Words With Meaning With Olivia Wilde | Jessica Hische | Skillshare

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Words With Meaning With Olivia Wilde

teacher avatar Jessica Hische, Letterer and Illustrator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Learning Experiment with Olivia Wilde


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About This Class

In our latest learning experiment, discover new talents with Olivia Wilde, as she learns layout and hand-lettering with Jessica Hische.

Olivia Wilde is a multi-talented actor, director, writer and producer, but she’s ready to expand her horizons and discover new hidden talents. In this one-on-one session with designer and letterer Jessica Hische, Olivia learns the basics of layout, design and lettering to create a poster that inspires awareness and action, all based on one of Olivia’s favorite quotes. 

They work together, discussing the mutual passions of motherhood, feminism, and activism, as they create a design that will become a gift for Olivia’s daughter. Want to join in and work along with them? All you need is some paper, something to draw with, and a passion for discovering your own hidden talents.  

Meet Your Teacher

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Jessica Hische

Letterer and Illustrator


Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator, and self-described "avid internetter." After graduating with a degree in Graphic and Interactive Design from Tyler School of Art, she worked for Headcase Design in Philadelphia before taking a position as Senior Designer at Louise Fili Ltd. While working for Louise, Jessica also maintained a busy freelance career, and, after two and a half years of little sleep and a lot of lettering, she left to further her freelance career and embark on several personal projects.

Jessica has become as well known for her side projects as she has for her client work. While she doesn't consider herself a web designer, many of her personal projects are web-centric. Her project Daily Drop Cap is probably the reason you first stumbled across her work, and sh... See full profile

