s really hard. I’ve had about 8 studios and so far this is only one I have stayed. You really need to find somewhere where there is an active community of people constantly creating to keep you motivated and inspired. At Peckham Levels people are just making stuff everywhere which has been great.
Do you have any advise for someone looking to find their own illustration style?
Personally, experimenting with different mediums has really pushed me to understand my own style more, the most recent rug series I have completed has really fed into my style. I think overall it’s all about doing things outside of your comfort zone and giving yourself time to develop, which I know can be hard when you are managing commissions and a full time job. Most of all it’s all about just carrying on and just keep pushing through the really shit stage of making stuff you hate and then hopefully it all kind of comes together.
We are glad to have Messe Jesse as a Peckham Levels member constantly creating and evolving the space along with us, check out her work on Levels 5&6 or follow her on Instagram!