Inspired by her Grandmother: Meet Floral Artist Jonelle James


By Al Gord

Jonelle James is a Digital Floral Designer and Artist based in Toronto, Canada. Growing up, Jonelle’s grandmother would tell Jonelle that she had a talent which she should focus on and further develop. Taking this to heart, Jonelle, who never knew she could draw, took an art class in high school. As it turned out, she had a natural talent to create portraits and murals. Her subject matter in high school focused on black art, with some of her most memorable portraits being Kanye West and Lauryn Hill. After graduating high school she continued developing her artistic talents. She took painting classes and in the process discovered that painting was therapeutic for her.

While art was a passion for Jonelle registered for Occupational Therapy, after high school, something that her family thought was essential. She knew it was not something that she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She always felt drawn to the arts and while she wanted to do something with art, she ignored her feelings. In January of this past year, Jonelle decided to create a vision board that outlined the path to pursue her dreams. She wanted to follow her passion that she had suppressed for quite some time. This was the turning point as she decided to focus on being a painter.


She learned about gouache paints and she also began to create digital paintings with a focus on floral arrangements that balanced a contrast of line techniques with saturated colours. All of her work is a reflection of her life, be it her values, her emotions, and those in her life. Recently she has included portraits in her floral pieces – a unique style that is instantly recognizable.

Still very new to the art scene, Jonelle has quickly established a growing following on social media due to her beautiful work. She hopes that she can turn her early success into a full time career, where her work is recognized worldwide and can be accessible to the public at large. To follow Jonelle and see more of her work you can find her on Instagram.

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