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1. Trailer: Hi. I'm Olivia Wilde, actress, producer, director, mom, and today, a hand letterer. Thanks to skillshare.com. Hello. Hello. It's terrifying. Nothing is scarier than a blank piece of paper. We're going to be in length to sketch phase. So it's all about sloppy tie. Oh, good. I'm not a perfectionist. Oh, dear. Even real artists trace. This is why you're a good teacher. I think we've all learned a lot. Explore your creativity at skillshare.com. 2. Learning Experiment with Olivia Wilde: Hi. I'm Olivia Wilde, actress, producer, director, mom, and today, hand letterer. Thanks to skillshare.com. It's a learning process. I'm Jessica. Nice to meet you. Hi, Jessica. Nice to meet you. I'm so excited to hang out with you today. I feel like this time has taught us all what is possible remotely and I think it's interesting to consider continuing that. We can keep learning new skills with people who are far away, we can keep connecting. One of the reasons why I started teaching online classes was just because I got so many people, they were like, "I wish I could come to your studio and learn from you, but I can't afford it, or I have kids and I can't get away," and I'm like, "Yeah, let's do it." Once you witness your kids learning via Zoom and you're like, "Wow, my kid's getting an education," you think like, "I could also learn the things." They're definitely things I don't know how to do that I've always wanted to know how to do. We are going to make something actually for one of my kids, for my daughter Daisy, who is turning four this week. I thought my gesture for her birthday would be making her a beautiful sign for her room that would also be an inspirational reminder for her. We're going to draw "Change takes courage," which is an AOC quote, because if I could get my daughter to look up to AOC as much as she looks up to Elsa, then we'd be in a really good place in the future, I think. All right. I love that phrase and I feel it's something that I'm really pumped to drive also. I probably will end up rolling with it after our little lesson and finishing up a piece of art myself. Writing something that's an inspirational quote or even writing protest signs or whatever, there's a magic to it. It's different than typing something in. I really respect what you do because as an artist, if we fell in love with the art of writing again, I think that that would not be a bad thing and it would probably be really good for our brains and might help us retain information. One of the things that I really like about lettering too is that a lot of people have a hard time building a meditation practice into their life and art can be super meditative and I think lettering is really special because if you're drawing a phrase that you want to meditate over, you get to spend the whole time that you're drawing really in it and thinking about it. You end up pulling up a bunch of thoughts about whatever it is that you're drawing no matter what because your mind wanders when you're just using your hands. So it's a really good way to sit with a phrase or sit with a thought that you want to sit with. Hopefully, I have other skills, I don't know, but this is definitely not one that I have grown up with. So forgive me if I'm a little sloppy. Oh, no, man. We're going to be in the sketch phase, so it's all about sloppy time. Good. It's all about letting yourself loosen up. That's actually where a lot of people getting they're like, "I'm not a good artist," just because they get thought that being a good artist means replicating things perfectly, or it means being able to get it on the first try. When for me, being a good artist is having a process that you work through to get from 0-60. Some people can just go down and be like, "It's a scribble and it's beautiful and it's $1 million." For me, I have to walk through these really specific steps. Otherwise, if I skip one, it's totally garbage by the end of it. I think like so many things if you just take it step-by-step, you can learn how to do things and we make decisions early in our life about what we were not good at. Like early in my life, "I'm not an artist, or I'm bad at math." I have two books that I made and I went on book tour, and one of the questions that I always ask the kids, which is all the books for essentially kindergarten to second graders, and so whenever I'm on book tour, I go to schools and visit and I always ask them like, "Who here is an artist, or who here loves art?" and it's like every single hand goes up. I just think about how many of those kids just drop off over the course of their life just because someone didn't encourage them to draw or that they got it in their heads that they are bad at drawing. Yeah, that being an artist is something you choose and it takes you off the path of being a serious academic or being into science or math, and of course, that's not true. All right. Do you want to dive in? Let's do it. Yes. Okay, cool. If you want it to be something that's on the simple side that will be able to read at a glance right away from across the room, not too big, you're going to want to have the type styles be more bold and simple. If you want it to be something that's more intricate and draws people in, then you want them to be a little bit more complicated. So we figure out how you want your daughter to experience it, and then we can pick styles based on that. That's a really good way to start. I feel that we should go with more bold considering that she's still learning to read. I want it to be something that she can see from anywhere in her room and that will even subconsciously seep in, and something that will wake her up out of feeling like a lack of courage or when she's feeling frustrated so that it will just be there in her peripheral vision, she'll know it's there and it will seep in. Let's go bold. Okay, great. Then the next thing that I think about is the hierarchy. What words are the most important thing that we need to make sure are emphasized? This phrase is great because we can do it a bunch of different ways. We can do a hierarchy where it's really even so it's like "Change takes courage" and it's all the same, or we can do "Change takes courage" or we could do "Change takes courage." That's what I was going to say so that you feel "change" on its own is an active, helpful word, and that "courage", of course, being the point of it all. It feels like we should highlight change and courage. Yeah, totally. Either like making sure that courage is the huge highlighted one, or that change and courage have an equal weight on the page. How about we give courage a little bit more emphasis than change? Then maybe we'd do "Change takes courage," and we would have verbalized our sign. Next, we'll get into the layout now that we know our hierarchy. The cool thing that we can do is that we can work with a few different kinds of layouts to make this happen. I'm just going to really sketch some loose ways that we can work with the words, right? Okay. When I start doing my layouts, I'll just start by drawing the line on the top and bottom of where I think the words will go. This would be a layout