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Con Artist is pleased to introduce our featured artist for this week, Jesica Perez Bianciotto of Silver Root Studios. I came across Jesica’s work at MegaCon 2018 Orlando and it was striking. Rows of mugs with outlandish sneers and flasks leering mouths lined up beside shrunken heads with freakish faces. I wanted one of each! Apparently, so did everyone else because when I went back to see her on Sunday, intending to shop, everything was gone. She sold out every bit of her stock. Naturally, I had to see if she had a site or an on-ground shop that I could order from.
Although she is based in Naples, Florida, Silver Root Studios doesn’t have a physical presence, though if it did I guaranteed the lines would be out the door. When I caught up with Jesica after the con to talk about Silver Root Studios she explained the lack of a physical store:
I moved to Tampa from Naples at the beginning of the year and now I am moving again ( I am planning to be moving many many times in the future ) so I don’t have a shop where people can stop by. I do have an online shop (but I am very slow updating new stuff). Social media is the way to find me; I invite people to ask me questions.
Silver Root Studios does have an online shop as Jesica mentioned and as you can see they do a wide range of work. Hint to you Potter fans out there: I noticed they have some adorable Mandragora. You can see just how popular the work of Silver Root Studios is as even on the website you will run across items that are sold out. Part of the reason is the amount of work and detail that goes in to each and every piece. I asked Jesica about the origins of her work and of Silver Root Studios:
How did you get started? I started sculpting in my teens as a hobby but didn’t decide to pursue it as a career until a few years ago.
When did you realize this was your passion? Well, I’ve always wanted to be creative in any kind of visual art and thats what definitely got me interested in sculpting.
Seeing Jesica’s favorite piece, which is significantly larger than the work I had seen at the con led me to ask about it’s creation and where she drew inspiration from:
Pieces to me “click”, I don’t know how to explain it, I can be working on something for months and do fine, but at some point during this process all the pieces start fitting together and you find yourself wondering, how I didn’t see it? It was so simple!
She elaborated further discussing one of the mainstays of her collection.
Mugs were one of those, they are practical, can be part of a costume or a piece to show off, but doesn’t matter what, they are fun.
Jesica has a penchant for clowning around with her art work. With so much talent, it was educational to learn that she isn’t a big fan of having the focus on her personally. She’d much rather people look at her artwork. With a wink and a smile, she gave us a great explanation as to why:
I always cover my face on close up pictures, I think they are silly. Some people take this artist life style too seriously. I don’t care much about promoting my face with my work. My sculptures have their own thing going on, they don’t need me.
I was surprised to learn that Jesica was new to the con circuit given her talent, her professionalism, and her overall great attitude. Jesica immigrated in 2006 but unfortunately, the job she started with wasn’t her passion and she would go on to make a leap of faith taking a chance on her talent. It was impressive to hear that she more or less started Silver Root Studios by doing farmer’s markets and Renaissance Faires:
Since I moved to the country in 2006 not speaking the language I had no choice but work in cleaning jobs and I did this for 10 years. By 2016, I have a great job as the director of housekeeping in a high-end hotel, with a good salary, benefits, and all that jazz, but I was miserable. So I decided to quit, get a part time job and do farmer markets during the weekends (and I bummed!), try my first small Ren Fair couple a months after, and I started doing better with sales and slowly allowed me to dedicate more time to them.
Having known my share of Ren Faire people, I knew there were some fun stories there but with yet another wink and smile, Jesica’s response was both classy and sassy:
What happens at the Rennie world stays in medieval times.
Well, darn. I then asked if there was at least a favorite convention story that I could share. She had an truly interesting tale for this one:
For Cons the one that really comes to mind is having a customer buy one of my pieces as a gift for one of his idols “Spencer Wilding” which he said the piece looked like him. Then later he actually sent me a picture with Spencer holding the piece next to his face and to my amazement it actually did look like him.
How weird is that? Jesica mentioned that one of the things she loves the most about conventions is the “opportunity to meet so many new people and get see so much great art work and awesome artists”. I was hoping that meant we’d see more of Silver Root Studios at some of the other Florida conventions but, alas, due to her moving that was not to be:
I won’t be doing cons in Florida for a while; hopefully I will be doing Megacon Orlando next season.
On the upside Silver Root Studios does have their online shop and Jesica welcomes commissions:
Yes, I take commissions anytime; custom pieces usually helps me to get out of my comfort zone.
When you are restocking, it gets monotonous, commissions are always a way to redirect and learn new ways to do stuff. People usually have this ideas in their minds for months, maybe years, but they don’t feel like they can materialize them. So when you get all this verbal images, they usually come with tons of expectations for the final result. And of course, my artistic ego that wants to exceed those expectations.
Silver Root Studios easily has some of the most unique and fantastic hand crafted art I have seen. I’m excited to see more from them even if it means a bit of travel. You can keep up with Jesica and Silver Root Studios via social media. I know that I will.
Jesica Perez Bianciotto: