Featured Artist: Venessa “Nessie” Marie
Venessa “Nessie” Marie is a traditional and digital artist and illustrator, and the creator of Sammy the Sushi Cat. Sammy the Sushi Cat? Yes! A few years ago, while getting back into her first love of painting and drawing, Venessa created a lovable fluffy cat who was also a piece of nigiri sushi; she named it Sammy the Sushi Cat, not realizing how popular he would become. Since then she has been creating whimsical and colorful art in the hope that she could brighten the lives of as many people as possible.
Nessie has a true passion to create and share her art. She explains, “For me, art is therapeutic, its relaxing, it’s a place where I can empty my thoughts. I love to create things and see how much joy and happiness I can bring to those around me. I’ve always wanted to make a mark in this world, no matter how small. Creating paintings that bring joy to people of all ages and backgrounds is the most rewarding mark I could ever hope to leave in this lifetime.”
When asked how long she has been making art, she says, “I started drawing and creating random things when I was 3 years old and have been doing it ever since; I just decided that I was going to be an artist. I grew up in San Antonio and was admitted to the North East School of the Arts, a magnet high school specifically for the arts. Then I was awarded a scholarship to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design, where I learned foundations and advanced skills in the fields I studied, graduating with a degree in Metals and Jewelry Design.”
She continues, “Surprisingly, I now work primarily in watercolors and digital painting, but I do occasionally create art with resin, wood, and leather. I’m pleased to be a full-time professional artist; along with my paintings and illustrations, I work as a custom CAD artist (computer aided design) for a high-end jewelry designer in New York City.”
When discussing what inspires her art, Nessie replies, “It’s heavily influenced by my love of animals, cats mainly, the colors we see in the world, and my own culture. I have a deep love and appreciation for the stories and traditions of my Hispanic heritage, as well as lore and tales throughout the world.
In closing, Venessa Marie emphasizes art’s importance. “I believe that art is integral to life. Though it too often gets overlooked or brushed aside, it is something that benefits everyone. It gives children a chance to express themselves and to bring life and beauty to the world. There are so many ways that art can transform a place and the people within it. I think we must continually encourage people to embrace art because the world will always need artists. Art gives us the power to brighten the darkness, shine light on important issues, make a stand in the name of what is right, and to bring a community together.”