Editor’s Note: our Former Contributors Interview Project showcases former contributors of Stone Soup and the wonderful things they’ve gone on to do.
Jessica Libor illustrated “A Strike for the Wind,” from our March/April 2000 issue, "A Christmas Wish," from November/December 2000, and wrote and illustrated "Seventeen Years," from July/August 2001.
I'm living in Philadelphia, currently working as a drawing and painting teacher at Harcum College. I also am the founder of a pop-up gallery "Era Contemporary" and paint and create artwork! I have a solo exhibition coming up on September 4th at the Da Vinci Art Alliance called "Nature's Daughters." I love making work about nature and femininity and how they integrate. I work in oil paints and real gold and silver leaf, and my work has a strong storytelling aspect to it!
SS: What did Stone Soup mean to you?
JL: Stone Soup was one of my first successes as a young artist, and made me feel like I could actually take a career in art seriously! I remember when I had a story and pictures both published and I felt like I had "made it!" It seriously meant a lot to me, and the feeling that people would see value in my work was embedded in my mind at that young age. It definitely helped propel my vision for the future as an artist!
SS: Do you have any advice for current readers, writers, and artists who contribute to Stone Soup?
JL: Yes, I would say always create from the heart and not for acclaim or success. Anything created with passion from the heart will always touch people in a much stronger way than anything you would create just to publish or to sell. Think about the things that you are passionate about and let that carry your work! When I wrote the story that was published in Stone Soup, I stayed up late for a week typing it all up on my typewriter, getting lost in the story because I had to get it onto paper. Only afterwards did I worry about where I would send it! Also, be disciplined in practicing your craft. To get good at art takes a lot of time, energy and focus, but it is worth it to see your vision come to life!
Are you a former Stone Soup writer or artist and interested in being interviewed? We’d love to hear from you! Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.