MEET THE ARTIST
Introducing Jasmine Becket-Griffith, featured artist from the Halloween Special and Strangeling Special issues…
Jasmine Becket-Griffith is a traditional acrylic painter, combining elements of realism with fantasy and the surreal. Historical and spiritual references are intertwined with fairytales, the beauty of nature and her trademark liquid-eyed maidens. Jasmine lives in Florida with her husband Matt and their cats, and also divides her time between her secondary studios in Kansas and London. Her work hangs in collections worldwide and is regularly featured in various merchandise lines, including Disney.
How long have you been illustrating and what made you start?
I've been making art ever since I was a little girl, like most kids, but I just never stopped. I began taking it seriously when I was around 13 or so - I was very interested in fantasy novels and games like Dungeons & Dragons, and I think I went into fantasy art as a manner of escapism. When I was 17 years old I started my professional artist website and everything took off from there!
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from all over the place. I am an Art History aficionado so I spend a lot of time in museums, reading history books, etc. which has a very strong influence in my own work. I listen to a lot of music while I work, and I spend a lot of time in nature - all elements which help shape my work. I also travel quite extensively, I think that helps keep me motivated and insinuates a varied number of cultural themes into my paintings.
Where is your favourite place to illustrate?
Home! I live here in Celebration, Florida and I adore it. I love being at home, painting quietly with my cats, windows open, a big mug of tea by my side. Since my job does require me to travel, I now have two additional studios - one in London and one in Kansas City (where I grew up, my family lives there). I have basically created replicas of my home studio so that I feel at "home" when I am working there - similar easels, tables, chairs, same paint setup - it centres me.
What are your illustrating/colouring material essentials?
I'm pretty simple - I am a traditional painter and use acrylic paints, water, brushes and wood/masonite panels. Mostly I use Golden brand paints (also a few Winsor-Newton or Grumbacher if a colour strikes me). I buy cheap synthetic fibre brushes - golden taklon - I'm a vegetarian and avoid animal hair products. Then I just use tap water and plastic plates from the grocery store for my palette.
What’s the piece of work that you’re most proud of or enjoyed doing the most?
Wow, that is a difficult one. I'm particularly proud of my large detailed pieces like "Green Goddess" or "Arcimboldo Mermaid." I'm also proud of the work I get to do with the Walt Disney Company - as a little girl I wanted to grow up and be a "Disney Artist" so it was rather a dream come true for me of sorts when they first began contracting me!
More than anything, art should be enjoyable for the person creating it. I am thankful that I happen to earn my living with my artwork, but even if that weren't the case I would still spend a vast amount of time creating because it relaxes me, stimulates my imagination, and makes me happy!