Thursday, 29 June 2017

Etsy shop finds...a chat with Jessica Hogarth

Todays etsy interview is with the lovely Jessica Hogarth.
I was fortunate enough to meet Jess whilst we were both in NYC recently for Surtex,
such a lovely gal!

Jess lives in beautiful Whitby, creating gorgeous pieces of art that go on a multitude of products; homeware, greeting cards, art prints, wallpaper and many more.
With such a distinctive, individual style to her work, you may have spotted her coastal inspired designs in Oliver Bonas, Paperchase or John Lewis, amongst others.

Jess is one busy lady; a greeting card publisher, NOTHS and etsy shop owner
as well as taking on freelance work.
Pheweee.. exhausted just reading that right?

So, lets get to know a bit about Jess shall we...

1. Can you tell us a bit about you and your background... 

Art wan’t my focus at school at all - I was musical and sporty and my extra curricular actives focused around this. 
I did do an A level in Fine Art but I hadn’t considered an artistic career. 
After doing a semester studying classical music at Leeds University I left, and reapplied for Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design at Leeds College of Art, which is where I spent a very happy three years gaining my degree and honing my skills so I was ready for a job in the design industry. 
I was fortunate to get a job in a design studio immediately after graduating but after 8 months I left, wanting to work for myself and launch a small product range alongside designing on a freelance basis. 
I officially launched at the British Craft Trade Fair in April 2012 and I am thrilled that my business has grown from there. 
After starting my business from my bedroom at my parents house, moving to a purpose built studio in the garden of their cottage and then to a business centre in Whitby, where I now have two offices, I am really happy with how the business has progressed. 
It has been hard work keeping all of the plates spinning, fulfilling online shop orders, launching new work to the wholesale market on cards and textiles, and also working on freelance projects but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

2. Tell us about a typical day for you…

Is there a typical day when you’re self employed?! 
I come in to the studio in the morning, but I am a bit of a night owl so the time I start work depends on how late I was up the night before! 
I like to be really organised with emailing and accounts so some of my day is always taken up with admin type tasks. 
I also spend a fair amount of time on Instagram – it’s addictive! 
There always seems to be something to prepare for. 
I was recently in New York for Surtex, and the entire month running up to that was spent preparing my portfolio, the booth layout and promotional materials for that. 
Since I have been home I have been organising mail-outs to my wholesale stockists and of course following up leads from the show. 
I have been finding more time to design this year, which is obviously what I should be doing most of the time, but running a creative business is so much more than that.

3. What books/ magazines are you currently reading?

 I recently purchased Beth Kempton’s book ‘Freedom Seeker’ and I have just started reading it. 
Being a card publisher, I enjoy reading the greeting card mags – Progressive Greetings and Greetings Today. 
I have also been enjoying reading the chapters of House of Cards, by Sarah Hamilton. 
I was thrilled to be asked to be the digital illustration contributor to the book, and I have my own chapter, giving people step-by-step instructions on how to take a sketch to a final design, for digital print. 
The other chapters cover all kinds of processes from screen print to paper cutting, and I have been enjoying reading about other people’s studio spaces, as well as the history of greeting cards!

4. Who are your design heroes and what inspires you?

My design hero has got to be Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. Her artwork and eye for colour is inspirational. I am also a huge fan of everything that Marimekko produces. I’m a fan of anything Scandinavian, and this brand is no exception. It would be a dream to create something for them. I love unusual colour palettes and seeing other people’s beautiful design work also inspires me to want to do better. 

5. Can you give us an insight into your creative process?

All of my designs begin as black pen illustrations, before I scan them and colour the art on Illustrator. 
Sometimes I use coloured pens and pencils and for fun, when I’m sketching or playing with different ideas, but only black pen illustrations make it to the computer for artwork development. 

6. Where do you work? Describe your studio/work area...

I have two studios in Whitby, in a local business centre. One studio is messy and holds all of my stock, and the second one is smaller and where I spend most of my time. 
I have pinboards up on the walls with my recent work on, and I’m always playing music via Spotify in the background. 
It has white walls and some nice white muslin curtains made for me by my lovely mum – who also works for me! 
These allow the room to still feel light, but stops the sunlight blasting in and reflecting back off my mac screen!

7. In three words, describe your work... 

Naïve, nostalgic, colourful.

8. What are your big loves?

My friends & family, cats (two in particular), sunsets by the coast, Paris, and chocolate, lots of chocolate!

9. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a designer/illustrator?

I feel very lucky that I get to be creative for my job. 
It’s still as exciting today seeing my work for sale on products online and in shops as it was when I went self employed back in 2011. 
I love being able to, within reason, work to my own schedule, and collaborating with different people and companies keeps variety, which I crave.

10. What's your guilty pleasure?

Irn Bru!

11. Why do you like being an illustrator/designer? 
(in 10 words or less)

The creative industry is so friendly, I love being social!  

12. What’s the most popular item for sale in your etsy shop?

The most popular item in my Etsy shop is my Coastal Cottages tote bag. 
This print features on a number of products, but the tote bag is by far a favourite with my customers. 

And here's the beautiful studio space where Jess works...

 (all images above copyright of Jessica Hogarth)

A big thank you to Jess for giving us an insight into her world, and if you want to follow her goings on, click below...

**Jess has very kindly created a special code for you lovely readers!**
**Just enter 'JHLOVEPRINT' for 10% off orders placed in her etsy shop**

Happy days!

x x x
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