Meet Missi Jay
Missi graduated from Oklahoma University with a degree in Visual Communication and was soon attracted to the creative scene of Austin, Texas. She loved the city’s sense of community— a big-city life with a small-town feel. In 1998 after working for several design firms, Missi struck out on her own and launched Gigglebox Design. Today, she also shares her passion for lifting others up through Gigglebox Art by Missi Jay.
In addition to illustrating more than a dozen children’s books, Missi designed the official Texas license plate benefitting Texas CASA, a child advocate nonprofit. The Austin Advertising Federation honored Missi with the Big Wig Award for best illustrator. Her work has been nationally recognized by Print Magazine, Creative Quarterly Journal, 3x3 Magazine of Contemporary Illustration, and the Addy Awards.
Missi says she is inspired by music, song lyrics, famous quotes, pop culture, fashion, and color, color, color. But her biggest inspiration is her daughter, Ruby, “a real-life, glitter-covered rainbow!” Miss, her husband Jeff, and Ruby enjoy being outside and playing with their guinea pig Peaches and pug Gigi.
Something to Smile About
When I was searching for an artist to create a new kind of look for Christian children’s books, I cast the net far and wide. Then one day, the perfect match fell right into my hands.
I received in the mail a postcard announcing the release of a new book about a Japanese fairy. The inventive color combinations and original style of the cover captivated me. Who did that? It was unlike any fairy drawing I had ever seen. And as the mom of a little fairy princess of my own, I had seen a lot.
Happily, the artist lived right here in my hometown, and we became fast friends. Missi Jay amazes me to this day with her breezy style and colorful originality.
Not many artists could effectively illustrate a children’s book about the soul—something unseen, but very real. Missi took this difficult subject and made it soar with illustrations packed with meaning. Such a multi-layered quality is what makes all of her artwork so engaging. It offers much more than meets the eye. The after-images linger and soothe like a healing balm. Even thinking about her work brings a smile.