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To the West Coast of the USA and Back

Back in March, myself and another designer friend booked flights to the west coast of the USA; something we had been talking about doing for a while. Due to our work commitments we could only spare two weeks but decided to pack it full of sightseeing in four American cities. If you follow my artist Facebook page, then you will have already seen a few images from my trip but I thought I’d write a more detailed round up here. We began our trip in Santa Monica then headed south to San Diego, up to San Francisco and then finished up with four nights in Las Vegas.

 

I love architecture, and there were some beautiful and quirky buildings in every place we visited. I just loved the Georgian hotel in Santa Monica, and many buildings were decorated with murals at Venice Beach.

 

santa-monica

 

We travelled to San Diego via the Pacific Surfliner, a train that runs down the coast. It was great to see some more of the Californian coastline, and was an easy and reasonably priced way to get to our next destination. The Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego was my favourite area in the city as it was full of quirky restaurants and fun bars. Florent (pictured below), had tasty sharing plates, and I can also recommend Cafe 21, for some more delicious food, and live entertainment.

 

san-deigo

 

We visited Coronado whilst in San Diego, to see the famous wooden hotel. We also had a little time to pop in to Seaside Papery, a gorgeous shop stocking lots of beautiful stationery, including some by Rifle Paper Co.

 

I have always wanted to visit San Francisco and see some of the famous architecture and visit Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world! Definitely take a jumper if you’re visiting, even in summer, as it can get pretty chilly!

 

san-francisco

 

The Painted Ladies at Alamo Square, some of the most photographed homes in the city.

 

painted-ladies-san-francisco

 

We spent a bit of time in the shops, and I was delighted to find my work on sale in two locations, the first of which was trendy US chain store Paper Source. My first order went in to them at the beginning of the month, and I am thrilled to have my work available to purchase from one of my favourite stationery outlets. Paper Source has stores across the USA including in Santa Monica, San Francisco and New York. On a trip to Sausalito (a town across the Golden Gate Bridge), I spotted my art on postcards, from my collaboration with wooden postcard company Timbergram. It’s still a novelty to see my work on sale in shops, particularly overseas!

 

USA

 

The holiday finished with an adventure in Las Vegas. Highlights included visiting the Grand Canyon, seeing the Bellagio Fountains a number of times and visiting the Mob Museum in downtown LV.

 

I like the USA more and more each time I visit, and I look forward to returning back there sometime soon!

 

 

Art Inspired by my Home Town

I love drawing anything inspired by the seaside and lovely surroundings in which I grew up. I have been working with fabulous local bakers, Botham’s since 2014, creating the last two years designs for their Christmas tea towels. You may remember the image below, which had a winter look on the original tea towel, but I have altered it slightly for an all year round appeal, and it’s now available to purchase on a full colour tea towel.

 

Bothams tea towel_RA Smart

I have also created a colourful Whitby based design for a fine bone china mug, which have just arrived in their stores. Watch this space for the artwork appearing on more of their products soon!

 

Mug_new blue

 

Summer Days

Summer is pressing on, and it has been a bit of a whirlwind in the studio. Christmas orders are being shipped out to my lovely retailers, including Paperchase and Oliver Bonas here in the UK. Keep an eye out for my cards cropping up in an outlet near you soon! It seems crazy to be thinking about designing for Christmas when there is actually sunshine outside, but it isn’t long before I will need to begin planning new Christmas ranges for 2017, to launch at Top Drawer in January, where I will be on stand Y46.

 

I have recently returned home from a week in beautiful Greece for my best friends wedding. Myself and a number of friends spent a week in Skiathos and it was lovely to relax and enjoy the sun, but I still had to do a bit of emailing each morning and ensure all of my shop orders were being packed and dispatched at home! We went on a boat trip one day, to the island of Skopelos (bottom picture). We stopped off at Lalaria beach on Skiathos island on the return journey, and it was just beautiful. I aren’t sure if the white pebbles affected the colour of the water but it was just stunning! We had a very happy time jumping off the boat and in to the warm sea.

 

Greece

 

A couple of weeks before I jetted off, I exhibited at home and Gift in Harrogate, and launched a new geometric range of cards. They feature the bright and quirky colour palettes that regularly feature in my work. It was lovely to catch up with some existing customers, and get some new ones too!

 

Jessica Hogarth_Kaleidoscope_let's celebrate Jessica Hogarth_Kaleidoscope_Yippee Jessica Hogarth_Kaleidoscope_Huge Congrats

 

I have also been working on a number of freelance jobs recently, from adult colouring postcards and a new paper craft collection. I’ll share news of new collaborations once they launch. I am also excited to be going back to New York next May, to exhibit at Surtex for the second time, alongside my friend Jules, under the name The Pattern Social. I was thrilled with the reaction to my work when I debuted there this year, and you can read more about the experience here.

 

It’s time to go and add some of my latest cards to my Not on the High Street shop now, before finishing the day with some little geometric designs for a freelance brief!

 

Jessica x

Robin Hood’s Bay Artwork and a New Logo

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.

Whitby artwork

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!

Robin Hood's Bay

New Logo

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.

Jessica Hogarth logo

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.

Tea Towel 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!

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Cape Cod and Boston

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.

Boston from the air

Boston craft society

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!

Sunset on Cape Cod

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.

Provincetown Cape Cod

Boston

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!

Boston

Chicago – Four Days in the Windy City

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. 

The Bean

The Bean Chicago

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

Andersonville

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.

Hopleaf

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! 

Goddess and the Baker

Eleven City Diner.

The view from Willis Tower

Thank you Chicago (and my friend), for a wonderful 4 days in ‘the windy city’.