By Coralie Kourany
VANCOUVER — Now based out of Seattle, Lily Seika Jones was raised in Vancouver where she completed a BAC in Visual Arts and English Literature at UBC. She is now working as a full-time artist, freelance illustrator, and is the owner of the whimsical online Etsy papery, The Rivulet Paper Shop, where she sells her own quality paper cards and designed prints.
Jones’s creative process is supported by consistently feeling connected and involved in her art. She has always worked from home and has recently created her own home studio. One of her studio walls is dressed in collages of magazine clippings, quotes, printouts, and book pages of her favourite illustrators and books to help draw in creativity. Honouring her own progress, she devotes every Sunday to venture into her personal projects, leaving the day marked off the calendar. Although she enjoys the comfort of creating at home, she appreciates finding inspiration in the city’s cafes where she listens to music and draws sketches of whatever comes to mind. Being free of distraction, she’s able to tune into her creative intuition and surrender to her craft. She also practices writing snippets of stories off the cuff, using stream of consciousness as a writing guide her in her work.
Growing up, Jones read books like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and all the classics of the golden age of illustration which inspired her and made her wonder about how fairy tales repeat similar elements and themes throughout history. Her whole philosophy is endowed to one of her inspirations, English author Neil Gaiman, who believes that “by confronting some more melancholic ideas, books create a safe environment for children to tackle these challenging subjects so when they do experience these events later in life they feel more prepared.”
Although her content varies from her freelance illustration to paper goods, Jones likes to portray a dark and mythical quality to all of her work. Developing her art through her passion of storytelling and illustration, she aspires for her work to give her viewers a unique feeling in needing to stop and look deeper within. Jones says that she wants to be remembered as “someone who dealt with these deep and interesting topics, but in such a way that was very approachable for children but that adults can enjoy too.” The gloomy portraits have, in turn, helped her cope with her own darkness.
This year has been pivotal for Jones’ artistic career given her new studio space, awarding her with the opportunity to work on multiple projects at once, alongside starting to exhibit her art in neighbourhood galleries. Striving to develop her visual vocabulary, she wishes to move forward into book illustration. She is currently working on an illustrated children’s book in collaboration with her husband, which she hopes will be published within the next year.BC, British Columbia, fine art, Lily Seika Jones