Jessica Hische is the designer and illustrator behind The Daily Drop Cap, where she has created a beautiful illustrative initial cap daily since September of 2009. That’s two years already and she still isn’t finished with the project!

Jessica is also a champion for freelance designers and illustrators all over the world (thank you!) and she is just as active creating new work as she is in instructing the masses on how to do this freelance business right.

Starting with her “Should I Work for Free?” interactive chart (be sure to select the ‘Non F-Bomb Version’), which navigates the reader through a series of questions about their project to determine whether or not they should be working for free (btw: she wants designers to get paid for their work), to her Inker Linker site, completely dedicated to helping individuals (designers or otherwise) find the right printer for their project, and, more recently, her Don’t Fear the Internet, teaching basic CSS and html to non-programmers.

Did you catch all that? She’s teaching us how to manage, create and share our own work by using her skills as a designer and illustrator (and human being that wants to see fewer freelancers getting taken advantage of). This is invaluable information!

Speaking of which: Jessica’s newest blog post is on the mysterious and frustrating topic of getting paid for your work. She calls it “The Dark Art of Pricing.” (Suddenly it becomes a subject being covered by Professor Snape in a dimly lit classroom, while students sweat and take feverish notes!) It’s a good overview of the challenges inherent in pricing your creative work, including clients that essentially want you to try out for the work by creating work for free, clients that don’t pay or haggle with the costs after you’ve already finished the work, and hourly versus per-project rates. If you’re struggling to get paid work, or feeling like you should be getting paid more, I would recommend reading through her post. It doesn’t provide any answers, but is a fantastic overview of the freelance situation.

Did I mention that Jessica has her own website? You’ll find links to all the sites, posts and work mentioned above, and a wealth of beautiful and elegant designs she’s created for books, magazines, websites, and just about anything else you can imagine putting a stunning image on.

Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator, and self-described “avid internetter”, best known for her personal projects Daily Drop Cap and the Should I Work for Free flowchart. Just five years out of college, she currently serves on the TDC board of Directors and is one of the more accomplished young “designistrators” working today. Jessica and her work have since been featured in many publications, she has traveled the world speaking about lettering and illustration, and she has probably consumed enough coffee to power a small nation.

Jessica spends most of her non-working hours at home watching Battlestar Galactica with her talented better half  and their two kitties, or out and about consuming pork-fat rich meals and fancy cocktails. To keep up with her antics you can follow her on twitter.”


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