Miami-Born Artist Jessie Bowie Creates Weird, Wonderful Celebrity Mashups
Who are your fave celebs?
Man, I love all the celebs. From Alien -- is the alien a celeb? -- to Lil Wayne to ... John Wayne. They can all be painted as silly or terrifying as I like, and that's what a I'm looking for in a celebrity right now. The celebs I'd like to see the most in person are Prince and Tom Waits.
Do you draw any inspiration from living in Florida?
I wish I drew more inspiration from living in Florida, like painting sunsets and palm trees and fish. I'd probably be making a lot more money! I think what I'm doing now is pretty understandable to anyone regardless of being a Floridian. I feel inspired to paint inside because its so damned hot.
I understand you used to be a South Florida local. What's your favorite thing about our neck of the woods?
954! Haha, yeah. I moved to Sarasota after high school, and visit friends and family in South Florida occasionally. I used to love going to Churchill's every Monday for that open-mic night, and the art walk in Wynwood. I miss the Swap Shop and Cuban food. There's like one Cuban restaurant here, and it's pretty lame. Even though the beaches here are nice, I miss Hollywood beach the most. There's a place on the boardwalk with an excellent $1.25 pistachio soft serve. Haha, I sound like a 90-year-old lady who loves a good deal.
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Don't kid yourself. We all love a good deal. Do you take requests? For example, Pit Bull's head on a liger's body?
I will try and paint anything. I think the weirdest request I got was a painting of David Bowie and Prince spooning on a daisy or some other flower. Or Tom Waits as a chimp holding an ice cream come with Jerry Garcia's head on it. Custom orders are my favorite to do. Then I get to really compare my weirdness to others, and surprisingly enough, I'm not the weird one.
Is this a full-time gig for you?
Unfortunately, this is not my full-time job, but my other jobs are pretty great, so I'm not upset about it. I think if this was my full-time job I might get burned out, which has happened a couple times. I need variety to stay interested.
Any big plans in the works for your art?
I'm pretty excited I found this awesome print shop in Sarasota, so hopefully I will be selling a lot more and having a lot more inventory on hand. I'm thinking about doing bigger paintings, maybe with full casts of TV shows or bands. I owe my sister a painting, so I guess that's my biggest plan right now.