MAKE & Co

We recently chatted to Jesse Hora, art director, designer, illustrator, muralist and owner of MAKE & Co.. Jesse chats to us about getting a head start at uni by working freelance for clients and agencies, exploring your own design and illustration practice, and shares some real world advice on making connections.

Did you have a plan for graduation and what actually happened?

Early on during school, at a Grand Valley State University, I started doing a ton of freelance design and illustration and was able to build connections and work with/for large companies; from the likes of Mountain Dew, Bubblicious and Warner Bros to large agencies like Ogilvy & Mather, Y&R and Leo Burnett. When graduation came, I already had a huge jumpstart to my creative career and have continued that momentum doing design, illustration, and for the past 5 years TONS of mural work. Upon building my creative studio MAKE, I already had a solid client roster and experience, which was a giant part of being able to continue to grow as a creative company.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

I run MAKE & Co., an artful creative company that specializes in branding, creative direction and mural design. I also do art, design and illustration and have been told I have a knack for creating murals people love. Or so they say ;)

Design work by MAKE & Co The Design Kids interviews MAKE & Co work-2

Who are your top five design crushes globally right now?

Right now, I really enjoy Neil Hubert (@designsbyneil), Ian Macnider (@ianmacnider), Emily Schumer (@emschumer), Michael Nÿkamp (@mkn_design) and Liz Gilmore (@elizabethgilmore). Give em a follow.

What’s your take on internships? (do you take interns now?)

Internships can be super valuable; it is usually a young designer's first exposure to real world design - not the clean, curated and simplified version you first see in most educational programs. At MAKE we usually take on a couple interns per year. And are actually currently in search of someone to come in and lend a hand with design and mural projects. Drop me a message at [email protected] to inquire!

Design work by MAKE & Co The Design Kids interviews MAKE & Co work-4
Design work by MAKE & Co The Design Kids interviews MAKE & Co work-4

My advice would be to develop real world skills, like how to have fun working really, really hard.

How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?

I have always enjoyed creating detailed, line-work based drawings, and have explored how that can work within a design that is considered, yet bold aesthetically. This illustration style has been super influenced by my design principles and process, and utilizes components of both practices — but really it has just been developed through a natural and consistent exploration. I would suggest the same for others, keep exploring things that feel right to you, and eventually you’ll develop something all you own. And try not to be swayed too much by outside sources, like something you saw on instagram or pinterest. Trends are supposed to come and go, true style is timeless.

What advice would you give students graduating in 2019?

My advice would be to develop real world skills, like how to meet new people, how to be personable, and how to have fun working really, really hard.

Design work by MAKE & Co The Design Kids interviews MAKE & Co work-6

What's on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

At the studio, we just hired a full time designer and she is kicking ass! We have a slew of brand projects in the works. And there are also a few super fun mural projects we are working on for next year. We are also looking to find another kick-ass designer to join the team, so reach out [email protected] if you’ve got the goods.

Design work by MAKE & Co The Design Kids interviews MAKE & Co work-7
Design work by MAKE & Co The Design Kids interviews MAKE & Co work-7

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