Jess Lambert is an artist based in Byron Bay, Australia. Her work is unique, and it drew us in straight away. What we found intriguing about her pieces – outside of the fact she leverages surfboards as her canvases – was her simple, yet intricate designs. Her medium of choice is a basic black marker, and she spoke with us how this and the surfboard canvas came about.
“I remember one day I just had a canvas and a black marker – no paints and no color, so I started drawing lines and making up patterns. I really loved that style,” Lambert shared. “I loved the idea of just using something so simple as a black pen to create these really intricate, detailed artworks. From there, I kept drawing patterns and coming up with different line work.”
“It was a way to combine two of my favorite things – drawing and the ocean.”
Lambert continued, “One day I had a blank surfboard and started drawing freehand all over that. It was just a different type of canvas I wanted to work on because I love the beach, so for me, it was a way to combine two of my favorite things – drawing and the ocean.”
The Australian artist often utilizes FireWire TimberTek boards, and she explained to us it was because the brand leverages Paulownia wood – among its benefits, it has visible grain lines. When she hand draws her signature black lines on this wood grain surface, she believes it adds a natural, earthy feel to her work. Of course, depending on her client’s request, she may deviate from this type of board. Lambert shared more with us on how she works one-on-one with her clients to ensure each piece she creates is unique and offers something special to the ultimate receiver.
“[The client] will explain to me things they’re passionate about, experiences they’ve had, places they’ve been and people they love. It can be a very personal experience. A lot of my boards are given as gifts, and it’s really special for me to be a part of that – to create something that’s so personalized and tells a story. It’s not just something you can go and buy from a store knowing someone else could have the same, as it’s an artwork so unique to that particular person. I love when clients come to me with their ideas and then say, ‘You just do what you do best. I know whatever you create, I’ll love’. Just knowing they trust me to create something special for them, while still having creative freedom, is the best feeling.”
With each piece of art Lambert creates, her love of the ocean is evident, as she injects it into every piece of artwork she designs. Surprisingly, she did not grow up
“Of course not everyone can surf or has access to the ocean, but most people can connect with that feeling of being around it,” Lambert said. “I know I always feel really calm and relaxed whenever I’m in or around the ocean, so that’s why I love drawing onto boards. I think you can feel that when you look at one of them. You could be miles away from a beach, but if you have one of my boards, I’d like to think it helps create a really calming, relaxed energy for the space it’s displayed in.”
“I love supporting people that are sharing something they’re passionate about.”
Lambert’s boards and their calming, relaxing energy have gone beyond Australia and now grace the homes of people all over the world, from London to Hong Kong to Dubai, Denmark, the Philippines and to the U.S.. And, it was thanks to social media she was able to sell her first board internationally. This was a board that went to Texas.
We appreciate the power of social media, although, what intrigued us about Lambert’s social media story is that she initially had two separate Instagram accounts – one for personal and one for her art. She ended up shuttering the latter, as she found more interest in her personal account. She credited its growth to the fact she shared all aspects of her life on there.
“At the end of the day, I’ll draw and paint and do what I love, and if people all around the world love and appreciate it too, that makes me love what I do even more.”
“My lifestyle and where I live play a massive part in the art that I create, so naturally I’d just always post what I was doing during my day,” Lambert explained. “From there, it kind of grew organically because I was showing what I draw, how I paint, what inspires me, places I travel to and things that motivate me and people seemed to really love seeing all of this. I guess when you can connect with the person behind the brand or business, you support it even more. I know that’s how I am anyway. I love supporting people that are sharing something they’re passionate about because I know what it’s like to receive and feel that support. At the end of the day, I’ll draw and paint and do what I love regardless, and if people all around the world love and appreciate it too, that makes me love what I do even more.”
Earlier this year, Lambert took time out of her busy schedule to do just that – support others who are also following their passion. She was asked to speak, along with others, at the CURVY Creative Women’s Conference, which was held in Sydney. This Conference works to bring together female entrepreneurs while most certainly working to offer inspiration and encouragement to its attendees.
“[It’s] important for me to keep a balance between work and life.”
“It was really nice to be a part of that because that’s something I’m really passionate about – sharing my journey and encouraging anyone else to follow their passion,” Lambert stated. “When I was speaking, I mentioned how important it is for me to keep a balance between work and life, so I shared how I do that, whether it’s taking time out to do a workout, to just get fresh air and walk along the beach or to have a break and get coffee with a friend. Having that balance is really important.”
From making time to be creative or meeting with clients for commissioned pieces to balancing work and life to empowering other female entrepreneurs, it is safe to say Lambert keeps herself busy. So, what is next up for Lambert?
“I’m a massive believer in whatever you speak, you can have.”
“I’d really love to come back to the U.S. soon. Everyone close to me knows that’s a big goal of mine, and I always talk about it,” Lambert said. “I’m a massive believer in whatever you speak, you can have. That’s really helped me along the way and to get me to where I am now. Just honestly, wholeheartedly believing that whatever I want to do, I can make it happen if I work hard enough and keep following what I’m passionate about.”
Lambert added, “I’m working on something really exciting at the moment. It’s something that has been a goal of mine for years. I can’t share details just yet, but to see things I once dreamed about start to turn into a reality – it’s kind of surreal. I cant wait to share it soon!!”
Just when we thought we knew Jess, she made us like her even more. Her positive energy just radiates from her words, which made us realize what really drew us to her. She is a dreamer, much like us, and we are certain she will make her dreams a reality. Here’s to the next chapter, Jess!
Connect with Jess @_jesslambert_.