“I love being able to create something, seeing something in my head and being able to put it to paper.”
These are the words of 28-year-old Jess Panzarino, the creator of ‘Art by Panza’, a small side business she established four years ago to share and sell her art with others through social media. Jess grew up in the north western suburbs of Melbourne and knew from a young age that she was passionate about art.
“I've always been creative in some way. I took drawing lessons when I was younger, I always got gifts that were like a set of coloured pencils and paint and stuff like that, so it's just always been a bit of an outlet in my life really,” she said.
However, it wasn’t until she was an adult trying to find ways of coping with her anxiety that she truly recognised her passion for working with watercolours. Jess said that creating art assisted her to manage her anxiety as she found working with watercolour paints to be therapeutic and cathartic.
“I like it because there's only so much that you can control. I kind of picked it back up again at a time where I was very anxious. I was having a lot of anxiety and being able to only control [the paint] to a certain extent and having to accept that it's going to do what it wants to do was kind of what suited me at the time,” she said.
Jess now uses her art platform to try and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and to help others who are struggling with their own mental health. She says she is very open with sharing her experiences through the art she creates as she hopes it will assist others with seeking help and feeling less alone.
“I try and share my experience with people whether it be through a quote or through a place that I feel like I'd rather be that day. My whole kind of idea is just trying to break that stigma and if I can help one other person to not feel alone then that’s fine by me,” she said. “Sometimes you write or paint things and you don't know if people are seeing them and then you just get a simple thank you and it kind of just makes it worth it.”
Calm, cathartic, and free are the words Jess uses to describes her art. Whilst she works primarily with watercolours, she also uses acrylic paints and occasionally her iPad to create new pieces. Inspired by nature, most of her art works are abstract landscapes, however, she also uses her modern style of calligraphy to create art pieces out of quotes.
Jess has been involved in many exhibitions, ranging from the large exhibition titled ‘RAW’ to cafes showing a few of her pieces. Having sold commission pieces and prints to various clients in countries such as Canada, The Netherlands, and France, she says her goal for the future is to create enough large art works that she’s proud of to have her own solo exhibition.
For now Jess says she is very happy keeping ‘Art by Panza’ small as it allows her to be creative when she wants and reduces the stress associated with creating art.
“I try to keep it pretty small because I don't want to stop enjoying it. I don't want to do it just for the money I want to do it because it’s therapeutic. I try and work it out so that I'm not feeling obligated to do anything,” she said.
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