10 Questions featuring Jessica Stowe
Jessica Stowe is a Chicago-based graphic designer and fellow Passion to Paid alumna.
Here are her responses.
Inspired by the Proust Questionnaire, I'm asking letterers and calligraphers I admire to share their thoughts on success, frustration, personal experiences, and more.
What's your name and where can we find you?
What's your lettering / calligraphy background?
I grew up illustrating and painting and was exposed to hand-lettering in undergrad. I never considered letters an art form. Once I opened my eyes to that possibility, I never looked back. Over years of studying celebrated artists and practicing, I cultivated my own style of lettering that I've utilized in freelance gigs, full-time job opportunities and my free time.
When was the last time you surprised yourself?
Today as a matter of fact. I was impressed with my ability to stay calm and level-headed during a situation I was particularly nervous about.
What is your greatest frustration in the creative process?
Maintaining my motivation and passion to create. Sometimes I have to work hard to cultivate my desire to generate artwork.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Working through obstacles and fears to accomplish my goals.
Who are your favorite artists?
What is your motto?
My motto can best be summarized by a Mark Twain quote: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did." When I'm presented with a situation I'm unsure about, I think of how I'll feel about it looking back. Will I be happy I tried it or wish I let it pass. You're much braver when you're working for your future self.
If you weren't a letterer/calligrapher, what would you be and why?
I would go back to my roots as an illustrator and painter.
What's your ONE piece of advice to people starting out?
DON'T BE AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES. I would avoid trying new techniques or programs because I was daunted by the idea of my execution not being flawless. That's idiotic and you miss out on so much. Once you accept that learning from your mistakes is part of the process, you will be unstoppable.
Anything you'd like to add:
To continue off my one piece of advice, I repeat this quote from Carrie Fisher to myself when I'm feeling unsure and fearful. "Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow." Take chances, try new things, take on life at its fullest.