Jaime Drayer is one of Nest’s favourite local artists. She’s been with us since we perched upon Locke Street. Drayer’s work has always stood out for its clever sayings, beautiful penmanship and detailed work.
1. Are there any traditions you partake in when painting or getting ready to paint?
I like to light a scented candle from a local maker or burn some incense or palo santo to make my studio a comforting and positive space. If the kitties are in my room I make sure to keep the door open and/or open a window so the smell doesn’t bother them.
2. If you could be any animal (living or extinct), which one would you be and why?
Hmm, I have to say it’s a tie between a very spoiled house cat and a squirrel. My kitties have the best-pampered lives and I’m often envious of them, especially the sleeping all day. But with my artsy scatterbrain, I’m definitely more like a squirrel darting all over the place!
3. Can you describe the moment in time when you knew you were an artist and what the statement “I am an artist” means to you?
I always loved drawing and crafting when I was a child, all I ever wanted to do was be an artist when I grew up. I originally wanted to illustrate children’s books but by the time I entered high school, I knew I wanted to be a graphic designer. As much as I love designing, after 13 years in the corporate design world, I really love working with my hands again and also being my own boss. My cats Tux and Poppy will tell you they are the real bosses though…
4. What advice would you give to young handmade artisans about the industry?
Accept that failure is a part of the process and it only makes you better. Even if you think an idea is silly, put it out there anyways! You would be surprised how many people will appreciate what you think may not be “good enough”. One of my favourite quotes is “comparison is the thief of joy”. Keep your eyes in your own lane and don’t worry about what others are and aren’t doing. Lastly, don’t fall for the “hustle” culture. You will need to work very hard to achieve success but do not confuse hard work with burnout. It’s ok to rest and take time for YOU.
5. Who are your three heroes/heroines and which attributes do you admire about them?
My late Frisian grandmother, she contracted polio as a baby and was not expected to live. Not only did she live but she was able to walk, gave birth to 2 children (which she was also told was not possible), and lived until the age of 94! I think this is where I get my will and determination from. She was the OG cat lady, my very best friend, and I miss her every day.
Lizzo, because she is a brilliant, talented and confident woman of colour who is doing a lot for body positivity.
Not a single person, but the hard-working and selfless individuals who volunteer their time working with rescues saving wild and domesticated animals. As someone who much prefers animals to humans, I have to utmost respect for the work these kind and compassionate humans are doing. That’s why I feel it’s so important for me to donate a portion of my sales to local rescues.
Kisses & purrs,