Meet Jess Cochrane, The Artist Questioning Beauty Standards


Growing up in the Australian capital, Jess Cochrane’s art approaches the tension between society and popular culture. Her creative childhood encouraged an artistic career, and at 26, Cochrane’s work has matured into a critical reflection of feminine beauty standards. We had a chat with the Sydney-based artist to find out more.

Your most recent print exhibition, Back to You, focuses on giving back to your community and is donating 10% of all prints to The Rough Period. What made you choose this charity and the focus of giving back?

Commune, the space the exhibition was held in, is a multipurpose space with a focus on sharing and bringing people within Sydney’s creative communities together. It felt like the right opportunity to focus on giving back to the community. I’ve always really admired what The Rough Period are doing to help less fortunate women, and this seemed like the perfect reason to help where I could.

We think your style of painting is so energising and captivating. Can you talk a little bit about the aesthetic of your paintings and why you paint in this way? 

I’ve always found the crossroads of beauty and the grotesque to be really captivating – I think it is a really relatable space to explore. To me, playing by the rules of composition and pleasing aesthetics, while also questioning the standards of feminine beauty in art history and within popular culture creates a very honest depiction of what it feels like to try and constantly meet those standards. It’s like a mirror.

The Devil Is A Woman

A post shared by Jess Cochrane (@jesscochranepaints_) on

It’s so inspiring for other young women to see a female that is as relatable, honest and hard-working as yourself create such a successful career. What has your journey this far been like and have you faced any tough times?

I’ve been very lucky that I have a really supportive family and creative network to support me through the rough patches I’ve faced. And theres certainly been many. No successful career comes without hardship, regardless of the path it follows. The key is to stay hungry for it and allow curiosity to get the better of you.

Do you have any advice for young female artists hoping to sustain a creative career?

Have big long term goals but allow yourself to start small. Think of it as a slow burn.

See more of Jess Cochrane’s work here.