that would be really straightforward; change takes courage. But if we want to make it a little more [inaudible] sassy, we can mess with the way that we do this layout. One thing that I noticed even just from looking at this, do you see how I have this space on the side of my "takes?" Yes. I could do an arched "Change" like that, and then "takes" in the center, and then "courage" underneath it. That's good. That's one way we can do it. That's really good. I feel like the second one is great. The second one, this one? Yeah, because I like the rainbow of change. I do. Like that, yes. [inaudible] For your own love rainbows. Really strong. I think that's the red one. That one feels good. Great. Well, then, I'm going to get a blank piece of paper, and then you have your sheet of paper in front of you. I do, it's terrifying. Nothing's scarier than a blank piece of paper. What I'm going to do is I'm actually going to draw in from the edge like make a little boundary for myself, and I'm just going to draw like a box, like just making a frame for myself in the center of my page. I'm not a perfectionist. [inaudible]. My rectangle is, it's all right. What I'm going to do next is I'm just going to draw a line for the top of where I want courage to be. Next, I'm going to do my change, so drawing the arc. Then I'm going to make a little mark on either side of the box and then I'm going to make a mark a little bit South of the one-third of the way down the page, like right about here. Wait. Just like a little dot right here. Just so that when I make my arch, I like have something that I'm shooting for. Got it. Okay. I see. Here we go. Dear, it's okay. This is what erasers are for. Erasing as opposed to just deleting, there's something different about it. I really feel like there is a different cognitive developmental effect of writing something, erasing it as opposed to like, I don't know, it's different than just like deleting. You learn to live with mistakes a little bit better. I draw on an iPad a lot now and I get so used to it that I'm always like double tapping my physical drawings, like whenever I'm drawing [inaudible]. Now, what we're going to do is plot where our letters are going to go. I end up doing a lot of erasing during this part because I always run out of room or make it too tight or whatever. You're so right that it's meditative. You're erasing. How come you're erasing? Yours is perfect. Because I ran out of space. I had to narrow it out. Even real artists erase. Even real artists. That's what I learned. Which letters do we have here that we could mix up the most? I'll talk about H and A because you've got there crossbars that you can do interesting things with. For an H, you generally have your two verticals and then your crossbar can just go straight across. Even if it just goes straight across, if you do it up super high, it's going to have a really different vibe than if it's down below. That's so true. It's like a different age personality. I feel like when letters have a high crossbar, they can feel like Art Nouveau-ish. Then if they have a really low one, they feel really mid-century. Watch, like instantly, this is a Notre mid-century. Yes. That's such a good point. That's so cool. I like my low crossbar. The next things that I'll walk you through is where we're going to add weight to our letters. What I'm going to do is I'm going to start using my heavy-duty pencil, so you can see what I'm talking about. Are we ready for this? One of the rules for where you add thicks and thins is wherever there's like a downstroke, in how you're drawing, is where thick would be, and wherever there's an upstroke is where a thin would be. When you draw an A, you're going up and then down. Our thick part of our letter A. Is on the down. On the right side. That's a good rule of thumb. Oh, my God. This pencil means business. It's a mean pen. It's like, you better mean this. You better sketch it out. Ends go up, down, up, so you're going to get your thick in the middle. All right. Boom. See how I have it like similar on the top to the bottom, so it's a point here and here? It's a little hard to predict, but you end up having to figure out they have to be parallel lines. There we go. Okay. There you go. That's looking good. You're so kind. Even though we tell our kids, like be patient and it's okay and it's okay to make mistakes and it doesn't matter and just have fun with it. It is genuinely hard to do that because you get frustrated and you're like, I'll just stop doing this and do something that I'm good at and, yet, then you don't learn anything new. The best part about this is going to be when I hand this to Daisy and she's like, "Cool. Did you get me any dolls or toys or anything else? It'll be like, "You look at that site again. Mommy learned a skill for you." Now, I'm going to hop on my courage and just do the same exact thing and then we'll tackle our takes. Hop on that courage. Hop on the courage. Oh, my gosh. I get to use mine. This is what I'm really here for. Aggressive sharpening. It's been a minute. It just looks like I know what I'm doing. Here we go. Remember, it's thin on the left side and then thick on the right side for that A. Because you're going up in your thin and then down in your thick. I know you were watching. This is why you're a good teacher because you are consistently encouraging and you appreciate it. What you have done is you have made a composition of letters. The letters, the hierarchy is good. We can clearly read it. Yes, it's readable. You even built a little flare into that. You've got some cool flarey letters and you learn some stuff along the way. My sign might be a little tighter than yours. I'm telling you mine is a Halloween spooky decoration with an important motivational message worked into it. I think we've all learned a lot. I think one of the big lessons I learned was to start with a lighter hand and not go in so deep right away. One of the things that you have to really appreciate about being a visual artist or being an artist at all, is that you have to love the process. If you don't love the process, then you're in the wrong line of work. So to me, anytime that things take time, it's me just getting to do more of what I love to do. That's such a good attitude. That is a great perspective. If it takes time, it just gives you more time to do what you love to do. I needed that today. That's such a great reminder because I feel like I'm in the middle of such a complicated project that's taking so much time and so much work. Rather than thinking, "When is it going to be done?" I should be thinking, "This is the part where I actually get to do the thing that I loved to do." Why rush it? You got to love the journey, not just the destination. That's our next sign. I love this sign. I think you did an awesome job. We learned about weight, we learned about serifs. We talked about script, we talked about a lot. Thank you so much. It was such fun, awesome time. It's so great to meet you. It's great to meet you too. I have even more respect for what you do now, and I think it's awesome and I'm looking forward to checking out your other classes because I want to learn. I got no shame.