Meet Mexican Summer's Jess Rotter, Whose Art You've Probably Already Enjoyed

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Jess Rotter truly racked up the frequent flyer miles this year. The long-time in-house publicist and marketing wiz for Brooklyn-based indie record label Mexican Summer practically lived in airplanes, repeatedly jetting out west and back to handle her duties repping Best Coast--the label's biggest success story to date, the band crossed over to mainstream fanfare this year on the heels of their second album, The Only Place, and Rotter found herself busier and more harried than at any point in her decade-long career inside the music industry.

Up in the air, though, was Rotter's time, and the cabin became her art studio. "I knew I was gonna have six hours of time where I could concentrate--I'd put on my iPod and just draw," she says.

See Also:
- Live: Best Coast, Cheerfully Yearning At Mercury Lounge
- Q&A: Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino On Planned Parenthood, Her First "Sex Talk," And Being A Role Model

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For the past several years, drawing has lifted Rotter to her own ever-growing artistic heights. A phenomenal and increasingly in-demand illustrator with one creative foot firmly rooted in music, Rotter's crafted attention-grabbing album artwork--like The Only Place's back cover/inner sleeve, and the chimerical cover and 20-page accompanying booklet for Country Funk 1969-1975 (Light in the Attic Records), which SPIN just named the year's best reissue CD--as well as work for MTV (check out her recent, stylin' Frank Ocean portrait), Nylon, Japanese Vogue, Dossier, The Gap, and Ace Hotel.

She's also the brains behind the boutique T-shirt line Rotter and Friends--launched in 2007 and run mainly out of Mexican Summer's offices, her nostalgic, dreamy, hand-drawn portraits both pay homage to big names (Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, Bob Seger, Linda Ronstadt, Willie Nelson, etc.) and evangelize for the underappreciated, obscure, and lost artists of the late-'60s through the '70s: Captain Beefheart, Betty Davis, Roky Erickson, "Swamp Fox" Tony Joe White, Link Wray, and Ya Ho Wha 13 among them. Available only online and in a few boutiques and stores (like Other Music, which has stocked Rotter and Friends shirts since the line's inception), Rotter's designs--of which she makes very small runs--have garnered a sizable cult following.

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13 comments
marymichaela
marymichaela

@woodelijah @soundofthecity interesting write up. Love her diversification of her creativity

brookeswish
brookeswish

@woodelijah Plz help @brookeswish, she needs 2 win a comp. All u need 2 do is follow @IpsRoundTable & quote @brookeswish #teambrooke RT

lamcreate
lamcreate

@woodelijah i have seen(enjoyed)this work before.you might also like my artwork.really like if you have time to look http://t.co/dlCo8E7I

JohnTa4
JohnTa4

@woodelijah @soundofthecity yeah alot of hard work no doubt!!!

Gindhaaa
Gindhaaa

No matter what other films u do @woodelijah you're still gonna be ma wee frodo from the shire #aaf #someman

bru_lynn
bru_lynn

@woodelijah Greetings from Brazil :)!

bru_lynn
bru_lynn

@woodelijah Just watched The Hobbit, and I'm really glad I saw you there. I was nostalgic and really happy. Love your character. :)

Andypalth
Andypalth

@woodelijah @soundofthecity Woooop !!!

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