There are people who simply create, and then there are pioneers of their craft. Jessica Coffin - or better known to close friends as Jessie - is just that. Inherently a writer in every fibre of her being, she is a true wordsmith. Her approach to diction and ability to compose syntax that is always a delicious cocktail of honesty, wit, and intelligence is one of the many reasons why she has been an inspiration to us from our first hello.
With a past and a present that are equally compelling, Jessica is every bit the linyage lady. She often draws from her own roots, fiercely in touch with characteristics that are in her DNA. Yet, she is even more inclined to create from right where has chosen to plant roots in that moment; even when it's in a recent move to Bismark, ND. Here, she shares a bit of who she is, where she came from, and sheds light on creating from a raw and vulnerable place.
Take notes, folks. She's got the goodness we all can afford to hear another time. And we're pretty confident you will leave this interview with a lighter and more empowered heart. How apropos for a gal such as Jessica Coffin.
Q. First things first: Tell us who you are as an artist/creative, in 5 words or less.
A. Honest, Playful and Curious.
Q. Your lineage as a whole has several different veins. Tell us about it briefly, and perhaps any facet or person in that you resonate with most when thinking of your own lineage.
A. My parents met overseas so I’m the child of mixed energies; I’ve grown up an American girl but have known I belong to another people, too. My Filipino heritage leaks into my desire to be near the water and my love of seafood. But my roots are steeped in country music and baseball games from my childhood so I tend to skip a beat every once in a while just to make sure I’m still alive—not going through the motions or following anyone else’s path because my own was never straight and narrow to begin with.
Q. How have you noticed your 'linyage' influence you as an artist? Where does that show up in your work?
A. So much of who I am is more than a simple answer. I’m a daughter, a sister, a figurative mother, but some days I’m more of a tomboy than I realize and I am tired of just being labeled something simple because it’s the easy way out. I find myself wanting a little bit more out of my artwork because of this; It’s easy to write about things that make you happy or to just troll over airplane food. But I want my writing to help people find a little bit more of themselves. To ask questions that don’t have canned answers so they can realize how multifaceted they truly are.
Q. You recently made a big move to Bismarck, ND. Tell us how your geographical location influences your business and/or creative process.
A. I was certainly inspired in the city and all of the lovely places I’ve lived, but now that I’m so far away from friends, family and general familiarity, I’m finding I want my work to be more intentional. I write a lot less because I’m spending more time processing new experiences and the feeling of being relatively alone; someday that will come to fruition in the form of a really lovely piece of writing, and I think that period of fermentation has become something I truly appreciate in my writing now.
Q. New or old, where or whom do you draw your inspiration?
A. I love being in the kitchen when I have a lot on my mind. Creating with my hands gives me so much joy and eating my creation after it’s all done puts me on another level (if it’s good). By the time I’ve finished cooking I’ve usually worked through the jungle of thoughts and made up a food pun I can tie into my next article!
Q. Favorite time of day to create?
A. During sunrise. It’s when all of my guards are down and before I can become self-conscious of what people think. If I wake up early enough, I’m sending as many emails at that time as I can because it’s when I’m the most raw, the most bold and true to myself. It’s my favorite time to write because so much of that translates into this really emotional writing that I, as a person, don’t generally express verbally.
Q. Best nugget of advice you've been given that stands true for you today.
A. “You’re not the type of girl who settles, keep not settling.”
I read this quote and it hit me like a lightning bolt. I am not, never have been, and never will be; it’s why I work so often and so much because even if I’m “just” doing a quick piece or editing a website, it’s all a collective motion toward the grand scheme. I don’t have to feel bad about not keeping the status quo because I like being in motion and for me, that is exactly how it should be.
All the things : dually noted. 'Exactly how it should be' is a mantra we can get on board with. Thank you, Jessie!