Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator, and crazy cat lady known for her silly side projects and occasional foul mouth.
Here’s a brief history of who I am, what I do, and why we should be friends: I grew up in Pennsylvania, raised by two non-creatives that decided it would be OK to let their little girl pursue a seemingly impractical career. I ended up attending a wonderful art school thanks to an amazing high school teacher and an admissions counselor that took a chance on my under-developed portfolio. Though I fell in love with every artistic discipline Freshman and Sophomore year, I declared as a Graphic Design major when I found myself procrastiworking on painting projects to work on posters and identities. I annoyed the heck out of my fellow classmates, doing way more work than assignments generally called for, but it all paid off in the end and most of them have since forgiven me for ruining the curve.
In 2006, I graduated and landed a job as a freelance designer for a little studio in Philadelphia where I helped design fancy books and re-affirmed my passion for illustration and image-making. By winter, unsure if they wanted to take on another full-time employee, my hours were cut and I put together an illustration promo to get freelance work. That promo ended up landing me an illustration rep and a job for one of my heroes; I migrated to Brooklyn to work for her. After two and a half years of very little sleep and a lot of lettering, freelance work began overwhelming my life and my desire to do side projects became too much to bear. I ventured out on my own and embarked on a little project that would end up changing my career and earning me the moniker “That Drop Cap Girl”.
I’ve been on my own as a letterer, illustrator, type designer, and relentless procrastiworker since 2009 and have worked for (and continue to work for) a lot of wonderful clients like Wes Anderson and Penguin Books. I’ve shared studios with amazing people including the folks over at Studiomates and of course my beloved Pencil Factory, where I continue to spend time on return trips to Brooklyn. I split my days (not evenly enough) between Brooklyn and San Francisco—the place I now call home and where I’ve set up a collaborative studio and workshop space with my brother from another mother, Erik Marinovich. When I’m not manipulating beziers or working on fun projects, you can find me at the airport en route to a speaking engagement. I love what I do for a living and try as hard as I can to help others find a way to do what they love.
Want to know more? You’re in luck; I’m a serious over-sharer. Follow me on twitter to keep up with all of my antics. Are you a student? Before you send along a “Dear Sir or Madam” email, make sure you check out my FAQ and read this excellent post from Marian Bantjes (and don’t take it the wrong way). Conference organizers, universities and AIGA chapters: I’m taking on new speaking engagements in a very limited capacity so that I can actually spend a bit of time in the studio making things. If your conference is amazing and unmissable, get in touch. I wish I could be everywhere at once but unfortunately there are only so many hours in the day and only so many days of the year that I can justify being away from my office.