Jessica Balingit or "Jess" is one of my closest friends. We've shared some crazy and exciting moments back when I lived in California, and although I don't get to see her much anymore, she's still in my thoughts daily.
When Tahirah got the idea to feature artists on some upcoming products, I IMMEDIATELY thought of Jess, and asked if I could write an article about her so showcase her artwork. I am so proud and so honored to be able to present just a snippet of who Jess is to the rest of our GCM family.
Jessica Balingit, 23, born and raised in Santa Clara, CA.
How'd you get into drawing? "I’ve been drawing since I was in elementary school. I remember trying to draw Sailor Moon at the age of 5 and my Uncle actually telling me that I sucked. It’s funny. I was just a kid that liked the cartoons on tv, you know? I was just trying to draw them too. I suck? I was a little butt hurt at the time but that wasn’t going to stop me from drawing. So from there, I actually got better... I don’t even think he remembers that he even told me that, but last year he asked if I can draw him something. Crazy. As I got older, I became depressed. Depression sucks. As a kid, drawing was something that I enjoyed doing. As I got older, it was a way to express my emotions because I could never put what I had to say into words. I did like drawing a lot, though, even if I was sad or whatever. Art saved me." What inspires your art style? "I’m inspired by street art. All the different kinds of street artists out there. So unique. It’s just something different and I appreciate looking at it. Taiyo Matsumoto, the author of Tekkonkinkreet. He’s kind of a surreal artist and I love it. I’m honestly mostly inspired by my life experiences. The emptiness I felt sometimes, the more in depth I would go with my art. I’ll always draw something weird, it just all depends on the mood that I’m in. Could be something nice, ugly, cute, or creepy." What is your favorite quote or motto?
"My favorite quote is, “Enjoy or die.” A quote from John Lydon. “Johnny Rotten” from the Sex Pistols. Well, the full quote is, “I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.” I mean everyone looks at quotes differently. Since I used to be all sad and shit, I would always say to myself, “ENJOY OR DIE, JESS.” And literally, to me that means just that. I should just enjoy myself because literally I can die at anytime, right? I mean it’s fine to be sad, whatever it is I’m feeling, I’m only human. Point is, I should just enjoy my time like LIVING. Another way I see the quote is like, 'Hey this is what I’ve drawn. This is what I do. Enjoy or die'.”
Well there you have it folks! Please do us a favor and check out Jessica's art on Instagram.
Also stay tuned for some awesome products we will be launching that features the three art pieces shown above. We love you Jess!! Remember, "we can make it"