Jessica Parkos-Alvarez aka Jess the Figment.......an artist, singer, student, and mother of Briar Rose....... is a unique individual who creates the most amazing pieces of art, writes songs, makes purses, designs T-shirts, and all sorts of crafty things …..currently she was named Student of the Month. She is also singing in her fiance's heavy metal band "The Banality of Evil" for which she designed a T-shirt. Her local paper has run two articles about her art. Her current art teacher, Kim Beyer, entered four pieces of her art for consideration of a $10,000 scholarship at the Nebraska Wesleyan University. Two of them were accepted: "Her Breath of Cuteness" and "Flowers for My Rival".
Here are the questions asked …..
What Do You do ?
What Are Your Passions ?
What Drives You ?
Jessica is passionate about those she loves and creates art from a very vivid imagination……..When she was little, her grandparents took her to the Children's Museum at Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she drew Clifford, the Big Red Dog. The curators were so impressed that they hung it up for display. She won other art contests at school so we knew that she was definitely an artist. She also created digital art on our computer for us......usually a picture of her cousins or herself...
Music, writing, and art have been a way for Jess to cope with life. She was raised by a single Mom in extreme poverty. Often times she turned to writing songs and drawing sketches to express her angst about life. This MEM "The creative adult is the child who survives" certainly fits Jessie's life. Even though life was challenging, her Mom always encouraged her and displayed her art in a prominent place. This wasn't just refrigerator art, but art worthy of being displayed in her living room....so Jessie's Mom Teresa covered her walls with Jessie's art.
Even though her mom & dad never married, her dad played a big part in her life. Her dad was an artist himself, and Jess picked up his attitude and emulated his art. She was always close to her Nana so when junior high started and there was some bullying at the school, she came to live with her Nana and Grandpa for a year and a half. While in Kansas with them, she auditioned and was accepted in a select choir called Chorale. She perfected her voice here. When she entered high school, she returned to Nebraska to live with her mom there. She met a quiet guitar player there, Alex Rawlings. They shared an interest in music and fell in love.
Jess became pregnant and they had a baby girl, Briar Rose, when Jess was a sophomore in high school and Alex was a senior. Being a teen mom is definitely not an easy route, but Jess went back to school six weeks after the birth of her baby girl. She studied harder than ever. She and Alex were devoted parents and kept up with their baby as well as school.
Jessie's art teacher at that time, Emily Brooks, encouraged her to get involved in drama as well. Jess had the support of Alex, her mom, and Alex's mom so she was able not only to attend her classes but also stay involved with extra-curriculars such as drama, music, and art. After her junior year, her Nana and Grandpa sponsored her to attend the Kansas City Art Institute where she received three college credits. Her painting teacher,Jonah Criswell, was impressed with her overall talent, especially her attention to detail and her work ethic. Her family attended her art exhibition, which featured many of her pieces. Her favorites were one inspired by her daughter Briar Rose called "Her Breath of Cuteness", a tribute of the appreciation she has for her baby girl, and the other one is a portrait she did of her Uncle David in Viking gear. Here is a quote from Jess about her daughter and the inspiration she had to create "Her Breath of Cuteness". Jess says, "Briar makes
everything amazing. Even when you are having a bad day, she just blows cute breathiness out into the world." Jess wants to inspire her daughter. Briar is two now, and Jess and she do art together. Jess says, "I do art around her a lot. I even have a little apron for her, and I'll paint with her. I have a little canvas that I let her add on to whenever we have time and a place that can't get destroyed."
|Her Breath of Cuteness|
|Jess crocheted this cap for her baby|
|One of Jessie's recent art paintings|
|A mural she made for the library|
|Flowers for My Rival|
|Another mural for the library|
|A portrait of her Uncle David in Viking gear|
Jess also created two murals for her town library.
On Her Passions
“My daughter, my fiance', my art........I have a facebook page called 'Jess the Figment'. https://www.facebook.com/jessthefigmentart?ref=hl I like to share my art and ideas and other people's art that I admire....."
On What Drives Her
“I am still figuring myself out right now and I have been experimenting with a lot of things and I've really been getting into painting right now One of my things has kinda been having a lot of swirls in my art. I have been looking at other artists and their styles and picking out things that I like and trying to figure out my style......I want to be an entrepreneur. I want to sell art in useful ways. I do love painting and I want to have that basis, but I want my art on shirts and cups and things people use in everyday life. I want to make prints and make it accessible to everyone.” Her drive to be successful comes from her love for Briar Rose. She talks about how important it is for Briar to have a strong female role model, as well as the support to accomplish her dreams. "I want her to see me doing well and being successful so that way she'll want to do that too, you know? Maybe not painting, but in whatever she does, to do a good job."
"Life isn't about how you survive the storm, but how you dance in the rain"