With a degree in Animation and two films under their belt, Jess Taylor attended a ‘comics mixer’ in 2016, feeling sceptical and expecting to be the only woman in the room. Unexpectedly, the event revealed to Taylor a diverse and exciting world that would completely alter their career path: the indie comic.
That year, Taylor made Chevalier(2016) a prose based fantasy story that took influence from medieval art, Mucha, and cartoons like Samurai Jack and Secret of Kells. The comic explored the hard realities of living with mental illness, drawing on Taylor’s personal experience of anxiety and depression. They describe this comic as setting a precedent for everything they’ve made since.
Taylor’s work culminated this year in the production of two ongoing long form graphic novels: The Curse of the Wren and Of Her Own Design, both depicting surreal and honest fantasy worlds that focus on female and non-binary characters growing up and accepting themselves. Feminist overtones are very present in Taylor’s work, they draw women as subjects rather than objects, forcing the viewer to see the characters in the same way.