Instagram: @jessetise

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

I grew up in South Pasadena, California. I spent a lot of my youth walking around craftsman-style suburban neighborhoods at night, dreaming up future stories I wanted to write and draw. I didn’t realize a lot of these ambitions and ideas until art school, which was instrumental in providing me the tools and specialized knowledge I’d need to later pursue self-authored work. Now I live in Seal Beach, CA, where I produce all of my Leaflet Lab comics and illustrations from my home studio.


2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I use a lot of bold, contrasting color combinations and patterns in my illustrations. I enjoy a wide array of high chroma colors, often contrasting warm yellow and magenta with cool turquoise and purple. Green is my go-to color of choice. That being said, I especially love black and white. Much of my comics work involves spot blacks and greyscale textures.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I work exclusively in Procreate on my iPad Pro. I have always worked digitally to some extent in my past illustration and comics work, but making the switch to the Apple Pencil completely sped up my workflow, I can knock out a series of illustrations or a comic project at a much faster rate. Some of my digital work also ends up being silkscreen printed, which is another favorite process of mine.

4. What is your artistic process like?

I usually have a clear idea of what I want a finished piece to look like in my head. Nevertheless, I usually spend most time of the process on the rough sketch phase. I use a big, soft pastel brush in Procreate so I can get a general layout of what I want without getting too fussy over details. Then I block in values and add smaller details and patterns with a slightly smaller brush before I finalize the contour line art with a slightly textured ink brush. After that, I fill in everything with spot colors starting from big to small areas before keying every color together with an overlapping flat color set to a specific blending mode.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

I often look to forms in flora and fauna in nature, as well as early analog technology to illustrate the many creatures and machinery found in Leaflet Lab. I regularly visit local botanical gardens, and I keep a number of tropical house plants in my apartment for regular inspiration. I also check out a lot of aboriginal art and artifacts from around the globe in books and local art museums, particularly South American and ancient Middle Eastern cultures.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

My art and the work of fellow artists I respect and admire inspires me to surround myself with content that excites me and encourages me to continue pushing my craft. I don’t want to settle for the same old movies and reality shows of the status quo. Art and comics help me forget the often mundane aspect of pop culture, giving me something more meaningful.


7. Where did you study?

I studied Illustration Design at Art Center College of Design.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I would like to have my first big book project with a renowned publisher under my belt. Ideally, I want to be able to support myself solely on my self-authored projects.

9. What about in ten?

As much as I would miss my family and friends in California, I’d love to eventually relocate to the north-western part of the US, preferably Washington. I love overcast and rainy weather, it’s very conducive to my creative process. I would also love to visit South America, particularly Guyana, at some point in my life. My mother’s side of the family is Guyanese by birth, and I attribute this to my love of tropical plants and animals.

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

I want to create fully-realized, fleshed-out worlds for my readers/viewers to explore, with colorful and compelling characters that they will want to return to again and again. If I can give my fans what my art does for me, then I’ve done my job.


11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

Indian cuisine is my favorite! I love a good curry or butter chicken.

12. Favourite book?

Science fiction is a huge inspiration for me. Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead, by Orson Scott Card are books that I re-read constantly. My favorite comic is Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, by Hayao Miyazaki.

13. Favourite genre of music?

Electronic. Flying Lotus is my favorite musician period.

14. What are your hobbies?

Collecting house plants, cooking.

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

A biologist. I feel like no matter what occupation I choose, I’ll always be drawn to nature.