Designing Her Own Path: Q&A with Jessica Hische
LR – Is the career you have now anything you could have envisioned when you were at Tyler School of Art?
JH – Yes and no—I got to know a number of freelance illustrators in Philly while I was there through Headcase and Tyler connections and I knew that their lifestyle was something that I would love. What I didn’t know is that my career would take me in so many other directions or include as much travel and public speaking. I thought I’d be just working from home alone for the rest of my life!
LR – Did you like Philly? Miss us?
JH – I did like Philly. I get homesick for it all the time. Even when I moved to Brooklyn I missed it terribly for the first year. Now, I miss both Brooklyn and Philly! I think I’ll just always have East Coast blood.
LR – You found your way to lettering through working with Louise Fili, anddid the “Daily Drop Cap” website after that. Is that how you came to be “Drop Cap Girl”? Can you tell us how you found your way to Penguin or they found you and you began to work on drop caps for Penguin Classics?
JH – Everyone loves to give you a one-line bio and for a long while, because of my Daily Drop Cap project, I was “That Drop Cap Girl.” I have a student from MIT shadowing me right now just to find out what being a letterer is all about and he told me the other day that a computer programmer friend—someone that has nothing to do with design or lettering—recognized my name from the project. Paul Buckley and I became acquainted because of the project and because of collaborating on another cover and he told me he had to figure out a way to use the drop caps for a series. After a year or two of plotting, it became real and Penguin Drop Caps was born.