From greeting cards to kitchen textiles, to wallpaper prints and outdoor furniture, Jessica Hogarth is an exquisite surface pattern designer of many products; founded by a love of her small and picturesque North Yorkshire fishing village.
Let’s start at the beginning of her journey. Jessica was raised in the beautiful fishing village Robin Hood’s Bay. From the get going she had developed a love for her homeland, inspiring her to travel and view the many other wonders of the world. Coming from a place so pretty she was born with an eye for design and a want to capture details. Her journey lead her on to become a freelance illustrator and surface pattern designer until she developed her own business working with a multitude of clients and collaborating with a range of different brands.
“…that project made me fall in love with conversational prints…”
After studying Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design at Leeds College of Art, she graduated in 2010 and successfully went on to be exhibited at the New Designers Exhibition in London. From there she was scouted and offered an in-house design position with a Manchester based company, staying with them until May 2011. University though, was where she really found her love for what she does, “I think I first found a style that worked for me in my final project of first year at art college. We got to choose any theme to work on so I picked Robin Hood’s Bay, the village I grew up in, and drew loads of buildings and boats in the linear and slightly naïve style that my work still has today. That project made me fall in love with conversational prints, and I started to gain a better understanding of how to put design ideas together and make a piece of art work as a whole.” With the knowledge of what she wanted to do and her aesthetic found, she then moved from the Manchester design company back home to begin the process of building her own business, becoming first of all a successful freelance illustrator, “I had been very driven and hard working during my degree and always thought that at some point I might go freelance. I was also very interested in the business side of working for myself so it felt like I had potential to make it work. I moved home after leaving my job, and went back to my old summer job whilst I planned what I wanted to do with my own business product wise, and started doing a bit of freelance work.”
From working in-house to starting your own business, the jump can be daunting and difficult, but for Jessica it was a challenge she wanted to embrace, “I think I just did what most of us do, and learned things as I went along. I had sold a couple of pieces of work when I was at studying and had a bit of an idea about the going rate for a piece of design work. I was fortunate to get my first licensing deal very soon after going freelance. The company I worked with was very professional in terms of their contract and things so that was great as I learned the right way of collaborating. I now have lots of friends in the industry that I can ask for advice on things if I’m stuck, but it’s very give and take, you need to be willing to help others as well.” Hogarth went onto working on collaborations and commissions for companies and different clients to produce her iconic surface pattern design repeats and placement prints, with her work used in editorial, Wall Street Journal, on deck chairs and rugs for John Lewis, fabrics for P&B textiles and stationery for Marie Curie.
“I think my proudest moment was getting in to Paperchase…”
2012 brought the launch of her new label, and has since become well known for her colourful greetings cards, apparel, rugs, stationery and so much more, with her cards being stocked in Oliver Bonas, Fenwicks, Bentalls and Paperchase. She also exports her products overseas to USA, Australia, Germany and France. A woman on a mission, she’s had her work featured in the book ‘Geometric’ in 2015 by Print and Pattern blog, and was a featured artist in the digital illustration section of ‘House of Cards’ by Sarah Hamilton. She was also shortlisted for the 2013 ‘Henries Award’ for ‘most promising young designer’ and then again shortlisted in 2015 for ‘gift wrap and bag designs’. Her endless list of successes is phenomenal, but for her, her proudest moments are simple, “In terms of the wholesale side of my business, I think my proudest moment was getting in to Paperchase and seeing my cards in store. It had been a dream since I first started publishing to have my product in there, and being in their Tottenham Court Road store and seeing someone pick one of my cards up and buy it was a great feeling. In terms of the freelance side of the business my definite career highlight to date was getting commissioned by the Wall Street Journal, and having my illustration printed to accompany an article in their Mansion magazine.”
A girl with big dreams and an even bigger talent; her love for hand-drawn imagery has successfully set her up to make incredible, energetic, colourful and quirky prints with a nostalgic twist. Drawing her own inspiration from unusual colour combinations and mid century modern designs, she leaves us with a person she admires and a designer to watch out for, “One of my best friends in the industry is a lovely illustrator called Ilona Drew, of I Drew This. Her work is delightful and charming. She publishes cards as well as works on commissions for all kinds of people. She’s not a new talent as she has been successfully publishing cards and working in the industry for a number of years, but as a surface pattern designer and illustrator myself, her work has massive appeal.”
Words by Krista Morten.
Images courtesy of Jessica Hogarth.