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From enviable photos in her home country of Australia, to a picturesque wedding feature in British Vogue, artist Jessica Yolanda Kaye inspires us all to live a dreamy sun-drenched, artistic lifestyle.

With an Italian husband by her side, Jessica knows how to enjoy a rustic Italian escape and was the perfect candidate for our Mondo in Residence artist collaboration. At Villa La Strega, nestled in the Tuscan countryside just outside of Siena, Jessica was surrounded by nature, humble Italian architecture and a few aperitifs along the way to inspire her next collection of fine line art.

As an artist, Jessica is fascinated by people and the way they interact with others and themselves. Through a sequence of rigorous sketches, she seeks to capture complex and intimate everyday moments in a single line.

In this month’s blog, she shares an insight into her creative process, how her trip to Siena inspired it and which Mondo pieces are her favourites.

Tell us a bit about your background?

I’m an Australian artist based in Notting Hill. I grew up in Sydney and moved to London four years ago with my husband. 

Talk us through your creative process? Where do you draw inspiration from?

I find inspiration in intimate, everyday moments of vulnerability that often happen behind closed doors. I want to capture those raw moments and celebrate them, because I think they’re beautifully complex and human.

I sketch every day. It helps me unearth the thoughts and feelings swirling in my head on paper. I’ll sketch for hours and if I’m lucky there will be one or two sketches in there that inform a painting.


Jessica sketches with oil pastels

How did this manifest itself during your trip to Siena?

I went to Siena actively seeking inspiration after a bit of a creative lull and it was quite transformative. From waking up to the view of the rolling hills of Tuscany, to wandering the streets of Siena and Florence, to exploring the Bardini gardens and the Uffizzi museum - inspiration was all around me.

I then bought some new materials from my favourite art store in Florence, set up a makeshift studio in the villa and started playing! It sort of poured out of me while I was there. It’s early days but I’m excited to see what unfolds.

Jessica sketches at the table


How important is your location / surroundings whilst you are drawing / painting?

My work is very much influenced by my surroundings - be it the space I’m working from or the broader location I’m in. The pastel hues at Villa la Strega, the soft curves of the statues in Florence and the warm ochre tones of Siena have all trickled into the work I’m currently exploring.

Which of the Mondo pieces did you enjoy wearing the most?

I found myself gravitating towards the Dorothy cotton in black as an effortless everyday piece to throw on and feel great in, the Camille linen in white for evenings at the villa and the Mariam cotton in red for dinners out and about.

Jessica wears the Dorothy Dress in black with a huge oversized hat

Does fashion inspire art or does art inspire fashion?

I think art definitely inspires fashion. Fashion certainly inspires me and the way I dress but I’m not sure if it inspires my work… Food for thought!

Please could you share one thing few people know about you?

My secret skill is that I deliver speeches off by heart with no notes. Not the most exciting fact but it seemed to shock everyone at our wedding!

Shop Jessica's looks from the trip:

View Jessica’s Collections:

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