Interview with Eje 64 Artist Jacqueline Malcolm
by Laura Pulgarin
Tell us a little bit about your background, how you got your start in the art world?
Hola, my name is Jacqueline, and I am a graphic designer and illustrator painting the world in shades of brown. Based in the DMV, I am a Latina who is using design to bring beauty & diversity to the world.
I got my start in art as a young girl, experimenting with drawing, graffiti, and all things color. Art was, and has always been, my way of expressing myself. As I got older, I began painting with acrylics, and learning about photography. Once I was able to get my hands on Adobe’s Creative Cloud, I fell in love with digital art and illustration.
What is your creative process like? What is your favorite part of the illustration process?
My creative process takes place in two parts, an inspiration phase, followed by an illustration phase. The inspiration phase takes the most time but is also the most fun. This is where I can dream big and decide what to bring to life next. My art centers my desire to color the world in shades of brown. My purpose is to uplift my community, and to let little brown kids everywhere know that they are beautiful, and that this world is for them. The inspiration phase is where I draw on my cultura and lived experience to determine the message I want to get across. The illustration phase is where I get to work and bring that message to life. I can get super particular about my pieces, so this phase can be short, or take a long time.
My favorite part of the illustration process is getting to share my art with others. When others reach out and let me know that a piece really spoke to them, brought joy to their life, and/or made them feel seen, that's the best feeling in the world.
How are you celebrating Latinx Heritage Month this year?
I celebrate Latinx Heritage Month by uplifting amazing Latinxs in my life, learning more about my culture, and taking care of myself. It's a month where I get to not only contribute to beautiful art being made by my own people, but one where I can learn, take in our greatness, and support others.
What is inspiring you right now? What are you currently working on?
Right now I am very inspired by the little moments in life that mean everything, like having cafecito in the mornings, or sharing a meal with amigas y amigos. I also have been super inspired by the strength of the mujeres in my life. They inspire me to make art that is empowering, and that captures the essence of my ancestors.
I am currently working on holiday greeting cards! Making greeting card designs that really capture the spirit of my cultura’s traditions is something that brings me so much joy.
How would you describe your work?
I would describe my work as empowering, authentic, and all things Latinx. I strongly believe in making the art that I wish existed, and only put forward work that I would buy myself. My work is for us, by us, and is reflective of my lived experience as a strong first-generation Mexican American woman who grew up alongside Latinxs from all parts of Latino-America. In many of my pieces, you’ll see me take key cultural influences, and put a modern spin on them. I want to make sure my culture is preserved for generations to come, and this is my effort to make sure that happens.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
You can expect to see more from me in terms of prints! I have so many pieces I want to make, and so many goals I want to achieve. I also hope to continue expanding my product lines and always making pieces that carry my culture forward.