Cultivating Creativity With Jordan Kay
For our latest limited-release kombucha, Just Peachy, we partnered with artist & designer Jordan Kay to create a vibrant and juicy label showcasing this delicious fruity flavor. We sat down with Jordan to learn a little more about her creative process!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m an illustrator based in Seattle, originally from the midwest. I like hiking, and I have two black cats Galaxy & Quozl, who like lounging on my lap while I’m working. I went full-time freelance last year and it’s been a wild ride! As far as my work goes, I love bright juicy color, noisy texture, maximalism and disco vibes.
How long have you been a full-time artist?
I’ve been freelancing illustration for about 12 years, but for the better part of the last decade, it’s been a side-hustle. I was a senior designer in the Starbucks Creative Studio for a few years, which was a blast. It’s been amazing this year to pursue my dream of working for myself full-time. I’ve gotten to push my style further, as well as take on a variety of projects from packaging, to book illustration, to murals! I love new challenges and collaboration, and I feel very grateful that I’ve been able to get paid to make art.
Where do you gather inspiration for your art?
I take inspiration from quite a few places. I love hiking and find lots of interesting thought-starters out in nature, from flowers to fungi and plants in general. I love the imperfections and organic quality of foliage in the wild. I also absolutely love all-things retro, especially from the 1970s. My partner spins boogie, funk and disco records at home, so the Studio54 mood feels like a big inspiration to me, specifically the glossy, sparkly quality of the fashion from those days.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received as an artist?
Oh man, there are a few quotes that I’ve heard along the way which I find helpful.
“Everyone feels imposter syndrome at some point.”
“Kindness ≥ talent, in most cases. People like working with others who are friendly and uplifting.”
“Adults are just teenagers in older bodies; we don’t have everything figured out.”
What do you do to pull yourself out of a creative rut?
I usually go for a walk, hang out with another creative friend or listen to music to get in the mood. Sometimes aimlessly sketching helps drum up ideas. I also really love looking at fashion shows–the shape, color and texture of garments are inspiring and I really like how volume is achieved (which I’ve been trying to infuse into more of my work.)
Do you have a favorite piece you’ve created?
I do really like the way the Peachy label turned out! But I also made a piece of personal work, based on my favorite flower, anthurium. I love using a tight palette playing around with pastels and vibrant colors, and I really like how this one turned out.
Are you a kombucha fan? What’s your favorite flavor and why do you love it?
Oo yes I love kombucha–typically spicy gingery things get me going!
What’s your favorite expression of art?
I love using loose overlapping shapes and color, which lends a feeling of movement to a piece. I also love the imperfections that come out during the process of making and always enjoy a good napkin doodle, from anyone:)