Meet Jess Soparlo, the Designer Behind Our New Collaboration Prints!

We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with artist Jessica Soparlo of Would Be Nude Not To. Jessica is a Squamish based graphic designer who's love of the outdoors and belief in the power of women are reflected in her work.

Four new patterns are featured in this collection.

Surfer Girls Set of 3 Beeswax Wraps showcases the radness of west coast women in the midst of surfing and in the water waiting to catch the next wave alongside beautiful linework of various fruits. Neutral tones with pops of blue lend a modern feel to this new set.

Show Me Your Melons is a Single Medium Wrap that highlights the fruit design from the above set, but with a twist - illustrated breasts of all shapes and sizes!

We had the pleasure of getting to know Jess a bit more and asking her some questions about her career and how she got started creating art. 

How did you get started in Graphic Design? 

When I was 18 and living in Big White I had a roommate who was a Graphic Designer. At the time, I didn't really know what he did as a Graphic Designer but I did know that he created this really cool T-shirt graphic for Big White and all of their staff for that season. Multiple snow seasons later, when it was time to join the real world again and figure out some kind of post-secondary education I thought of my old roommate and looked into different art and design schools around Vancouver. I ended up choosing a program that was both at BCIT and Emily Carr. It was a condensed 12-month program and provided me with a really solid foundation in design thinking. That is the beginning of my design story, but it has been a rollercoaster for the past 10 years! At one point I stopped designing altogether and it wasn't until three years ago that I decided to get back into it and give my art a real shot. My time away from my art and design allowed me to have the space to think about my life, my career, and what I wanted out of both. I feel lucky to have had that break because it makes me feel especially grateful that I get to wake up every morning and make art! Jess Soprano - Would be Nude Not To

How was Would Be Nude Not to founded?

I was in a place where I wanted to be more accountable to my art and create more consistently so I challenged myself to sketch every day. In the first five days, all I could draw were these naked surfer ladies. I don't really know why, but I was stoked on them. At that point, they were just sketches but one day I was thinking about how my friend would always say 'would be rude not to' and my brain just subbed in 'nude' for 'rude' and that was it! I loved the name so much that I immediately created an Instagram account (I was nervous that I wouldn't be the only person to think of it haha) and since then I would say 90% of my creative work has involved the naked female form in one way or another. My intention for Would Be Nude Not To was purely to keep me sketching every day and to give me that creative outlet/escape. I did not expect it to become my full-time job, but I am so glad it has! 
Would be Nude Not To

What drew you to illustrate the nude form?
To be honest, it started because I tried to draw clothes on one of my nude characters and I just hated it. So I just stopped trying to draw clothes on my girls. Plus, drawing the female body is so fun! 

A lot of your illustrations feature women in outdoor activities (surfing, biking, etc.) Is this a reflection of your own lifestyle?

Definitely! When I'm not on my computer or iPad I'm usually on the Island surfing or in Squamish trying to stay upright on my bike. I'm getting very excited for snowboard season as it always seems to push me physically and creatively. I can't wait to see what this winter brings! 

Explain a Little About What Your “Nudify Me” Commissions Are.

A "Nudify Me" commission is a one-of-a-kind illustration that I create based on an activity, sport, or personal memory. Many people have sent me inspirational photos of them (fully clothed) doing what makes them the happiest. I take those photos and then create a personalized illustration. It's always a fun exercise as everyone is different and I try my best to bring each subject's unique personality into the illustration. 

Do you have a favourite piece you’ve completed? If so, why?

(see screenshot attached) This piece is a favourite of mine right now! It's a piece that was so easy and fun to create (it's true, not all art is fun and easy ha!). I use this piece as a guideline for how I want my work to evolve because sometimes I get distracted by what's 'trending. When that happens I stop, collect myself and go back to this piece in order to help guide my creative decisions from that point forward. 
Would be Nude Not To

For Goldilocks we needed a repeating surface pattern, is this something you do often? How is surface pattern design different from other illustrations? 

When Amy approached me to create a surface pattern for Goldilocks it was something that was pretty new to me. I had only ever created one other surface pattern before, but I loved the idea of having my work on something more tactile. In my experience, surface pattern design requires a bit more planning and strategy. I think it makes it easy if you know at the onset that the design or illustration will be used as a repeating pattern so that you can create accordingly. You also have to have a bit more technical experience with different programs. I'm definitely no expert, but this project opened my eyes to the world of surface design and it's one of my goals for 2022 - to create my own clothing featuring my illustrations!

Any exciting projects or plans lined up for 2022?

I kind of gave the secret away above, but you can expect to see more than just prints coming out of the Would Be Nude Not To Shop in 2022! I want to create a line of wearable goods featuring illustrations and patterns that I've created. What those items will look like depend on what I can find that's produced locally. My goal is to have my art on pieces that were created either locally and/or with the planet in mind. 
You can shop our collaboration with Jess here!