02 December 2013

Skillshare & Jessica Hische

essica Hische is a world-class letterer.  You have seen her work on Dave Eggers' newest book cover, or on postal stamps, or Bertolli's ads, the Moonrise Kingdom poster, on Barnes & Nobles classic books, and on Penguins Classics. Her husband works for facebook and they created a ridiculously cool wedding website.
Skillshare is a new service that offers class where people can learn things that they want to know.  I saw her name (via twitter) and saw that she was going to be giving a Skillshare class on lettering.  Now, I will be the first to say that I am a poor artist.  And my sketching/drawing skills are not good.  But for $19, I could not pass up signing up.  It was a web-based class, really a series of 12 videos where she explains her work methods, tips and tricks, advice, motivation, thoughts and issued an assignment.  And then there is a community of the ~550 students who had signed up for the class.  As you build your project and upload documentation and explanation of your progress, people offer you feedback and critique.  I would say 90% of the students either were in art/design school or working in design.  So to say I was out of my league is an understatement.  But I was upfront with my skill level and people were supportive.  I got lots of good feedback and even a couple of "likes."
The project was to create a dropcap letter for a book.  (Jessica is known for her dropcap alphabet project and she is now doing dropcaps for Penguin book covers).  I chose The Old Man and the Sea and the letter H for Hemingway.  It was done using Illustrator which I am not great in but I LOVED having a project and instructions and a timeline.  I read.  I sketched.  I worked.  I learned.  I got frustrated.  I got eager for feedback.  I refined. I realized my limitations.  I got more than my $19 worth.  It feels great to be creative, even if the finished project isn't as great as you had hoped for.  I'm already looking for my next class to sign up for!


  1. Well I think it is great.. looks professional. Do you print them out and frame too? I would. Cool, put it up in a bookcase or something. Very nice son. I like.

  2. Also like her website and stuff to buy.. makes me want to get out my lettering book with dots and puffy lettering.. ha ha

  3. Love the letter H and the total design and color selection. You're on your way to developing your own style. Have fun!

  4. we have to print this. so impressed. love the boat shape made by the H, colors, angle ... so awesome.

  5. very impressive. I'd like to have been in that class, but would have feinted at all the worthy people, I'm afraid! Well done.