Jessica May Underwood's Work Gilds Your Creations
Creativity is everywhere. Whether you’re making lunch in the kitchen or a painting on a canvas, we’re always creating if we mean to or not. So much of human life is centered around creation, it’s in our blood, and it’s not going to stop any time soon. When Fearne Cotton was putting together her latest cookbook she knew she was tapping into a deep need to create, so she asked Jessica May Underwood to bring an extra flair to that impulse and lend her drawings to the pages of the book. “I cook for myself every day. I think there are probably parallels you could draw between [cooking and illustration],” she says. “When you are creating something it's meditative and productive in a similar way.”
Anyone who has owned a cookbook and used the recipes they found inside knows that these books don’t stay pristine for long. Flour gets impacted in the binding, butter stains the pages and chocolate mars the cover. Art is precious to our world, but when Jessica’s illustrations found their way into the pages of Cotton’s book, they became a part of the artifact that would change with use and love and time. “The animals were an interesting way to bring some personality to each chapter, whilst allowing me to bring in some personal messages,” she says. “For example the Bees and honey were for Fearne’s baby daughter Honey.” All creation is personal, but the relationship that Jessica and Cotton have developed for years makes this extra special.
It’s important to hold a regard for art lifting it with our esteem. But we must also remember it’s there for us to enjoy no matter where we find it. “A well-loved cookbook is such a personal object. To bring my artwork into this equation is so special because just as you remember your children's books and coloring books this will have that element also,” says Jessica. “It is interesting as an artist to work on interactive pieces. You can use it and be a part of it and that is really important to me. It is a bit monumental for me to see it published and I am very proud of it.“ Whenever you love something it will change, and Jessica’s work in Cotton’s book will change right along with you and the beautiful things it helps you create.