A day in the life of artist Jessica Hogarth
PUBLISHED: 00:00 28 May 2020
A day in the life of Jessica Hogarth, an illustrator and designer based in Whitby. Her distinctive coastal inspired pictures have a cheerful Fifties feel
There is no such thing as a typical day. My days are so varied. Sometimes I will go a week or often more with absolutely no creative work at all and other times I am designing as much as possible and catching up on admin in the evenings. I try to make it to the office at the St Hilda’s Business Centre by 8.30am. I am really not a morning person but it is a nice feeling seeing 9am roll in knowing I have already achieved something at work. My first jobs usually include printing off online orders that have come in the night before and catching up on pressing emails.
Time for a protein bar (I don’t really do breakfast), and then usually some more admin. Once a week I get on top of my accounts and there are always forms to fill in for future trade exhibitions and shows.
11.00 If I need to place some orders for stock I usually start to think about this mid-to-late late morning. Customers sometimes want bespoke things from me, which means I need to update standard artwork files, perhaps with bespoke text or imagery, and the stock needs ordering in. I do need to be really organised with this side of things, ensuring the products come in time for the customers’ required delivery date. I try to time placing the order with when I need other bits too, so I am not paying for shipping more times than is necessary. I really enjoy this logistical side of the business.
Lunch time! Most of the time this is a bowl of soup while I’m sitting at my desk. Occasionally I go into Whitby for something to eat. My mum Wendy works for me so if we have both been busy in the morning we go to a café in town or just hang out in the studio. We spend time catching up on the morning, double checking that we are going to hit our delivery deadlines for big orders and that stock levels are ok for all of the products we sell. Although my mum gives the most time, it’s definitely a family affair – my dad Colin and grandma Frances also help out with packing when things get really busy.
In the afternoon I settle into a chunk of work that will take me to the end of the day. This is often design work. I can definitely focus best on this knowing that other jobs have been done. I listen to my favourite music playlists and get creative! I hand draw all of my workinitially and then scan it in to the computer where it is digitally enhanced with my carefully chosen palettes.
This is definitely one of my most creative times of the day. I had an idyllic childhood, growing up in the family’s small hillside cottage above Robin Hood’s Bay, so I was surrounded by things that inspired me and would later find their way into my designs. I collected childhood memories ‘running around with her best friend’, feasting on sweets and ice creams and exploring the beaches, coves and fishing villages right on the doorstep. I also grew up surrounded by creatives – artists and musicians whose unconventional lifestyles and passion for the arts influenced and paved the way for my own career. Apart from a brief eight-month stint in a Manchester-based design studio, I’ve been pretty much self employed since leaving Leeds College of Art in 2010. The seaside and my Yorkshire heritage remain popular themes in my work today. Every design I create begins as a simple black pen illustration on paper, before being digitally enhanced with stylish colour schemes.
By now I’m starting to wind down for the day, although I won’t stop thinking of new ideas. My love of 1950s design has had a huge impact on my use of colour and a passion for travel comes through in many of my designs, but it’s the Yorkshire coast which has been the biggest influence of all. The training I received in surface pattern training saw me develop her skills in repeat pattern which has allowed my work to be transferred to products such as quilting fabrics, wallpaper and gift wrap. I often takes on freelance briefs for a wide variety of companies who then manufacture their own product using my designs. Travel or location-specific themes are frequently the subject matter of choice.
I am usually heading home by this time, if not a little earlier. I play hockey, netball and go running so this takes up some time a few evenings a week and I also love to eat out. I will sometimes do work at home in the evenings but if I am having a chilled one I tend to do some cooking and then binge watch the latest Netflix series!
Jessica’s design work can be found on greeting cards, art prints, tea towels, coasters and melamine kitchen ware.
Since she launched her business in 2012, Jessica’s distinctive designs can be spotted in retailers around the world, including Fortnum & Mason, Liberty of London, Oliver Bonas, Paperchase and Scribblers – as well as many gift stores in Yorkshire.