SpearTalks: Jesse Hora Dot Com
You know what we like? When the names of people we love (Jesse Hora) start winding up next to names of artists we worship (Si Scott; Alex Trochut; Hellovon). Not that we would expect any less of the designers, illustrators and artists we brag on so thoroughly. But still, every time it happens we feel like one of our kids just knocked out the class bully (see also: brimming with pride and high-fiving all around).
Jesse Hora (Dot Com), fresh off of the much cooed over Some Type of Wonderful (a project also shaped by the aforementioned Si Scott, etc.), took some time to fill us in on the distance he's traveled since '06.
Joshspear.com: Well hi, Jesse Hora. Tell us about yourself.
Jesse Hora (Dot Com): Top o’ the morning to you, Carmel. My name is Jesse Hora Dot Com. I’m a chubby, white, freckle faced freelance illustrative designer originally from the great mitten state (MI in case you don’t know). Currently, I am based out of Chicago and loving living with my cute girlfriend and ugly bulldog.
JS: The first time I was introduced to your work was right about this time in ’06, and you were already creating some remarkable stuff. What has the last two years been like for you, artistically and from a career perspective?
JHDC: Wow, in ’06 I was still in college finishing up my BFA — a great deal has happened since. After graduation, I moved to Italy with my girlfriend to attend a ‘graduate’ school, but it turned out to be a huge scam so we decided to vacation instead. Since returning stateside I have been fortunate enough work with some great clients and have started to solidifying my career as a freelance illustrator/designer. Through all the traveling and shenanigans of the past two years, I have honed my illustration skills and gained a great deal of experience. It's been tons of fun.
JS: So you skipped out on grad school for real life — which seems like it came at you pretty quickly. You were turning out work for Adidas not long after that, correct?
JHDC: Actually, while over in Italy I got the Adidas Originals project and started working while traveling back to the states. Although it came a really hectic time, it was a perfect jumping off point for me just getting out of school.
JS: You say “currently” based out of Chicago — are you considering a move?
JHDC: Its winter here in Chicago, so I think about moving every time I go outside.
JS: Chicago has always been a good city for art and design, but I hear much more about it, in that context, than I used to. What does that city offer to graphic designers, and conversely, what do you wish it had more of?
JHDC: Coming from the boondocks of Michigan, this place is like the mecca of the Midwest for design (and culture). Museums, art galleries, bookstores, music festivals, fashion shows, ad agencies, studio collectives, thrift stores, bike riding, design firms, Chicago style pizza & hot dogs, drunken rooftop parties and the bean. What more could a designer ask for?
JS: What’s your opinion on design trends: Sad proof of copycatitis, or proof of a good thing?
JHDC: Trends in design as a whole, in my opinion, is a completely natural occurrence. People in general will tend to gravitate toward that that is perceived as new/innovative/cool; it's the exact same situation in fashion. But my biggest issue with that idea is that trends will always die, so for me its better to continuously just set new standards for myself and let other people worry about turning it into a trend.
JS: You just showed alongside some of our favorite typographers in the world as part of Some Type of Wonderful ’09. Was that a fun project to be a part of?
JHDC: Super fun! It was an honor to work with Luke Lucas (curator and artist) and to be included with the best typographers in the world. Si Scott, (Alex Trochut) and Hellovon are artists I idolized while developing as an artist. The project produced delicious posters and an incredibly beautiful calendar with work from each of the artists. Check STOW, the calendar will be a great holiday gift for any type nerd.
JS: What most strongly shapes the way you approach your work?
JHDC: Pretending I’m still in art class in middle school, and just going with what I feel is right. Having fun and knowing that I am not going to change the world with a drawing of a pickle tickling itself is really important to me. At the same I am very serious about my work because I feel like I am the greatest of all time and I am better than everyone else. Gotcha! Is anyone reading this far?
JS: And last of all… what do you have cooking for 2009?
JHDC: I’m super excited about 2009, I have some big projects in the works but cant spill the beans yet. Some of things I can talk about are being featured in the Computer Arts Magazine (Future Trends Issue), publishing the Athlete Objects project as well as I small graphic design manual. Also I am working on a slew of new prints (Silkscreen & Gocco) as well as looking to do bigger gallery shows. I am always open to entertain new endeavors, so we will see what happens.