Meet our Illustrators

Jess & Sandi are the clever illustrators who created the beautiful fruit images for our new jam and chutney labels

We thought you’d enjoy reading more about them and where they get their inspiration.

Where did you grow up in New Zealand?

JESS:  I was born in South Africa and moved to Hawke’s Bay when I was 11.
SANDI:  I also moved to NZ from South Africa, when I was 5.

 What’s your favourite childhood memory of your hometown?

JESS: I  remember driving out to Waimarama beach in the peak of summer and returning home via the strawberry farm that made real fruit ice-creams. It was the best!
I grew up in Upper Hutt. I used to go on bike rides along the Hutt River and to a BMX track with some neighbourhood kids. I remember climbing up trees and running around exploring, trying to keep up with my big brother.

Where do you live now and what reminds you of NZ?

JESS:  I have called Wellington home for the past 10 years. I love how there is always something to do; a day’s walk out by the coast; a couple of drinks at Garage Project; discovering new food gems around the city.
SANDI:  I’ve recently returned back to New Zealand after living in Canada and Australia for the past 4 years. It’s been great to get to re-discover Wellington with fresh eyes, but still have a nice familiarity.  When I was in Canada the scenic beauty definitely reminded me of New Zealand, and in Melbourne it was the culture that really felt akin to Wellington.

When you were a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

JESS:  My Mum’s family is very creative; we have carpenters, jewellery designers, graphic designers, painters and musicians in the family. From a very young age I was encouraged to be creative and I enjoyed doing it so I knew I would end up in design.
SANDI:  I was always drawing and used to create little ‘classrooms’ of kids that I drew. I made up elaborate back stories for all the kids. I guess looking back that was an early sign of the creative path I was going to go down!

Where did you study and how long have you been illustrating?

JESS:  I studied Visual Communication Design, majoring in Graphic Design. Sandi and I were lucky enough to illustrate together for two years when we finished university.
SANDI:  We finished our degree at Massey in Wellington in 2009 and have been collaborating and illustrating together since then. We both work in the design industry as our 9 to 5 job.

What’s your favourite subject matter?

JESS:  We’ve drawn a lot of food. I love great food so it’s an easy subject to illustrate. Although cravings are an issue when you draw a delicious piece of caramel cake!
SANDI:  I’ve always liked drawing characters, people doing normal things. I do enjoy drawing food, but as Jess says, it’s hard not to get hungry!

Barker's chutneys - JPEGWho in the art world do you admire/has influenced you the most and why?

JESS:  Oliver Jeffers is up there as one of my favourite illustrators. His style is simple, fun and interesting. I love his use of media.
SANDI:  I think that Jess has influenced me the most. It’s so great to bounce styles and build on work together. In terms of slightly more famous artists (haha), I’ve always admired Dick Frizzell. I love his typography and energy. 

Are you foodies in the kitchen?

JESS:  Yes! I’m addicted to cook books. I love trying new things and enjoy cooking food from different cultures.
SANDI:  Absolutely. I love trying new things and being creative in the kitchen. It’s good to follow a recipe as a base and add to it, or take away. And keep working at making it better. 

See more of Jess and Sandi’s work at