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Meet Jesse Hora of MAKE & Co. in Bucktown/Logan Square

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jesse Hora.

Jesse, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a partner at MAKE & CO. We are an artful creative company specializing in creative direction, identity design, branding, illustration and mural work.

I started doing freelance design and illustration work in college, around 2005/6 (wow, I’m getting old ;), and over the years, I have had the pleasure of working with and for some incredible clients; including Instagram, Adidas Originals, New Era, Facebook, Miller Brewing Co., Warner Music Group and recently Shake Shack! So yummy.

I am midwest born and bred, one of eight patchwork siblings that grew up in an ‘artsy’ family on the southwest Michigan coast. A true mix of a quaint beach town and a rough and rugged rural area. This combination of physical and family environments was an early influence on my creative perspective. Someone once said my work is “bold and often irreverent, showing the lighter side of graphic design—something many all-too-serious types might find, well, fun.”

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nothing but clear skies. 😉 Of course, there are always bumps, hiccups, and missteps along the way. Any major struggles were on a person end; the struggle and stress of life, in general, can get tricky sometimes. But all in all, I have been fortunate enough —and worked hard enough— to develop just enough skill in the right areas of art & business to have what most people would be considered a ‘successful career’. Hey, I bought a beautiful house from doing some dang arts!

Please tell us about MAKE & Co.
We are an artful creative company specializing in creative direction, identity design, branding, illustration and mural work. We focus on making beautiful & insightful work for clients and projects we care about while remaining honest, hardworking and happy. We enjoy making ideas come to life, making work that works powerfully for each client and making friendships along the way.

I think what sets us apart is that we actually have discernible, hard skills that inform everything we do. We are artists at heart. We grew up drawing, painting, crafting, printing, winning Santa Clause drawing competitions and building towers out of toothpicks & marshmallows. Using our hands and making art is the reason we chose design in the first place. Making a place for the analog skills we know and love, within our design work, is what makes our creative actually authentic.

We do not have any use for pomp and circumstance, buzzwords and dependence on current trends that is rampant across the creative industry today. Our focus is on finding out what actually matters and experimenting with interesting, well-executed ideas.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Hmmm, hard to pick one. I really liked digging through all of my grandpa’s old junk, he had acres and acres of stuff. All sorts of stuff. But as far as a specific memory, I would have to say the mud bog bashes my dad would through. They were giant, 500+ people parties, that would last for days, where people would come to our house and drive any type of vehicle through this long rut of mud (i.e. mud bog) that was purposely cut into our yard (well, it was a field really). It was such a fun, crazy and at times wild environment to grow up in at a younger age.

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