Meet the Artist: Jessica Ticchio

Her body of work, inspired by minimalist art and sculpture, focuses on reinterpreting reality as a place of peace and contemplation.

Liquid Time, 2021. Jessica Ticchio

“Oceans Lost,” an exhibition guest curated by Tommy Leas of PLS&TY for 1stDibs, ponders the symbolic and physical state of the ocean and its relationship with human activity. Of the 11 collaborating creators in the exhibition, we asked digital artist Jessica Ticchio to answer a few questions about her background, practice and experience with NFTs in the space. Her body of work, inspired by minimalist art and sculpture, focuses on reinterpreting reality as a place of peace and contemplation.

Where did you grow up? In what ways did your early life involve art?

I grew up in Sydney, Australia, and fondly remember my childhood being so rich with arts and crafts. My father, being a graphic designer and artist, would let my sisters and I draw and play in his studio, also often setting up easels in the backyard to paint the landscape.

I burnt through hundreds of sketchbooks, and in primary school when most kids were playing sports, I attended the Kids Art Academy. We’d have art exhibitions in the local shopping center and do weekend workshops at the regional art gallery. Art was and still is my favorite thing to do, and I thank my parents for truly nurturing my creativity for as long as I can remember.

What led you to begin minting your work as NFTs?

In mid-2020, a friend Matt Vernon (@dApp_boi) reached out to my partner, David, and me. Matt is the cofounder and head of design at Foundation, and at the time NFTs were barely scraping the surface of my awareness. He explained the concept of an NFT, which was absolutely mind-blowing, and invited us to be part of the Foundation V1 Launch, among 20-something other artists. Today, there are over 25,000 artists on the platform, and I’m still in complete awe of the space and all the incredible creatives in it.

Tell us more about your creative process and inspirations. 

It sounds cliché, but I honestly find inspiration everywhere. My phone is full of photos that would look so random to anyone else, but to me they’re color references, nice lighting I’ve stumbled upon, an interesting man-made composition or beautiful formation I’ve seen in nature. I’ll always hand-sketch my artworks first, as it’s what comes most naturally to me, then from there, I will dive into 3D and hope for the best! More often than not, the sketch and the final artwork look nothing alike, but it’s all part of the process!

When do you know a work is complete?

My process is probably very strange, but it is a combination of having a studio job (which takes up most of my week) and having a slow PC. At the beginning of creating an artwork, I will spend hours to days straight on the work, but it won’t feel finished. I find I get lost in an artwork and won’t realize something looks odd until I’ve walked away and come back. I like to revisit the artwork many times over weeks (or sometimes months) so I am constantly seeing it with fresh eyes. Only when I don’t see anything I need to tweak, I deem the work “complete.”

What are you hoping to see in the next five years in the NFT space?

I know they’re already emerging even at this early stage, but I’m obsessed with the concept of NFT galleries. The art gallery is my favorite place to go, and I would always question why digital art never made the cut. I love the normalizing of galleries dedicated to NFTs, but over the next five years I would also love to see digital art become more common and integrated into the existing iconic art galleries all over the world.

What role does the NFT community play in your career as a digital artist?

I have always been all over Instagram (@jessicaticchio), but I have only recently entered the Twittersphere (@jessticchio_art); through these platforms alone, I’ve been able to meet artists all over the world, which has led to international exhibitions, artist collaborations and, of course, new friends! I find our creative industry is so unique and so supportive. Connecting with these creatives makes the world feel so small in the absolute nicest way, and I feel the community has truly helped me stay motivated and inspired to keep creating when it hasn’t always been easy.

If you could be quoted as saying one thing about your work, what would it be?

With so much stress and anxiety in our world today, I’ve turned my art making into a restorative practice with a focus on evoking a sense of peace and calm. I want the viewing of my artworks to feel grounding and nurturing. And if seeing a piece of mine can alleviate someone’s negative feelings, then that’s an artwork I’m proud of.

Which of your works is your current favorite?

A piece I always come back to is my first animated NFT, Into the Unknown. I created this artwork in the depths of COVID lockdown, when everyone was living in uncertainty and/or fear. I wanted to create a vision of hope, bringing the light at the end of the tunnel in view — even if, at that point, it was all just speculative.

What advice do you have for artists who are curious about NFTs and interested in minting their works?

It feels like the NFT world is moving a thousand miles a second, but don’t rush into minting just anything. Take the time to find your style and work out what makes you happy. The NFT world is already so saturated, but authenticity and passion are what will make your work shine.

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