Meet handmade artist and designer Jessica Gundersun of "Jelligun", where she makes humorous and quirky hand lettered gifts. Jessica's items have been featured on Buzzfeed.com, Bustle.com, and Stylcaster.com You can find her shop by clicking here.
I went to school for graphic design and when I graduated I was feeling very uninspired and burnt out. I continued to do graphic design for a few years until my husband was transferred from his job in Chicago, Illinois, to Berlin, Germany. I quit my job, packed my bags and tagged along for the most amazing three months in Europe.
Without a work visa, I spent my days wandering the streets of Berlin, immersing myself in the culture (Hello, schnitzel and hefeweizen!) and being inspired by the incredible street art on nearly every surface. I started making less “design” and more “art” and by the end of our trip I had sketchbooks and folders on my computer full of new pieces. When I got back to the states I decided to start an Etsy shop with prints and greeting cards with some of the pieces I had made back in Berlin.
2.)What inspires you to create?
Ever since Berlin, I love to scope out street art in whatever city I’m in. There’s just something about someone making a beautiful piece of art (sometimes on a massive scale) that they have no intention of being permanent. Putting that much time into something, knowing that it will not last is so inspiring to me. They are doing it out of the need to make art or spread a message- and not for the recognition. And the variety is just amazing- there are beautifully detailed pieces, some poking fun at pop culture, and some that are just plain weird. I love it!
I’m also obsessed with Instagram! Through hashtags, I’ve discovered the best, most supportive lettering community. There are so many beautiful things to look at, and so many talented people. I’m constantly feeling inspired by the people I’ve met on there.
3.)What are your can't-live-without craft room essentials?
I mostly work digitally, so my absolute essential is my iPad pro and Apple Pencil. It has been the best purchase for my business I have ever made! I use the app Procreate to do all my sketching and lettering, before I import it to my computer where I then use Adobe Illustrator to finalize the design. I also use the app Astropad, which mirrors my computer screen so I can use it as a graphics tablet, similar to a Cintiq (but much less expensive!).
When not working digitally, my favorite lettering supplies are Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens, which are smaller and stiffer than the regular Tombow pens so I find them much easier to control. I also love to play with Dr. PH Martin’s liquid watercolors and a waterbrush, and Finetec metallic watercolors.
4.) How has Flourish inspired or helped you?
Working from home has been the most amazing opportunity I’ve ever had and I’m so grateful for it, but it is also one of the hardest things I’ve done. Flourish keeps me on my toes with Etsy updates and selling trends, as well as a wealth of other information, but I think the biggest thing it has done for me is to help to feel less alone. I can trust that no matter what time of day, there will always be other people on to help me or even just to chat. The community is big enough that usually whatever I’m struggling with at the moment, is something that someone else has experienced already and has advice to give. And yet the community is tight-knit enough where people remember each other and are genuinely happy for other’s successes. It’s great to have other entrepreneurs to ride with on the ups and downs of running a business.
*Want to learn MORE about Flourish? Click here*
5.) What can we expect from Jelligun in the future?
I hope to continue evolving my hand lettering style through prints, cards, and other gifts. I’d love to have my products sold in shops across the country! I have a digital download print collection coming out later this summer, where you will be able to purchase and immediately download a file to print yourself. I have plans to start doing more one-of-a-kind pieces like hand painted wood signs or watercolor paintings. I have had a lot of people ask me to do lettering classes or e-books, so that’s something I’ve been looking into a bit. Lots of exciting things coming- I can’t wait to see where I end up!