The wonderfully talented Jessica Comingore invites us over for a peek into her Los Angeles abode and for a little chit chat about her creative journey. And she's on the front cover of the new issue of my dabazine! Flip through for more photos.
Hey girl! So happy to have you on Old Brand New today. Not too long ago, I shared my story about my creative journey. I think we started blogging around the same time and it's created this awesome platform for us to explore our passions. I know everyone's got a different and interesting path. I'd love to hear how you got to where you are today.
I've had a bit of a round-about path through the design industry, though I firmly believe that every step of the way has somehow informed or inspired the work I'm doing currently. I graduated from FIDM with a degree in Interior Design, and about a week after finishing up the courses, dove head first into a job as a Junior Interior Designer at an architecture firm on the west side called KAA Design Group. It was a large company that had departments for Interiors, Landscape and Brand Experience, so I was exposed to a myriad of disciplines working there every day, and was particularly enthralled by the branding work that was happening not far from my desk.
Being fresh into the game, I spent the majority of my time there behind the computer, drafting floor plans and elevations, so when I came home at the end of each day, I turned to blogging as a creative outlet. What was once a casual place for me to collect all of the inspiration I was finding on the web soon became a daily hobby and a way for me to expand my skill set, whether it was dabbling in graphic design or photography.
About mid-way through that job, I bought myself an SLR and signed up for an Introduction to Photography course at Santa Monica College to learn the basics of shooting. Not long after, the director of the interiors department at KAA, Chris Barrett, decided to branch off to have her own business and took myself and a few of the other designers with her. We moved offices to Santa Monica and with a much smaller staff around, I began to wear a lot of hats. I started to manage some of the interior projects we had, as well as adopt the marketing responsibilities of the company, and run the design and production of Chris' first line of textiles. All in all, I worked for Chris for three years and learned the ins and outs of what it meant to be a designer, run a business, and most importantly, I learned a level of taste and sophistication from her that I'll likely carry with me through the rest of my career as a designer.
All the while, I was still running my blog, and over time, the audience started to grow and I began to get work inquiries through it. Little by little, the inquiries increased and I knew in my gut that if I worked hard enough, I could make the whole freelance thing work. I jumped not long after and have been working for myself ever since. I recently moved my home office into an outside space and spend my days working on a bit of everything from branding and identity projects to web design and art direction to interior photography. It was definitely a process getting to where am currently (and continues to be) but I wouldn't change a single thing. There's something so rewarding about being able to live a full life from something you built completely on your own. I'm definitely of the, "slow and steady wins the race" mentality, and curious to see what shape things will take this coming year.
I'm excited to see what you'll be working on. Not only is your graphic sensibility awesome, I also really dig your style. It's like L.A. meets Parisian, quiet and understated chic. And I love your new 'do. It's so fresh and fun. How would describe your style?
It's always a bit hard to put your own style into words, but if I had to, it'd have to be something like "natural refinement." I'm definitely of the "less is more" mentality when it comes to everything in life; my work, my wardrobe, my home. I like to leave room for the subtle details to speak. I tend to veer towards natural colors and textures, but then turn things on their head a bit by throwing in something unexpected. Maybe it's a sheepskin rug, a funky piece of artwork, bright red lipstick, or a silver pair of oxfords with my dress. It's those little moments that make someone smile and reminds me not to take myself so seriously. As my grandma always says, "who are you trying to impress?"
I love your Mixtape Mondays. Who's rotating in your jukebox right now?
I've been really into Neko Case's new album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, along with Devendra Banhart's Mala. Both have made for some excellent end of summer tunes. I've also been digging up some great oldies lately like Sam Cooke and The Supremes. Better with every listen...
Devevndra Banhart's new album is great! I think it's one of his best. Anyway, let's wrap things up. Got any tips or tricks for us creative creatures or encouraging words on life and/or work?
Sometimes I feel like I live my life on mottos. But I find so many of them to ring true!
Nothing substitutes hard work — it's the only thing that ever makes a dream come to fruition. I think you can get lucky in life and things can land on your lap, but those things are typically fleeting. What truly stands the test of time are the things you've built purely out of your passion and commitment to seeing it realized. I think it's hard these days to stand out in a saturated crowd and find your voice in what can often feel like a very loud world, but I'm a big advocate of being genuine and staying true to yourself. A friend recently told me over coffee that the only unique thing you can offer someone these days is you. And it's true. Doing work and surrounding yourself with people that speak to and inspire you might be the most rewarding part of life.
Preach on, sistuh!