Jacqueline Hines describes herself as a highly caffeinated, award-winning illustrator who is set to graduate in May of 2016 with a BFA in Illustration at Moore College of Art and Design. Upon graduation, she plans to travel, listen to some good tunes and be content with a simple life of making good art. Outside of illustration, some may notice her silently stalking around Philadelphia, PA in colorful polyester and yellow aviators. Otherwise, she likes to drink tea, listen to her ever-growing record collection and learn about the wonderful world of the spooky paranormal. As of 2016 Jacqueline has received “Best in Show” in the Student Category at the 7th Annual PSC Phillustration Exhibition at The Philadelphia Sketch Club and was a featured artist at Four Corners Exhibition at The Philadelphia Sketch Club and MoCCA Fest as a representative of MCAD. She was also published in “Infected By Art” Volume 4. Recently, Jacqueline Hines spoke to the Examiner about her experiences working as an artist and her hopes for the future:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): What influenced you to become an illustrator?
Jacqueline Hines (J.H.): Well, just like many illustrators, I have been drawing, or at least creating, most of my life. However, I didn’t really take illustration as a career pursuit seriously until I discovered Jamie Hewlett’s work when I was roughly 11-12 years old. I was so awestruck by his animation and comics that I immediately wanted to create work that excited me like his did. Besides that, I have been heavily influenced by a lot of Japanese manga artists and character designers, especially Toshihiro Kawamoto and Kouta Hirano. When I was young, I copied what I saw in manga, and I honestly feel a lot of their inking styles, concepts and compositions can be seen in some of my work today.
In addition, both my grandfather and father were artists and they were very supportive of my creativity, especially as I got older. I honestly don’t think I would have considered illustration as a career if I hadn’t been exposed to it at such a young age. I remember watching my grandfather work for hours in his studio and being amazed when he finished three or four fully realized watercolor paintings. It was inspiring and invigorating, truly, to see someone create. I have no idea where I would be if I didn’t have that experience.
M.M.: In terms of subject matter, what are your cartoons about and what inspired the ideas for them?
J.H.: Currently, a majority of my work is based on characters that I have created or on monsters, legends, or spirits from various cultures. With the latter, I am very interested in the paranormal, so I frequently find myself doing a twist on a legend or monster I really like. The former is where things get a bit more creative and it really depends on what comes to me in the thumb-nailing stage. I sometimes begin a thumbnail with a certain idea in mind, but more often than not I come out with other concepts that I enjoy more and the inspiration for those ideas could come from anywhere: videogames, holidays, a deer skull I own etc. As a whole though, my primary goal for my fantasy work is to depict a concept I find interesting, be it my own concept or a spinoff of a preexisting one, and hope that my audience finds it awesome and exciting!
M.M.: As far as working in illustration, what has been your most rewarding experience so far?
J.H.: One of the most rewarding experiences for me is not so much a single thing, but this gradual realization that illustration is part of who I am and what I was meant to do. Of course every illustrator struggles with self-criticism, and I struggle with it constantly, but I have truly learned that perseverance brings the best results and every time I complete an illustration, I feel proud that I was able to produce that. But, that sense of pride didn’t happen overnight. I’ve gone through a lot of transitions as an illustrator, too. I started out wanting to do comics, but a year or so ago realized that the way I work and what I actually enjoy creating was more oriented for long-term projects. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to do comics one day, but the decision to work with my strengths produced the best results because, well, I ‘naturally’ illustrated that way. So, that explanation is a bit lengthy, but it’s really rewarding to push through what you think you want to do, and come out the other side doing something completely different.
M.M.: How has MoCCA helped your career?
J.H.: MoCCA has been extremely beneficial to my networking abilities as well as making connections with people I would never EVER imagine meeting. In all honesty, MoCCA was a lifetime opportunity for me, and I was very glad I was able to come this year. It also reassured and inspired me that so many people enjoyed my work. The experience of someone seeing a piece of my work, and then expressing his or her excitement over it is purely why I wanted to illustrate in the first place. I just want to make people excited about illustration, and hopefully inspire them to create themselves, and MoCCA only confirmed that I was already succeeding at it.
M.M: What would be your “dream project” if you could work on anything?
J.H.: Oh that changes daily and the list is endless! For now, working towards being able to illustrate as a career is a bit of a dream in itself, but if I truly could work on absolutely anything I wanted to, it would be a project where I collaborated with one of my favorite illustrators on something like a comic or a series of illustrations. Obviously, working with Jamie Hewlett would be the true dream, but there are so many other artists I would love to collaborate with such as Amy Reeder, Sean Andrew Murray, Goni Montes, Sean Gordon Murphy, Jillian Tamaki and so many, many, many more! Honestly, all it comes down to is that I love to learn, and any opportunity to learn from someone whose work I admire is a true dream for me.
M.M.: Are there any up and coming projects that you would like to mention?
J.H.: As of right now, I have a lot of up in the air projects as I am just finishing up my senior thesis for my BFA in Illustration. Woo, graduation! But, I am going to continue to do the fantasy art I am doing now, as I really enjoy the breadth and limitless quality of it and I am very attached the process I have. I am always thinking of new venues to experiment with because I get ‘bored’ with certain media pretty frequently. So, if everything goes according to plan, I want to experiment and begin storyboarding for a cyberpunk comic I want to do as well as make a few zines. Basically, a lot of my future projects revolve around my first love, pen and ink, and I am really excited to start working with it again as my style is entirely different — think more expressive and cartoony!
M.M.: Where do you hope to be, career wise, in ten years?
J.H.: In ten years I am crossing my fingers that I will be involved with Wizards of the Coast as I would feel incredibly proud of that achievement. At the very least, I hope to be completely financially supported by my artwork. It’s hard to get started, but I feel incredibly positive about my future. All I have to do is persevere and remember the mantra I know best: make good art!
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To learn more about Jacqueline Hines visit her website, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter.