Jessica Ann, local marine life artist and Keys native, is on a mission to connect you to marine conservation through her art. She wants to protect our oceans and its inhabitants through the work she creates.
Born and raised in the Florida Keys, she spends most of her time in or near the water. As a self taught artist, she finds inspiration from the bright colors of the sea and shorelines and incorporates these vibrant colors into her work alongside bold, clean lines.
Jessica Ann paints her In the Reef collection. Jessica Ann Art ©
As a well-known South Florida artist and local community voice, we greatly appreciate her commitment to the health of our marine ecosystems. Her collection "In the Reef" releases on March 11, 2020 with a portion of the proceeds supporting our mission at Coral Restoration Foundation™. Thank you to Jessica Ann for her continuous support of Coral Restoration Foundation™! You can catch Jessica in action as she live paints at Raise the Reef 2020, our annual gala.
Continue reading to learn more about Jessica Ann and her connection to the ocean!
What is your earliest memory of the ocean?
I was born in the Florida Keys, so I think it was always a part of my life. My parents were both dive masters, and I remember watching their underwater videos at a very young age and knowing that I would pursue something in the future related to these early memories.
What is your favorite marine creature?
Oh this one is hard! I have so many favorites. As a child, it was for sure dolphins. On the boat, I was always on the look out. I spent many after school days at Theatre of the Sea, and worked as a volunteer at the Dolphin Research Center after High School. I still love dolphins, but lately I have really been loving octopus. They are one of my favorites to paint and also learn about.
Jessica Ann with her collection In The Reef. Jessica Ann Art ©
What concerns or scares you the most about losing our coral reefs here in the Florida Keys?
The coral reefs in the Florida Keys are home to so many species of coral and fish, making it one of the most important reefs in the world. It scares me that we are already seeing the break up of the reef in areas where scientists had previously thought would not start until around 2050.
What drew you to painting marine life?
I was drawn to painting sea life because it's what I love. When I paint something that has meaning and memories behind it, it shows through in the finished piece. I love to fish and dive, and when I’m doing these activities, I notice all the small things that most others don’t. These little details bring fourth entire collections of work, and give me a chance to really dig into a concept and learn along the way.
Why do you, personally care about coral reefs and environmental conservation? Why should the average person care about the coral reefs?
I personally care about coral reefs and environmental conservation because we all need to! I personally grew up diving the beautiful reefs of the Keys, and watching the decline along the way, so it really hits home for me. But in the greater spectrum, we all need to care because if we all make small, daily changes, it will make one large impact.
Jessica Ann paints with her husband and two sons (left). Jessica Ann with a piece from her In the Reef collection (right). Jessica Ann Art ©
Why is protecting and restoring coral reefs relevant to your brand?
Protecting and restoring coral reefs is relevant to my brand because I am a Florida Keys marine life artist. I am painting the sea life that call these coral reefs home. Also, I was given this artistic talent, and I want to use it to help connect people with conservation. I believe that if I can get people to fall in love with the sea life I paint, and if I continue to learn and share with my collectors about how they can help, then I am doing my part.
What do you think are some of the easiest ways that the average person can join the mission to save coral reefs from extinction?
I think the easiest ways the average person can help is living a more sustainable lifestyle. We all need to reduce our waste. There is so much free information out there between Google and social media that it takes little effort to find. Start small and gradually make more and more changes in your own life. Use your knowledge to teach others, or just let them watch and ask you. The more changes you make, the more others get curious. It's a chain reaction.
Do you think there is hope for our coral reefs?
Yes, I believe there is hope for our coral reefs. I believe that all the efforts of foundations like CRF™ and many more are working so hard to do this. I believe that we all just need to do our part, volunteer if we can, share our knowledge, and work together. My collection “In The Reef” is inspired by long summer days spent on the coral reefs of the Florida Keys. I have chosen some of my favorite sea creatures to see while fishing and diving the reefs. I hope that by sharing this collection with you, you will fall in love with the beauty of our oceans and find ways that you too can help. My collection releases early for my collectors e-mail list on March 11 at 11am. You can join the list by entering your e-mail at my website. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to CRF™.