Jessica Thompson International Velvet Velvet Dust

Guest Instagrammer: Finding Inspiration in All Corners of the World

As an art director and creative producer, Jessica Thompson always seeks new sources of inspiration.

With a passion for art, Jessica uses her digital magazine, Velvet Dust, as an outlet to inspire others to discover new artists and designers. While she calls Austin home, Jessica has spent a good amount of time traveling and living abroad.

Due to her unique eye for style and fantastic Instagram feed, we’re excited to have her take over our Instagram account this week. Be prepared for stylish looks and dreamy snaps. Head over to our feed for more and don’t forget to check out our interview with Jessica to learn more about her path to a creative lifestyle.

Jessica Thompson

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m from San Antonio originally, but I’ve called Austin home for the better part of ten years. I’m a freelance consultant and producer for fashion and lifestyle brands. I have an agency that handles production for lookbooks, product photography, ad campaigns, and marketing collateral. We also have a consulting branch that focuses on digital marketing and social media strategies for our clients. I also have a digital magazine called Velvet Dust that explores specific themes through the eyes of emerging artists and photographers.

I love traveling, watching foreign films, discovering and learning about new artists and designers, and going down the occasional Netflix black hole. I spent my early 20s living and traveling abroad, and I try to recreate the experience of cultural immersion when I can.

Jessica Thompson

What’s unique about your story?

Living abroad has certainly been a huge influence on the way I live my life, the visual expressions that I’m drawn to, and even the way I view work and relationships. I moved from Austin to Barcelona, to Paris and then finally ended up in Tunis. All three cities were very different, but they were are very culturally rich and were places where creating a work-life balance was non-negotiable. I think that has really stuck with me. Creatively speaking, I’m also influenced by that time in my life, and a lot of my visual references are pulled from various cultures.

Define how you live in 5 words.

Spontaneously, amongst friends, paradoxically, well-caffeinated.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in learning about people and the things they do or have done. I’m a researcher at heart, so I love hearing or reading about artists’ processes, backgrounds and influences. I also find a lot of inspiration in films and back issues of magazines.

Jessica Thompson

What is your favorite way to create?

I like to create in a team environment. I don’t consider myself to be an artist; I work best with a group of creatives, as either a director or contributor. And I feed off of the group dynamic and a variety of perspectives.

What do you like most about photography?

I love that photography captures very fleeting moments, whether they’re staged or totally spontaneous. They’re something very special about immortalizing time in that sense. Although a lot of my work is staged for commercial and businesses purposes, my favorite photographers are those whose work is more photojournalistic.

Jessica Thompson

What’s your favorite thing to photograph?

Well, I’m not a professional, so I don’t have a particular forté… I love catching strange reflections, light refractions, moments shared with friends, and occasionally, my shoes!

Who are some photographers that inspire you?

There are so many! Henri Cartier Bresson is my all time favorite photographer. Richard Avedon’s “The American West” is another favorite. I love the work of my friends – Bertie Pearson, Niraj Mehdiratta, Kate LeSueur and Katy Shayne, to name just a few. With regards to up and coming contemporary photographers, I’m a big fan of Maurizio D’Iorio, Paul Phung, and Sophie Loloi.


Zoë Björnson is a College Outreach Coordinator with She is a graduate of Tulane University. You can find her on Twitter @kzoeb.

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