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Social Distancing and Self Isolation Cards

This is my second blog post in a week, that must be a record! I have been busy with week with some accounting, designing, fulfilling online orders and liaising with some of my lovely customers. The majority of my business has come to a halt due to Covid-19 but I am certainly working hard in the background, trying to make the most of the situation as well as letting it inspire me creatively.

All of the cards below are available to purchase on my Etsy shop as well as my Thortful profile. Both of these platforms ship orders worldwide, so you can reach your loved ones both near and far! I have had some fun creating these designs. If you’re not able to leave the house at the moment or buy a stamp – I can send your card to the recipient at no extra cost when purchasing on my Etsy shop. Simply fill in the message box when you add the item to your basket and I will hand write your chosen greeting.  Thortful offer this service as well!

I have 15% off orders over £30 during April 2020. This discount will be applied at the checkout.

Click the images below to head to my Etsy or used the words in bold above to go to my respective stores too 🙂

Wishing you all a peaceful weekend.

Social distancing card

Social distancing cards

Social distancing birthday card

Social distancing cards

Whitby – a Quiet Easter Weekend

One thing is for certain, during these strange and uncertain times, I am finding time to do things I have been putting off for a long time. This blog post being one of them! It is almost a year since I last wrote. I mainly use my Instagram account to keep people that are interested in my work up to date with my goings on, but my website is important too. I wrote a blog post about my favourite things to do in Whitby around this time last year and you can read it here.

 

We have been fortunate to have some lovely weather in Whitby since this lockdown began. I have been trying to get in my allowed hour of exercise every day, either by going running or enjoying a walk after I have done some design work. The new extension recently opened on the East pier so it was great to have that to ourselves the other night and look back at the town from a different angle. My business has certainly been affected by the pandemic. The shops I supply are all closed so my only business currently is online from my Not on the High Street and Etsy shops. I thought I’d share a few of the pictures I have taken over the last couple of weeks. I know there are so many people that would have loved to be visiting Whitby right now, and I feel lucky to be living here in times like this. The local businesses and residents will certainly be ready to welcome back visitors as soon as it is safe to do so.

Whitby East in the gorgeous evening sun.

Whitby harbour

On the East Pier

Whitby East Pier

Two doors I hadn’t noticed before on Henrietta Street.

Doors on Hrenrietta Street

Looking up towards the Abbey and St Mary’s Church.

St Mary's Church

Church Street – the quietest I have ever seen it!

Whitby Church Street

Berlin

I visited Berlin earlier this month for a bit of sightseeing with my boyfriend. This is the third time I have visited the German capital, but the first time I have had chance to properly wander the city. We had two nights and three days there, but would have happily spent another day or two as there is so much to see and do!

Berlin feels pretty big, so we bought daily travel cards and used a lot of public transport to navigate the city. We stayed right near Hauptbahnhof station which was really convenient for getting around. The weather was pretty poor when we first arrived, so after ducking in to a few shops, we emerged from TK Maxx with umbrellas and then headed to the Berlin Fernsehturm (TV Tower) for lunch. On a clear day, the views from the observation deck and restaurant are spectacular. We had partial views due to fog, but the longer we stayed up there, the clearer the sky got! You can just visit the observation deck, but we opted to pre-book a window table for lunch in the restaurant that rotates, giving you a 360 degree view of the city as you dine. Once the sky cleared a bit, colourful houses were revealed, as shown on the image below.

Berlin certainly did not disappoint on the food front. We headed to Markethalle Neun for food on Thursday evening – which is the night for a once weekly gourmet food market. I left full of fresh pasta, cookies and ice cream, and would definitely recommend a visit to anyone in the city on a Thursday! We then went to Mano Cafe, a cosy independent bar nearby. Time your visit right and you might be able to take control of the private little seating area accessed via a step ladder, allowing you to look down across the bar.

Another food highlight for me was brunch at Kauf Dich Gluklich. I first had their cheeseboard back in 2017 when I visited for new year, and I knew that I needed to have it again at some point! For approx 9 euros you get a plate full of cheese, avocado, pineapple and olives, accompanied by delicious bread. I would also recommend Father Carpenter which is located in Berlin’s Mitte district. I had a delicious vegan banana bread with whipped peanut butter and a chia and raspberry jam. Yum!

As animal lovers my boyfriend and I spent a very enjoyable afternoon at the Berlin Zoo – which is the largest and oldest zoo in Germany! There is also an Aquarium on site, which can be visited if separate tickets are bought and there are insect and reptile houses too.

I had read about Monkey Bar at the Top of the 25Hours hotel so after seeing all of the animals on the ground, we sat with a drink in hand in this tenth floor bar, looking down in to the Monkey houses at the zoo.

We did lots of walking during our stay, stopping by landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag building, as well as the East Side Gallery (pictured below).

We flew home from Tegel airport, which is closer to the city than Schönefeld is (the airport I’ve used previously), and we got a bus there using our travel cards, making it super easy. I hope you have a wonderful time if you’re planning a visit to Berlin in the future!

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’.