Portland, ME — Today (May 4, 2020) marks Day 52 at home for Maine illustrator Jessica Esch, now following state guidelines but originally her own conscience. But social distancing hasn’t stopped her from being out in the world in a big way.
Within days of staying home, Esch started doing what comes naturally to her: writing and drawing for the public good. It is what she loves, how she processes the world, and one way she advocates on important issues. What started out as one illustration has grown into a valuable community resource. Esch’s entire COVID-19 collection (20 strong and growing) is available to download and share for FREE at shinebolt.com.
Esch hopes her work will encourage people to stay home, wear a mask in public spaces, support and thank essential workers, and love each other up. “People everywhere are doing what they can to help flatten the curve,” said Esch. “This is what I do. I create illustrations that say a lot with as little as possible. It’s one way I can make a difference.”
Making her illustrations free was a no-brainer for Esch. She’s got a bigger goal: for anyone and everyone to have access to her COVID-19 collection and share the illustrations widely. It’s working. In addition to individuals from 26 states and three countries downloading and posting her artwork for free, organizations are finding creative ways to use it. Here are a few examples:
- Masthead Maine is running the collection in newspapers throughout Maine, including the Portland Press Herald.
- ABC-affiliates WMTW (Portland) and WABI (Bangor) ran a story about Esch/the illustrations.
- Coffee By Design is using her illustrations to communicate safe practices for curbside pickup.
- Maine Unites is selling T-shirts featuring one of Esch’s COVID-19 designs with all proceeds benefiting Cooking for Community.
- Vitalius Real Estate Group incorporated Esch’s work into its advertising.
- Eat Drink Lucky, a daily foodie email newsletter, featured the illustrations on April 24.
Esch and the company she co-founded, Shinebolt, want to spread the word that everyone can use the illustrations, too. “Together is the only way we slow the spread,” said Esch.
Jessica Esch is a writer and illustrator who uses art, craft, and good humor to spread ideas and build community. For more than 20 years, her concise yet profound words and colorful, clean images have expanded people’s hearts, minds, and way of being in the world. She co-founded Shinebolt in 2019 to help make a brighter world by bringing people together, stories to life, and art to market.