Jessica Sun Lee: New kid on the blocks

You can catch Jessica Sun Lee at the SoWa summer market through October.

If necessity is the practical mother of invention, then accessibility must be its pushy aunt. When musician and artist Jessica Sun Lee moved into a larger home with an attic space earlier this year, she found the physical space to create an art project she’d been pondering for a while. But it was when she got accepted for the SoWa summer market that the graphic artist got busy, building up inventory for her Love on the Blocks stall.

“I’d been thinking about it for a couple of years, but I need a lot of space to do these,” she says of the decorative wood blocks. “I applied for the market, but I didn’t think I would get accepted — and they said yes. It was a little overwhelming, but I just didn’t think about all the things that could stop me doing it and got on with it.”

Though it sounds simple — printed birch wood blocks — developing the right process to give a transparent finish that merges the eye-catching image with the beautiful wood grain took experimentation and investment in equipment. But the labor of creativity is part of the appeal for Sun Lee.

“It’s so gratifying,”?she says. “Working on the Internet every day, what you create doesn’t live anywhere, you can’t hold it. This is real.”

Sun Lee wants to expand to upcoming holiday markets and get her work into indie boutiques, which means more happy hours in her attic, which was a heat trap this summer.

“It was brutal, but it’s character-building,” she laughs. “It’s struggling for your art!”

Playing with Blocks

Sun Lee creates custom blocks as well as a variety of designs including animals, places and what she calls “quirky illustrations.” The Brighton-based artist plans an abstract series next: “It’ll be more on the arty side to satisfy that part of me,” she says. Love on the Blocks is at the SoWa summer market (460 Harrison Ave., Boston, www.sowaopenmarket.com.) Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through October and online at www.loveontheblocks.com.


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