Should creatives work for free? That depends, says Jessica Hische

Jessica Hische headshot, woman in a red top in front of her lettering work
(Image credit: Helena Price)

I recently met lettering artist and author Jessica Hische at design festival OFFF Barcelona. We spoke about everything from what it's like balancing being a mother of three with owning stores, working on lettering for big brands and films plus teaching and her new book, My First Book of Fancy Letters.

We also touched on a subject that affects many creatives: working for free. Jessica created a popular infographic on this very topic a few years ago, and its sentiment (and practical advice) still rings true today. First of all, I asked her if she's ever worked for free: "I definitely have worked for free," she said, "but I work for free when I walk into the situation with open eyes, and it's mostly for a friend or something like that." Instead of thinking of it as working for free, Jessica likes to consider it as more of "a barter of some variety", for example she might work on a logo for some motion artists who then create some motion work for her.

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Rosie Hilder

Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Deputy Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where she worked as Deputy Editor of Time Out Buenos Aires – she moved back to the UK and joined Future Plc in 2016. Since then, she's worked as Operations Editor on magazines including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw and Mac|Life. In 2018, she joined Creative Bloq, where she now assists with the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure our content serves the reader as best it can.