Jesse Hora.

How do you work? It’s always been important for me to work when I feel inspired and am excited about what I’m doing, so I will often jump right into a project that I am excited about first thing in the morning. And after a few hours, or until the excitement wares off, I will transition over to handling the ‘office duties’ for the day. Obviously, all of this must coexist with scheduling, deadlines, meetings, etc… but running a small business, luckily I am able to control it most of the time.

Jesse Hora is an illustrator and art director living in Chicago, IL. He has a true love for typography and lettering, a playful comedic voice, and a stark, stripped down vector style, which has caught the eye of Kanye West, and helped numerous high-end clients. He makes up one half of MAKE, a Chicago based design team specializing in art direction, print design, lettering and illustration. Jesse’s work has been described as never straying far from the ridiculous and playful while remaining detailed and incredibly thoughtful.

Chicagoans in general, not just designers, employ a blue-collar work ethic…

What is the Chicago graphic scene like?  Brag to me about the Chicago community, please. The Chicago design scene is sort of like a big high school, you ‘know of’ or have ‘heard of people’ (designers) but you aren’t really friends with them. And just like being the new kid in school, you have to earn your stripes. Getting into the community can be overwhelming at first, but once you start to build relationships, it becomes smaller and manageable.

Chicagoans in general, not just designers, employ a blue-collar work ethic and the designer community is no different. Chicago designers work hard and work often, which leads to great things happening. From great art/design groups, like the Post Family or Quite Strong to insanely prolific illustrators, like Jay Ryan or Spike Press – there are so many talented folks here. And if you can’t get inspired and motivated by that, you aren’t going to make it.

I could never afford an actual Starter jacket as a kid.

I was just looking at your Adidas Originals; they always seem to be of the time, appealing to a certain audience, albeit a hip crowd.  What other labels or brands do you see doing the same thing? Adidas Originals is definitely a brand that stays at the forefront of trendy/hip design, specifically in the athletic and apparel industries. Working with Adidas Originals, especially so early on in my career, was an honor and opened many doors. Brands like Nike, Urban Outfitters, Levis, American Apparel, Vans, etc… are all brands that keep a youthful, ‘hip’ mentality all while staying rooted in good design.

What is your ideal pair of sneakers?  My idea pair of sneakers, that is a tough questions. I don’t think I could pick just one pair, because my preferences have evolved over the years. My all time favorite pair of sneakers would definitely be the Adidas Metro Attitude Skytop, pink and brown snakeskin color-way.

If you could capture a sports era…what team and what type fashion? The NBA, late 1980’s – early 1990’s, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics, Starter jacket (because I could never afford an actual Starter jacket as a kid)

You seem pretty hip hop, what did you think of the new Beasties CD? To be totally honest, I have never really been able to get into The Beastie Boys. I respect their legacy, but never really was a fan. I prefer the musical stylings of Outkast, Tupac, Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Slick Rick, Eminem, Cee-Lo Green, etc… And more recently, Yelawolf and J. Cole have been interesting.


If someone handed you a wad of money and told you to create…who is that client and what is that project?
 The client would probably be Nike, and the project would be to art direct a nation-wide campaign focused on the creative connection between sport and art.

Jesse on Flickr here and Twitter @JesseHoraDotCom

2 Comments For “Jesse Hora.”

  1. Jesse Hora says:

    Thanks so much Kate!

  2. Smiz Hus says:

    Good on you skunner. I like the short but descriptive answers. Now can you do that damn shirt for me?

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