Jess Wong has a Bachelor of Design from Queensland College of Art, but her interest in lettering and typography has been a personal passion for a long time. She has been fascinated with handwriting since she was a little girl, which she can trace back to one particular moment! ‘In primary school, I had the biggest crush on my Grade 5 teacher, because he had this beautiful, loopy handwriting that I absolutely adored!’ she says.
After moving to Sydney, Jess developed her meticulous lettering skills because she says she was a little lonely at first, so spent many evenings at home practicing lettering to pass the time. She started uploading her work to social media, and has slowly grown a following since then.
Jess’s work is a mix of hand-rendered and digital vector lettering, with a little bit of illustration thrown in. She says she tries to push herself to work with as many different styles and techniques as she can, however she tends to gravitate towards drawing oversized, curvy scripts.
I aim to create lettering that is expressive of the words it is communicating, and always maintains a certain imperfection or human character in the way it is drawn’
‘I Believe in Space’ is Jess’s first solo exhibition, which has already had one recent showing in Sydney, and opens in Melbourne tonight! The show includes a collection of Jess’s incredible hand-lettered works on paper, alongside letterpressed pieces printed by The Hungry Workshop. Half the show is a collaborative effort, based on people’s answers to the question – ‘What would you say to your loved ones if you or they were about to depart on a super long mission to outer space?!’
Beyond this exhibition, Jess is keen to continue extending her skills to encompass more traditional styles of lettering – specifically, calligraphy and sign painting. ‘I’m also hoping to paint some larger wall pieces – I completed my first one a few weeks ago and really enjoyed that process.’ she says. ‘If anyone’s got an empty wall that needs some love, give me a shout!’