Fanning out w/ Jess Hrycyk and her Fantastical art

Posted by Stacie Ant, June 27, 2017
jess hrycyk

Folklore & Mythology inspired artist Jess Hycyk is gracing the Drake with her presence on July 8th as a part of the Pixel and Bristle Summer Market.
In anticipation of having her join us, we ask Jess a few questions about her haunting, detailed drawings.


Tell us about your art practice. How did you develop your style and how would you describe your work?

My art practice heavily relies on the overall layout right at the planning stage. I will typically spend a few days in the initial pencil stage, before I transfer the sketch onto another piece of paper. At this stage I will use photo references,sketches,and scan through my notes from previous books that I have read for inspiration. Since I mainly work with pen, ink and occasionally watercolour, I tend to spend most of my time meticulously focusing on small areas at a time. I try to spend as much time as I can figuring out which parts I need to draw in which order. Recently I have been trying to leave unfinished areas in the layout to leave space for spontaneity in the final piece. I find it critical for myself to get the layout right because there is no erasing ink. Although I try to flesh out as much as I can in pencil, mistakes are inevitable. My work is scattered with mistakes, but I have to make peace with them in order to finish a piece. I just hope only I notice them.

jess hrycyk

I am not certain what exact style I have. It hasn't been a planned motif, although I've always been greatly influenced by fantasy, horror and historical literature from a very young age. I would try to draw the characters, environments or objects, which I had read about. The visual descriptions genuinely resonated with me while I was drawing. I wanted to get everything right down to the very last detail. I was fanatical about it, which I think created a certain aesthetic that has stuck with me to this day.

Although deadlines are around the corner, I like to invest a lot of time into each piece – too much sometimes. I get caught up in representing the subject matter to fit within my own ‘realm’, which happens to be the most natural way for me to work. I deeply enjoy escaping into the process and I hope that when someone looks at my work, they do as well. So if my work can be defined as organic and/or descriptive, then that makes me incredibly happy.

jess hrycyk

What do you draw your inspiration from?
As I mentioned earlier fantasy, horror and historical literature has had a momentous impact on my drawing. I often take notes and highlight areas of text inside of the books that I am reading, to look back on for inspiration. My interests/sources of inspiration have spread to fantasy and horror films, video games, tabletop role-playing games, Heavy Metal magazines, comics, poster and album cover designers of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. I like to think of all this as ‘research’ in reparation for my work. I try to go to the things that I enjoy reading, doing or listening to as birthplaces of my inspiration.

My studio space has also been a great source for inspiration as well. The large widows and natural light in my studio space, allow me to be observer of the various wildlife and nature living around me. I look forward to drawing the many birds, plants and parts of the forested landscape surrounding the studio. Living in the countryside of North Western Ontario has its advantages, so I try to represent both my life and upbringing within each piece of my work.

Do you have any upcoming shows or projects that you are most excited about?
I have a few projects that I have been working on for future shows and my online shop. For some of the projects that I have been working on, I have been trying to incorporate colour in my lines and overall work.I have also been working on a series dedicated to my fascination of birds within folklore. There is a hawk nest, spruce grouse and pheasants living in the forest surrounding the studio, which have been providing great visual references for my current work.

What's it like being a part of Pixel & Bristle and how did you become a part of it?
I am extremely honoured to be a part of Pixel & Bristle. I participated as a vendor at the Winter Market in November last year. Everyone there was so wonderful, talented and kind. It was very uplifting to be surrounded by such a positive atmosphere of artists, illustrators and designers. The quality of work from everyone part of Pixel & Bristle is phenomenal!

What kind of work can we expect to see at the Pixel and Bristle Summer Market?
I will offer a variety of screen-prints, digital prints and occasion themed cards of my work. I will also have tote bags, t-shirts, vinyl stickers and enamel pins. I am also planning on hand painting some laser cut wood pins to specifically debut at the Pixel & Bristle pop-up shop as well.

Shop Jess Hryck and more creative vendors on JUL 8 at the Pixel & Bristle Summer Market!

Posted in: Art

Tags: drake art  pixel and bristle