ARE WE THERE YET: Artist and illustrator Jess Rotter turned to her friends Kate and Laura Mulleavy to pen the foreword for her new book “I’m Bored.”
Their lives are anything but boring, and that essentially is the point of the colorful page turner due out in October by Hat & Beard. “The book is sort of an ode to being overstimulated. We’re constantly pressing the refresh button. So it’s like — gotta have this, gotta have this, gotta have this and then you finally get it and it’s, ‘I’m bored. What’s next?’” Rotter said. “Basically, it’s just fighting that and appreciating everything.”
The illustrated book’s title plays off the childish refrain generations of parents have listened to. The trio of “really good friends” have been “creative confidantes” for nearly 10 years, said Rotter. “We kind of share a mutual love and sensitivity of culture and nostalgia and being silly.” “Always inspired” by the Rodarte designers, whom Rotter lives about 10 miles away from, the artist said she wanted them to write “a little something from the heart to start the journey of ‘I’m Bored.’ When hanging out, they tend to watch a lot of movies, laughing and swapping stories over wine,” Rotter said.
The Mulleavys approached it as if they were “giving her a toast at a boring dinner party…with boring guests…but, thankfully, with good Champagne.” Judging from their words, they really related to the book’s title, detailing how they once begged their parents to go blackberry picking in Northern California and “when we finally got to the farm, after a few hours of driving, we each picked one berry, and declared, ‘We’re bored! Can we go home now?'”
Through her limited-edition T-shirt line Rotter and Friends, the artist has worked with the Grateful Dead, Sly Stone and more recently, Angel Olsen and the Fruit Bats. She also helped Kate Young with her Target collection. With collaborations with Urban Outfitters Inc. and Gap Inc. in her portfolio, Rotter plans to team with the Los Angeles company Bliss & Mischief for limited-edition “I’m Bored” products of some kind. She aims to one day turn her columns for Lena Dunham’s “Lenny Letter” into a book one day. “I love what they’re doing. It’s really important.”
Looking to branch out into more animated projects, Rotter said she is ready to cook up something fun. “I feel like my drawings always look like they are about to move, so I’m getting antsy to make them come to life some more,” she said.