We teamed up with West Coast artist, Jesse Brown, to create our Holiday 2019 Collection.
There is power in partnerships. We believe in supporting artists who are committed to working with ethics and excellence. Our Holiday 2019 Collection was the perfect match for Jesse Brown’s analog approach bringing our holiday theme “coffee is a gift” to life. Utilizing his extensive background in drawing, painting, and typography, Jesse’s off-screen approach to design reminds us all to get back to the fundamentals, be intentional, and embrace the process. Verve Coffee Roasters sat down with newly transplanted LA-based artist to learn more about his workflow and visual voice.
Q: When do you feel most energized and ready to create?
A: As much as I’d like to be more of a morning person, work and ideas seem to move easiest at night for me.
Q: How has your design style evolved over your career?
A: I’ve worked in a lot of mediums over the past 15 years of making things and with a wide range of collaborators and clients, that’s helped me evolve and explore the things I’m always interested in which is typography, shape, and color in whatever form they might take with each project. I’ve noticed my work being influenced by the move to California, in color, style and referencing design history which is so vast in LA and California as a whole.
Q: What’s your most important tool, something you can’t live without in your studio?
A: Pen and paper for sure, everything I do starts with a drawing. I don’t often show clients sketches but the process always helps me figure out the compositions and any challenges with the artwork or graphic. It’s also I skill that I feel is fading away with designers and they would benefit from drawing/drafting more.
Q: How do you stay creative and motivated so you avoid burning out/creative block?
A: Ha, well I’m just now starting to figure out how to slow down a little. The last years I guess I just push through no matter how much is going on in the studio. I try to take walks and that usually helps me get out of my own way if I’m stuck somewhere creatively. Also trying to limit how much work I take on so I don’t feel burnt out creatively and mentally, trying to be more selective about the projects I say yes to.
Q: What pushed you towards a creative career?
A: It’s the only thing I’ve ever done and was something I knew I wanted since I was really young, I just didn’t think that it could be a reality. I dropped out of school around 15 and never went back so in a way I’ve always felt that I have to make my creative career work by any means. I’ve never had a backup plan and that’s pushed me too, I left my job teaching art and mural painting to teens in Seattle 12 years ago and have been on my own ever since.
Q: What advice can you share with someone starting out in your field?
A: I guess aside from work harder and less talk about it. I would encourage artists and designers working in a commercial field to push back and challenge art direction they may not agree with, I felt like I wasn’t allowed to do this when I was younger and realized later on that it’s crucial for the whole process and outcome of the final work. It’s important to say NO and then to find creative solutions as an alternative that you can stand behind and be proud of. There’s no worse feeling to me professionally than having work I’m not confident about out in the world. It’s a challenge but I feel like it’s an integral part of the creative/client relationship that we end up in.
Also try to find time to make personal work and explore ideas you have, useful or not, those projects keep you exploring and creatively sharp, I think that leads to more interesting work.
Q: What song or album is on heavy rotation right now?
A: Jazz drummer Makaya McCraven’s recent album Universal Beings, the Atlanta group Earth Gang and also Kassa Overall, New York-based drummer, I’m working on some album artwork for him now and have been playing the early mixes in the studio while I work.
Q: What’s your go-to coffee order?
A: Iced Americano, black.
Q: You just moved from Seattle to LA, have you discovered any spots that bring a little of the Northwest vibe down to SoCal?
A: I haven’t found many similar spots to what’s going on in the Northwest but I guess I’m not really looking for that, I go to Rudy’s barbershop and the Chacha lounge, both were started in Seattle and remind me of being back home.