Day 14 - Jesse

Day 14 - Jesse (1st person I approached)               

January 14, 2015 - I was walking up a road that is set on a slight incline, when I noticed Jesse ahead of me. She was standing looking at her phone, waiting to cross the street. I noticed her immediately. As I walked toward her, the sun was shinning directly in my eyes. With her vibrant red hair, there was a fabulous glowing red halo all around her head! I commented how great her hair looked with the sun shining down on her. She smiled and said ‘Thank you.’ I wasn’t planning on finding today's story at that moment, but as we crossed the street, I gave Jesse my pitch and asked if she would chat with me. She didn’t hesitate and we found a place to sit down and chat.


Jesse was born in London, Ontario. I mentioned that I’ve met a lot of people from Ontario in doing this project.

“Yeah, I’ve met a lot of people from Ontario as well. All people who have moved here too,” she agreed.

“I’m an only child. I liked the fact that I didn’t have to share my parents time with anyone else. But there were times when I wished I had a brother or sister. It could be a bit lonely when both my parents were at work,” she said. 


“I went to two elementary schools, and one high school, all in London. I have friends that I’ve know all of my life. Being an only child didn’t really have an impact on how I made friends, or the level of loyalty to my friends. If anything, I think that I was a bit more shy and it was harder to meet people. I would never go up and start talking with a stranger,” Jesse told me. I asked how she felt then, talking to me.

“Well that’s different. You’re open and friendly and that makes it easy for me to be open as well,” she said, smiling. 


From an early age, Jesse has enjoyed art. Specifically, she has been painting since she was very young.

“I started out using water colours. Every one would comment on how much I liked painting. My parents definitely encouraged me to paint as well. I went to painting classes and took courses, to learn as much as I could. I prefer using acrylics now. It's easier to make things more three dimensional and richer. And if you make mistake, you just scrape the paint off. I made a lot of masks out of papier-mâché, and painting them using water-colours, would leave them looking flat. Using acrylics I could build up the surface to add depth,” she explained.

“I painted a lot of scenery and landscapes. I went through a period where I wanted to learn more about painting people and life-model figures. My parents wouldn’t let me take life-drawing classes. They didn’t want me painting nudes with real-life people naked in front of me,” she said.


Immediately after graduating high-school, Jesse moved to Vancouver to go to make-up school.

“My parents didn’t really want me to move away, but they would never have stopped me. I moved here with my boyfriend. We drove from London to Vancouver (British Columbia),” said Jesse. I asked how her parents felt about her moving here with her boyfriend.

“That made it better for them. They love him, so they were happier that I was with him, than moving here alone,” she said, smiling.

“We took a week to get here, stopping along the way to look at things. It was such a great road trip. My favourite place was Wawa, in Ontario. It has a giant statue of a Goose. It was just a fun and kind of unusual place,” she said, chuckling. Wawa takes it's name from the Ojibwe word for "wild goose", wewe.


“My boyfriend had a job to come to, in Vancouver. He had been working in London, and applied to transfer here. It was his idea to come out here. He loves skiing and snowboarding. A bunch of his friends are semi-pros living in Whistler, so it was a natural destination for him,” she told me. Jesse had been to a large make-up industry convention called IMATS, in London. She was so impressed with what she saw, she decided there and then that she wanted to get into make-up. 


“One of the exhibitors had done some incredible work recreating characters from Men in Black, using make-up and prosthetics. She had come from the school I’m going to now. I had a chance to talk to her about the school, and applied online,” she said. (*Fact Check - see link below.)

“The make-up industry is so much better here in Vancouver. In London the attitude is kind of ‘oh, makeup is a job?’ so I wanted to come out here for school. I’ve always wanted to come to Vancouver anyway,” she said. 


Jesse is focussing on special effects make-up.

“The course is full-time for twelve months. You need to learn all aspects of make-up to have a good understanding of all areas, and build up to special effects. We started with beauty make-up. It would be nice to work in film, but I’ll probably go into more of a lab setting. That's where they create and build the prosthetic pieces that get applied, to create the effects,” she told me.


Jesse and her boyfriend have been living here for five months.

“I haven’t gotten a job yet, but I do have an interview later this afternoon. I worked during high-school and summers to save money to come to school. My parents helped me a bit and I got student loans. School is full-time, so fitting it all in can be difficult.” At eighteen years old, Jesse seems to have her goals focussed, and her sights well aimed on success. #notastranger


*Fact Check -