The fuchsia flowers and verdant leaves printed on Jessy Nite's cotton top blend nicely with the swaying trees in the background of an outdoor café. As she sips her iced tea and balances her fuchsia sunglasses atop her head, she jokes about how busy she is. "We're always in the studio rather than out at events... I've even missed a few of my own." Her laughter resonates with the wind.
Nite, an artist known primarily for her text art pieces and most recently for painting the exterior of the new Red Bull building in Wynwood, was born just outside Manhattan in Montclair, New Jersey. The artist spent time in the Big Apple before moving to the Magic City at the age of 22. She's been here for about eight years, having recently celebrated her 30th birthday. Time in New York was inspirational for Nite, who says that city gave her "some really good life experiences." But it wasn't until she moved to Miami that her art career took form.
"I had my welding certification, I was doing a tattoo apprenticeship — I was feeling everything out."
"In New York, I was living and hanging out with a lot of graffiti writers, I had my welding certification, I was doing a tattoo apprenticeship — I was feeling everything out. I always knew I would do something creative — I had to. But Miami is definitely the place where my art career started."
Nite recalls receiving an award for a drawing long ago. "I remember my first art show: I was in first grade," she laughs. "I won some award for an oil pastel drawing I did that was of a very contemporary-looking crab with like 300 legs or something. It was so colorful. I was so excited about it, and my parents held onto it for a really, really, really long time." The 300-legged crab was eventually eaten by less-than-mystical bugs while it was in storage.
As a child, Nite was an aspiring dancer. When an injury to her Achilles tendon shattered that dream, she turned to painting and other visual arts. "I felt like I could probably have a much longer career as an artist than a professional dancer because that life has so much injury."
Nite spends her time working on new pieces and putting on shows while teaching part time at the Miami Ad School. Her life now is filled with paint, canvasses, and plenty of sketchbooks.