Alumni Stories

Jessica Wrike

Jessica Wrike

My inner love for art and praise from friends and teachers has pushed me to never want to stop creating art. Jessica Wrike Certificate in 2D Animation, 2017 , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Jessica Wrike

Drawing and writing is what I love to do. So, it was decided this would be a great fit for me as a career. On June 16, 2018, Barnes and Noble bookstore featured me as a new local author. I showcased my Adult Coloring Book “A Dreamer’s Wonderland” and my Children’s ABC book “My Colorful Alphabet Book.” My son came with me and we made a good profit. I made bookmarks and had business cards available. I sold several prints and all but one of my adult coloring books and several ABC books.

My books are sold at Sunrise books, a local bookstore here in High Point, NC. On June 28, 2018, Sunrise Books had a storytelling and book signing event for me. I dressed up with a blue wig, blue makeup, and wings. I was a fairy from the book I am working on, “Before Time and the Three Realms.”

One couple came in the store. The young woman happened to be pregnant, so I put my acting face on and pretended to be a fairy from my book and read to the sweet pregnant lady. She was so happy. She bought a book and I signed it for her new baby.

Jessica Wrike

I have been going to everyone selling my books. I’ve sold books to people I meet in the world. I tell them about my work and they are interested. I’ve sold prints and books to people at a local pawn shop, a secretary, to my neighbors, family, my friends, a therapist, a bank teller.

I feel like sometimes I turn into a sales person and I just start telling people I meet about my books. I bring them with me. I have been selling lots on my own.

One day, my neighbor saw I was painting our mailbox and she wanted hers done so I painted hers. I opened an etsy store to sell my products, illustrations by jess w.

Currently, I am working on a creature picture book. It will be called “The Extraordinarily Imperfect Creature Picture Book.” It will be about wacky characters created using mixed media. I am also creating a companion children’s coloring book with unique wacky and fun creatures to color.

Jessica Wrike

How it started
One day my boyfriend’s brother’s wife saw my coloring pages I brought over for her kids to color. She loved them, and so did her kids. She suggested I turn them into a coloring book. I thought this was a great idea. After searching for free publishing sites, I found, and started working on all the pages and had my first coloring book published.

I got so much praise on my first book, I was inspired to create more books and to be in major retailers. I am driven by my inner love for art. I remember being intrigued by my art teachers who wanted to keep my work or show it off. My inner love for art and praise from friends and teachers has pushed me to never want to stop creating art.

“My inner love for art and praise from friends and teachers has pushed me to never want to stop creating art.”

I’ve always been criticized by my family, but that hasn’t stopped me. I thought what better way to show my work than to kids and what better way to give back, than to teach kids through my art and stories. Books can take you to wonderful places and that imagination has no limits. To partially quote one of my favorite books, The Little Prince, “I want to show my work to kids, who are the only ones who can truly appreciate it because they have not grown up yet, they have not forgotten.”

Jessica Wrike artwork

To see more of Jessica’s work: