I got back from my summer holiday just over two weeks ago. It was a mixture of full on sightseeing in Chicago, followed by three of the genuinely most relaxing days of my life. These were spent on Cape Cod, and then three more days in Boston. My friend and I had both been harbouring a desire to visit one of America’s largest cities for some time, and I am so glad we did.
We stayed in a hotel overlooking Millennium park, home to ‘The Bean’ (formally known as Cloud Gate). The park is in the east of the city and is right next to the shores of Lake Michigan. This was an excellent base point as it was right near to the loop train. This made it easy to access any area of the city that we wanted to visit. We did a lot of walking on our first day, which included The 606 – a 2.7 mile trail designed for walkers and cyclists alike. It is elevated from traffic and gives a lovely view out across the neighbourhood. It is similar to the Highline in New York, which I wrote about here.
Chicago From Above
We rounded off the day with a trip up the 108 storey building Willis Tower. The viewing area which is open to the public is on the 103rd floor, but a super quick lift means you get there in no time at all. It is the second tallest building in the USA, and offers incredible views across the city. The landscape is so flat and you can see for miles and miles. We went just before sunset. It was great to see the city lighting up as the sun went down, and it was the perfect end to the day.
The view from Willis Tower
One area that I would recommend to anybody to visit whilst in Chicago is Andersonville. This district in the north of the city (nearest Metro stop is Berwyn) is an old Swedish settlement. There are plenty of places to shop, eat and drink. We had lunch at Hopleaf, a bar with a Belgian inspired menu and plenty of beers on offer. There was a delightful stationery store and framers called Four Sided where we both bought ourselves some souvenirs.
We spent the next couple of days wandering the Old Town, watching fireworks at Navy Pier (Wednesday’s and Saturday’s in summer) and eating lots of food. The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra played in Millennium Park one clear warm evening, which was a lovely unexpected treat.
Jazz in Millennium Park
The highlight of Chicago for me was the architecture boat cruise which is run by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. A docent volunteer leads the tour and our guide was incredibly knowledgable. We opted for a twilight cruise so by the time the hour and a half was up, it was dark and the tall buildings lit up the sky. The particular tour is listed in the top 10 on TripAdvisor in the whole of the USA!
More Places to Dine..
No visit to Chicago is apparently complete without sampling a deep dish pizza. Lou Malnati’s was our pizzeria of choice and it didn’t disappoint. A simple margarita with a pepperoni topping was delicious and I wish we’d had time for more!
Other food highlights included a waffle breakfast at Eleven City Diner on Wabash Avenue and the liquid chocolate drink at Goddess and the Baker which has three locations across the city, including Wabash Ave.
Goddess and the Baker cake and biscuits. My friend bought the birthday one despite her birthday being in March.Apparently it was tasty!
Eleven City Diner.
Thank you Chicago (and my friend), for a wonderful 4 days in ‘the windy city’.
As I wrote in my last blog post, I love collaborating with companies on products that I wouldn’t normally manufacture myself. I was excited to hear from a contact at Comme Des Garcons late last year,with regards to a potential collaboration. Comme Des Garcons is a Japanese fashion label based in Tokyo and Paris. The company was founded by Rei Kawakubo in 1969. The Costume Institute’s Spring 2017 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York is dedicated to her. It features around 140 examples of her work from the early 1980’s to the most recent collections. The exhibition runs until September 4th 2017.
I created two pieces of artwork under the direction of Junya Watanabe. The finished garments are included in the Homme A/W 2017 collection and are on the theme of ‘happy army’.
The company had seen one of my repeat patterns featuring colourful cars, and wanted me to emulate that look for the designs to be used on their garments.
My initial sketches (some seen below), were done in pencil and ink, and mocked up in to repeat.
I went on to redraw my sketches and colour the artwork in a similar way to my car design. The end result is two statement prints that have been applied to high quality shirts for men.
I really enjoyed creating the art for this brief. Designing repeat patterns is what I love to do most. Working with such an iconic fashion brand is certainly one of my career highlights to date, and I look forward to working on more exciting and varied briefs in the future. If you’re an art director and are interested in finding out more about my designs, then head to my design portfolio page and fill in the contact form.
I worked on a freelance project last year with Bounty – an organisation that supports mums through pregnancy to the birth of their children and then to toddler and pre-school. The brief was to create designs for use on changing bags and accessories. Bounty wanted two gender neutral designs. After exploring various concepts the team opted for a 2 colour print design. The simple and contemporary geometric print has been applied to high quality textile products and can be bought from their website now
I love working on freelance briefs for companies who apply my art to products that I am not manufacturing myself. There are some images of the final products below.
I love creating illustrations based on places, and working on this Thaxted project was no exception. This historic and beautiful village is in Essex, and is home to many quaint and beautiful buildings. I supply Gifted, a gorgeous gift shop in the heart of the village, and after a conversation at a recent trade fair I was asked to create an illustration that we could apply to a number of products. Their outlet features in the bottom left of the design below, and is currently a lovely red colour as per the image!
Thaxted is known for Morris Dancing festivals so of course some dancers had to feature on the design, as did Dick Turpin’s Cottage, the house that Gustav Holst lived in for a number of years in the 1900s and well as John Webb’s windmill, that can be found just outside of the village.
I have included a number of images of the products below. Get in touch if you would like to discuss a project for your location!
As November seems to be passing by at an alarming rate, I am busy working on fresh designs to launch in the new year, which includes some location specific work. I have spent some time focusing on locally themed art over the last few months. My coastal body of work has always been close to my heart. The early designs were inspired by Robin Hood’s Bay. However, they were never meant to depict those places specifically, to the point that the products wouldn’t sell elsewhere. I have done the opposite of that this year, and created some prints that are entirely meant to represent the local area. I began in April with my Whitby map design. I’m proud of this piece of work. It took way longer to finish than I thought it would; but then again most of my favourite pieces of work do.
Robin Hood’s Bay
This made me feel inspired to create other pieces, with a local focus. So far I have concentrated on Robin Hood’s Bay. My upbringing in this quaint village was perfect, and I have always felt lucky to have been brought up in such a picturesque location. I have just received my first run of prints and cards based on the village, and tea towels are set to arrive next week!
Amidst all of the time I have spent working on art and thinking about the type of designs I want my collection of products to include for 2018, I have finally got around to refreshing my branding. When I first launched my business, I very quickly settled on a logo. It featured ‘Jessica Hogarth Designs’ in a perfect rectangular shape and really does not represent what I am about as an artist at all. I always hoped that my business would take off, and become my full time living. However, I guess I didn’t think seriously enough about my branding at the start, and what all of my products would grow to look like featuring this logo down the line; if that actually happened. I considered changing it after a year or so, and didn’t. Finally over 5 years on, with the help of one of my amazing friends (Megan of Megan Claire), I have a new logo that I believe echoes the feel of my work.
I used to refuse to use black in any of my personal illustration work, thinking it was too ‘hard’ for some reason, and always opted for navy. That too has since changed. I use a lot of colour in my work, particularly blues and mustards tones. That said, I was reluctant to settle on just one for my logo. Therefore, the original version of it is simply black wording on a white background with the option of altering the colour, dependent upon how its being used.
The circle will be used for stickers and such like, and they too will vary in colour depending on where they are placed.
A large proportion of my business is actually the card publishing side of things. However, I primarily see myself as an illustrator and surface pattern designer, hence the tagline. My love affair with surface pattern began in second year of art college. I find myself wanting to put every design I create in to a repeating print, but of course, that’s not always practical.
I am really excited to have a more consistent brand identity, and one that I feel really represents me.
The image below shows some of the newly packaged tea towels. The blurb will accompany a selection of the product packaging.
The run up to Christmas will see me heading to London for meetings, and a photoshoot with Yeshen Venema. I’ve also got a couple of local festive markets, and of course, lots of designing to do!
It’s weeks since I posted about my trip to Chicago and I intended to follow it up with a post about the rest of the holiday, so, here it is! Chicago was definitely the full on part of the trip, so having the most relaxing few days ever in Cape Cod and Boston afterwards was just lovely. I have always wanted to visit New England. The trip left me yearning to spend a few weeks there, ideally in October. I’d love to just do some travelling up the coast when all of the leaves are changing colour and it’s not very busy.
We flew in to Boston on a sunny Friday afternoon and had a couple of hours spare before heading to Cape Cod for the weekend. We popped in to the Society of Arts and Crafts, and had a lovely chat with Carrie and George who were working there. I couldn’t believe it when I saw my wooden coastal postcards (in collaboration with Timbergram) on sale.
We then boarded the fast ferry and headed to Provincetown for the weekend. The ferry was a great way of getting to P-Town and I’d recommend it to anyone heading to ‘The Cape’. The sun was just beginning to go down as we reached the port, and the view from the boat was lovely!
We stayed at the Gaslamp B&B which is highly rated online and it didn’t disappoint. The hosts were incredibly friendly and made amazing breakfasts. These were served in their private garden and we were able to use the hot tub at our leisure. The other guests were so friendly and we spent Saturday afternoon socialising in the sun with them. I have never been to a town that is so lively, yet feels so relaxing to be in. We walked, hired bikes, sunbathed/napped on the beach, climbed the Pilgrim Monument, shopped and of course ate a lot!
My food highlights were ice cream from Happy Camper (so good we went twice in one day), and our evening meal at the Lobster Pot. This is a famous restaurant situated right on the edge of the beach in the centre of town. Despite growing up by the sea, I cannot stand the taste of seafood. So, I opted for a chicken and veg dish, that was absolutely cooked to perfection.
On Monday morning we boarded the ferry and headed back to Boston for the final two days of the trip. We walked part of the Freedom trail before getting distracted by food and tasty Downeast cider at Quincy Market.
The next day we headed to Harvard and I’d really recommend the guided tour. This was particularly topical for me, as I’ve recently become obsessed with the US tv series Suits. We naturally had lunch at Pinnocio’s pizzeria and wandered the campus of this world famous university.
It was also great to wander around Charlestown. This is a district of the city that I was familiar with because of the movie The Town. I loved looking at the colourful wooden houses. The weather was great so we wandered back over the bridge to Quincy Market and enjoyed another fantastic lunch, washed down by more cider!
The food highlight in Boston for me was breakfast at The Friendly Toast, which was conveniently a stones throw from our hotel in Back Bay. I had coconut pancakes (twice), topped with chopped nuts, whipped cream and chocolate chips. It was delicious! We had to wait for a table but it was really worth it, and the service was great.
It’s never nice when a holiday ends but I felt particularly sad to be heading home this time. A few days of soaking up the sun, eating and drinking was exactly what I needed. I’m now working hard on new designs to launch in 2018. Watch this space for those coming soon!