Meet Jessica, the “Tinder Picasso” behind @vanillacooldance


What role does Instagram play in your life?

I decided to start @Vanillacooldance while my 27-year-old self was illegally residing in a flat with 17 roommates, unemployed and recently dumped. While I was not drowning my sorrows in a massive tub of ice cream, let’s just say I wasn’t at my best. By beginning to doodle, I was able to look at the comedic side of my ridiculous situation, and life.I’m constantly on Instagram as both a comic artist and an art director. Looking for inspiration and new talent.

Nothing makes the world feel like a bit smaller, than when one of my posts takes off and I can see how many people – primarily women – relate to my stories. I hope the comics encourage my followers to laugh at themselves and their own insecurities.

What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

I would be grabbing my day-bag from a hostel in a foreign country and spending the day exploring.

What are some of the choices you’ve made that made you who you are?

In 2014 I quit my Advertising job in New York to solo backpack around Southeast Asia – where I ate lots of questionable street food and met people from all over the world.
I then swapped rice fields for windmills and moved to Amsterdam. Deciding to break from convention and to move abroad was a significant choice that has affected my life in many positive ways. I hope to encourage others to do the same.


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If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Teleportation. That way I could instantly get from a man’s bed back to my own. Kidding…kinda! I would use this amazing superpower to travel all over the world. Especially to visit my friends and family back in the U.S.

The prodigal daughter returns 💁

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What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

Leaving my life in America to start completely from scratch in Amsterdam, with zero plan and an adventurous spirit.

I also successfully launched a fun and creative Ad-agency-inspired line of Bloody Mary’s perfected over a few tipsy afternoons in my kitchen. Created to restore creativity after a night out. This was a really fun project and led to my current job.


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Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

To be honest, up until this point in my life I have been taking steps to achieve and do all of the things I dreamed of. That is except for marrying Gerard Butler, but I fear he would need to know who I am first before I can make that happen.

Who needs a man, house or pet when you can have a 🌵 !

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Where do you find inspiration?

From daily life, the funny situations I get myself into and way too many Tinder dates.

The best way to relax?

A glass…I mean…a bottle of red wine, and binge watching a new TV series.

If you could invite anyone in the world to dinner, who would it be?

Eleven from Stranger Things. First off, it would be a really easy dinner to make considering she loves Eggos. And, could you imagine all of the comic content I would get out of meeting a telekinetic?

A book or a film that transformed your life?

Before my travels, I read the book “A House in the Sky” – a memoir by Amanda Lindhout about her experiences traveling the world, often as a solo female traveler. As I read about all of her wonderful journeys, I thought to myself ‘I have to do this’…minus the part of being held hostage. The first half of the book, in which she is traveling to new countries and experiencing different cultures truly inspired me, so I decided to set off on the first backpacking adventure of my own through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. To find out how her story ends you have to read the book yourself. And to find out how mine ends, well I guess you have to follow my comics!

Every now and then we need a little help detangling our ball of stress.

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