“It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.” –Pablo Picasso
Love a good story about fiercely creative women? We thought so. Our team is obsessed with the designs of Miami artist Jessica Isabel Illacuci and we just have to share.
Born and raised in Venezuela, Illacuci moved to the U.K. after high school and earned her bachelor’s degree in interior architecture from Oxford Brookes University. While at Oxford, Illacuci learned English, studied, dreamed, created, and received an award for Best Improvement of the Interior Architecture Program 2015. The multilingual designer then moved to the U.S. and began working for the Home Design Center of Florida.
Like so many creatives, Illacuci doesn’t waste time—she finds time. “My art is both my career and my hobby so every day I carve out time to create. I believe I am at the best age to accomplish anything and to be the most productive. So while I work as a designer by day, I paint in the evenings to further feed my creative appetite. I believe my designs and art are directly connected and they complement each other.”
Spurred by her interest in the gravity-defying work of Zaha Hadid and the fluid paint technique used by Nancy Wood, Illacuci began experimenting. “Day-to-day items and how we interact with them inspired me to think of ways to make those items more beautiful while maintaining their practicality,” says Illacuci. “I focused on spatial qualities such as light, patterns, geometry, and texture. And I conducted a series of experiments that tested the strengths and weaknesses of each factor. The experiments led me to perfect my color palette and then to design my own collection.”
“Every thing you can imagine is real.” –Pablo Picasso
In May of 2017, Illacuci founded JIE Art & Design, a business dedicated to creating art works, ornaments, and home décor. During Art Basel Miami, she unveiled a collection of exquisitely crafted charcuterie boards and trays that are a reflection of the geometry and textures that influence her designs. Handcrafted with a wood base that is overlaid with gem-colored paint and resin—a nearly weeklong process—the finished products are water resistant and can be gently washed by hand in warm water. But they are works of art and Illacuci cautions that the pieces are not dishwasher safe and should be handled with relative care.
What’s next for the artist? Practice. Experimentation. Illacuci is completing a master’s degree in 3D motion graphics and dedicates herself to the art of learning. “Currently, I am working on prototypes for furniture and I also continue to paint on canvas. I hope to use my passion for art to make it a part of the public spaces where people interact everyday.”
Photos courtesy of Jessica Isabel Illacuci