My name is Jessica Malatia, and I am a visual artist living in Evanston. I make charcoal drawings and acrylic gouache paintings. While I used to be an avid oil painter, I started painting with acrylic gouache in April of 2020 and have been hooked on its vibrancy and flat texture ever since. My recent paintings have been centered around food, which has a powerful way of evoking memories and feelings of nostalgia.
I’ve been making and creating for as long as I can remember. My family nurtured my creative spirit as a kid, and I tried everything from balloon animal making to sculpting miniature cakes from Play-Doh. I reference that childhood spirit in my art frequently, through anything from painting Kid Cuisines to drawing troll dolls. I pride myself on making work that is sincere; I want the genuine interest and care I have for my subjects (however lighthearted they may be!) to shine through. Nostalgia, food, and vintage toys bring me joy, and I try to commemorate that joy in my art. Drawing and painting these items is a method in which I can both commemorate and preserve them; a way of solidifying the memories they hold.
I graduated from Loyola University Chicago, where I studied psychology, drawing, and painting. My work has been shown at Woman Made Gallery, Ralph Arnold Gallery, and Columbia College Chicago Library. Recently, I showed my work at Evanston Art Center for their Winter Arts & Crafts Expo.