Jess Ridley

Born in: 1988, United Kingdom

Lives in: Hampshire, UK

Media: Drawing

Describe your work in 3 words: Wildlife - Realism - Character

See More Work:,

Heavy Sleeper - Graphite - A3

Jess began drawing at the age of two on her parent's wallpaper! She spent her life pursuing a performing career and traveled the world, whilst continuously working on her drawing skills. What began as a hobby and a great way to express her passion for wildlife now plays a much larger role in her life.

What themes does your work involve?

The theme of my work is animals and wildlife. Creating realistic representations of endangered animals (and sometimes pets) is something that gives me great satisfaction due to my passion for the natural world and the living beings we share it with. Animals have as much character if not more than some humans I know! They are fascinating and I love capturing their qualities.

Describe your creative process.

My pieces are usually inspired by an experience I have had with wild animals. I then choose a reference photo based on the emotions experienced and how I want the animal to be portrayed. I severely lack patience, which is a challenge when the work I do is usually very intricate! I often find it takes me a while to feel comfortable with where the piece is going and also struggle to know when to stop...I guess this is something that I will always be working on!

What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?

My love of animals influences my work. I am deeply concerned by the way in which we treat this planet and it seems that despite the increase in awareness of this issue, we are still ploughing quickly towards a point of no return. It is predicted that some of our most magnificent species will no longer walk the face of the planet within my lifetime. I draw these animals to express my passion for this subject and hope I will soon be in a position to donate to their protection through sales.

What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?

There are plenty of people that will claim realism is not a form of art, but merely a skill. I truly believe that anything that is created with a passion and meaning behind it and a message or feeling to convey makes great art. Something that moves you or makes you question and requires a level of skill to create.

What is the role of the artist today?

Life is turbulent. The artist and the arts, in general, are such a powerful medium through which to communicate, understand, express, escape and teach. The artist is responsible for igniting these feelings in the viewer and opening up the creative mind and its possibilities.

This page was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist