If you could put on a pair of glasses and see the world through the eyes of others, what might look different? Artist Jessica Brice, the owner of Vivid Artistry Co., invites viewers into her world through her boldly painted acrylic artworks. “For me, getting in front of a canvas and having a full range of color and potential is so exciting,” said Brice in a phone interview. “It’s such a thrill and joy.”
Mixing 90% of her custom colors, Brice created a new language using color play. Brice’s love of nature often becomes the focus of her creations, as she uses a beautiful collision of reality and whimsy. Her paintings occupy a space between the tangible and imaginative that invites people back to childhood.
Brice’s childhood was filled with anything creative she could get her hands on. “Since I was a kid, I have always wanted to go to school for art,” said Brice. Early on, Brice’s mom noticed her daughter’s zeal for all things expressive. “My mom was so good at finding creative things for me to do, whether it was ceramics, drawing, or going to museums; my mom was invested in making sure I had a creative outlet from a very young age.”
However, childhood passions took on a different shade when Brice became a teenager. “In high school, when you say you’re going to do art, that’s when the family intervention happens,” laughed Brice. Her parents were nervous about the idea of Brice going to college for art and recommended she pursue graphic design. She double majored in Graphic Design and Teaching Art.
Choosing to pursue art school would become life-changing for Brice as an artist. “Really, I was a drawer,” said Brice. “I didn’t paint that much until I took a painting class in college, and that changed everything.” Painting introduced her to a world of precision with a creative freedom that she found intoxicating.
Her newfound passion exploded when she was given a unique assignment in one of her classes: paint on something other than canvas. That was it. With no additional rules to tie her down, Brice could not get the image of herself blowing a giant blue bubble of gum. So what does someone do when they have blue bubblegum sticking in their head? If you are Brice, you paint it. She consumed her time trying to blow the perfect bubble, but after several attempts left her with little more than a soar jaw, she decided to photoshop it. This picture became the blueprint for Brice’s painting.
When she finished the piece, Brice entered her painting into a competition, where Dr. E. Ann McGee, the then dean of Seminole State College, purchased it from Brice. Dr. McGee told Brice how her creation “reminded her of the students she served and that she works hard for every day.” From that moment on, Brice knew she could connect to others through her art. “It didn’t matter what I was painting,” said Brice. “I wanted to speak to someone.”
Looking back, Brice credits her painting approach to the painting by numbers she loved doing as a child. Since she uses different colors, often only separated by a single shade, Brice labels the colors of her paintings similar to the labels used by paint by numbers. Sitting in her studio, she laughed, realizing that the paint buckets she uses are the same ones that come with a paint-by-numbers kit.
The childish spirit Brice has managed to preserve in her artwork connects to nature in a mutual insouciance. Having finished a series on jellyfish, Brice finds their behaviors fascinating. “They are just floating. They’re not rushing to go anywhere, and yet they still get everything they need. Kind of like a child, they have no worries. They go with the flow.” So in a world filled with hard news and hurried lifestyles, Brice believes people can learn from a jellyfish’s approach to life.
Brice’s friends attest that her warmth and resilience shine through in her artwork. A friend and fellow artist, Ysabel Flores, is inspired by how “in the midst of the ups and downs of life, she always maintained a passion for art.” Together, they motivate each other to pursue self-expression in acrylic paintings.
Matt Hepner, the owner of The Standard CLCL, first met Brice when she delivered kombucha to their shop just before she quit pursuing art full-time. “I thought she was super easy to talk to,” said Hepner. When Harper and his wife finally saw her artwork, they fell in love. Brice’s warm personality led to a partnership in which her artwork is for display at The Standard.
From the coffee shop to the community, creation, and more, Brice brings life wherever she goes and paints. Not much has stayed the same since Brice was little, but one thing is true: “When I am painting is when I’m most fulfilled and happy. There is no me without the art.”