No Bad Days: Jess Lacroix’s Passion Project

Photos courtesy of Jess Lacroix

No Bad Days.

That is the everyday mantra of Ottawa-born and bred artist, Jess Lacroix. It is also the name that she uses to distinguish her most recent passion project. Jess launched her clothing brand, NoBadDays, a little over a year ago after returning to Ottawa from Australia where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts and photography at Australian National University.

Jess has dabbled in art for as long as she can remember. “I was always scribbling, drawing, creating and exploring with art in any shape or form,” she says.

The brand emerged as a result of Jess’ experiences traveling to new places and meeting new faces. She strives to create something for the makers, the shakers, the breakers, for the pot-stirrers, and plot-thickeners, for the wanderers, for the ones who carve, grind, and, ride or die. Her artistic identity can be classified by palm trees, pineapples and an infectious amount of positive vibes.

Despite finishing her degree, Jess has continued to travel back and forth between Ottawa and Australia to build upon her brand. She participates in artistic commissions, mural painting and festival pop-ups. For Jess, art is meant to exist in places beyond gallery walls which is why she sets her creative passion free by hand-painting surfboards, silk-screening t-shirts and building and designing skateboards from scratch.

“It’s been a true passion project from the get-go. It’s something to inspire those who want to break out of that nine-to-five grind,” says Jess. “Building something from the ground up, whether it be a canvas to paint on or a skateboard to play around on, is integral to what I want to achieve.”

Jess is not only passionate about art, but also about charity. That is why she has connected her brand to a variety of different causes including the Canadian Humane Society and a GoFundMe page for a close friend.

When asked to consider which of her projects she would name as her favourite, she likened it to having to pick her favourite travel destination – both questions that are impossible to narrow down to a single answer.

Instead, she told me about the first surfboard she had ever painted in Austalia and why it has a special place in her heart. “It was the first time that I really completely let go,” says Jess. I was given a friend’s old board, took a posca marker, put on some Jimmy Hendrix and just went for it.” The board now hangs in the Byron Bay Brewery which aside from brewing beer acts as a hub for local artists and infuses a creative collective.

Byron Bay is the most easterly point of Australia. As Jess describes it, Byron Bay is populated with down-to-earth people and home to the most beautiful beaches. “I am returning to Byron Bay in a couple of weeks for Splendour in the Grass where I have some exciting collaborations lined up with other surf and skateboard brands,” says Jess.

Her ‘No Bad Days’ mantra is surely something that will stick with me for some time.