Jess Cruickshank (formerly Jess Wong) is a girl after our own hearts. Jess embraces the beauty of pen and paper with her gorgeous typography and illustrations. We’ve been fans of her work for so long, we couldn’t think of anyone more perfect for our Mother’s Day Q&A series. To celebrate our Dear Mum collection, we asked Jess to share what makes her mum so inspiring.
When did you first take an interest in sketching & typography & how did your mum encourage you?
Well the first time I sketched would have been when I was a small child! And I guess my interest in typography started when I was young as well — I’ve always been fascinated by people’s handwriting, and I used to invent different handwriting styles for myself when I was in primary school. It wasn’t until I got to uni and studied graphic design that I realised typography was a thing you could do for a living.
My mum recognised that I was artistic from a pretty young age, and always encouraged me to just keep on making things. She was also very supportive of the idea that I could make a living off being artistic.
What do you find so special about putting pen to paper?
There’s something quite peaceful about sitting down and spending hours with a brush and ink. Also, there’s a certain imperfection that you can achieve by using pen and paper that just can’t be replicated on the computer.
Can you tell us a little about your mum? What creative traits did you inherit from her?
My mum is quite creative, however she doesn’t let many people know that! She has a PHD in molecular biology and worked as a research scientist for years, and now she works in finance. However I know for a fact that she is an excellent drawer of portraits, is a wonderful piano player, and she also has great taste in design. She really tried to instill an appreciation for art, design and culture in me from a young age.
How does your mum inspire you?
My mum’s appreciation for quality inspires me to try and create the best work that I possibly can.
What’s the best piece of advice she’s ever given you?
“Don’t be a scientist.” Haha! Ok she did actually say this, but what I think she meant is that I should follow my own path in life, and shouldn’t feel obliged to take a “sensible” job, or follow in her footsteps if I didn’t want to. Although science is awesome, and I think being a scientist would be pretty cool!
What will you be gifting her this Mother’s Day?
I would love to get her the Monokrom wide tote. I think she would appreciate all its different compartments as well as its minimalist design!
A note about the photo:
It’s my mum in the 80s, walking around a pineapple farm in tiny pants and huge sunglasses. She denies this photo exists, but I love it.
Feeling inspired to show your mum some love this Mother’s Day? Discover our beautiful new gift collection here.