In Session: Jes Turco

GLENS FALLS – Forever broadening her horizons, local artist Jes Turco has had her hands quite full as of late. From working on designs across a litany of fields, including breweries and album covers for musicians, one thing remains consistent for this artist – pushing the boundaries of her abilities and keep growing. Through that work ethic, Turco has made quite a name for herself in a short amount of time. During this past week, I had the chance to sit down with this artist. What follows is our conversation.

Lucas Garrett: Thank you, Jes, for sitting down with us today to talk about you as an artist, and your art in general. How’re you doing?

Jes Turco: I’m good! Art-wise, I have a few personal projects I’m working on, and then I have a couple of events coming up. In November, I have a zine being released. That’s what I’ve been up to.

LG: Nice. When I first saw your artwork, I believe it was for Candy Ambulance’s Traumantic.

JT: Cool!

LG: I said to myself, “Who the hell is that?”

JT: Hahahaha.

LG: The first thing I noticed right away – which is very important in any facet of the art community, whether it’s visual or audio – is that it had a unique quality to it. Anyone familiar with your art, I feel would definitely call it unique. Where did you learn to do your style of artwork?

JT: I would say, style-wise, I’d fall into the realm of surrealism. I’ve always been attracted to surrealist artists like Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali. Those are two that most people might recognize. But, I guess the style I work in is kind of driven by the desire to communicate ideas but have it be done in a way where maybe someone has to think a little harder about it. Or, it’s a little bit subjective and people can give their own meaning to it in certain ways.

LG: You’ve been doing this for quite a while now, right?

JT: Yeah. I’ve been a “working artist” for about five years, now. Within the past year or so – and definitely going forward – I’ve been trying to push myself as far as possible, both in regards to medium and technique.

Waxwing, by Jes Turco

LG: What made you say, “OK, this is what I want to start doing?” Five years ago, you would’ve been in your early twenties, correct?

JT: Yeah, that’s right.

LG: So, what started the whole career for you?

JT: It started out as an outlet for emotional stuff I was going through. I’ve always been an artist. Ever since I could hold a crayon, I’ve been drawing. My whole life! About five years ago, I was fresh out of college and working a desk job to get by. I felt like I was deteriorating without a creative outlet. I decided it would be very healthy for me to start consistently making art.

LG: I know of your work a lot through other bands in the area. You’ve also done a lot of galleries. I saw you at GEM Fest, and things like that, as well. For you as an artist, what is your preferred line of work? What do you really enjoy doing the most?

JT: As of now, I’ve been doing a lot of world-building: coming up with characters, elements that are all part of one fictional world. That’s what I’ve really been into now. As far as commissioned work goes, I really love doing album covers. I like doing merchandise designs. If someone comes to me and says, “I’d like you to make an illustration I can put on a T-shirt,” for example… I would love to do book covers, poster designs in the future. That type of thing.

LG: Correct me if I’m wrong, but you also design logos for local companies? I saw a Paradox Brewery beer that looked like one of your pieces. Was that you?

JT: Yeah, that was me. Those projects were a lot of fun. Those label designs were some of my first. That was a lot of fun; they were very easy to work with.

LG: What’s next for you? Let’s talk about your events coming up. When and where are they?

JT: The first one is Wild in the Trees, which is a music and skate festival run by Mirth Films. That’s October 1st and 2nd at Lake George Skate Plaza. There’ll be skateboarding, music, a handful of other vendors, beer, food… that should be fun. The next one would be Hypersaturation’s Halloween party, which is also a release party for their next issue. That’s on October 29th at Forts Ferry Farm in Latham.

LG: Sounds like you have a lot going on!

JT: Yeah! I’m hoping to have new prints to offer for both events, but definitely for the Hypersaturation party.

Waxwing in Flight, Jes Turco

LG: Is there anything else you’d like to talk about today?

JT: Yes! I also have a zine coming out. It’s a short-story book. It’s coming out through a publisher called Two Key Customs. They’re based out of New Jersey. They do a lot of poetry releases, hand-bound chapter books, and zines. It’s coming out November 14th, and it’s called Scrubland Rhythms. Without giving too much away, there’re really no words to go with the narrative. It’s a pictorial story that unfolds a surreal, ecological narrative. I was working on that for the better part of the beginning of this year. I’m excited to see it come to fruition.

LG: Well, that sounds very interesting! I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

JT: Thanks! It’s also made me want to do more stuff along the lines of picture books.

LG: Thank you again for taking the time today, Jes! I look forward to seeing more of your work.

JT: Thank you, and thanks for your offer to interview me. I’m honored.

LG: Absolutely!

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