SEASIDE HEIGHTS – An east coast artist is showing the beauty of shore towns with her creative illustrations of neighborhood maps.
Her latest creation featuring Seaside Heights displays the famous boardwalk along with the Ferris wheel and a lighthouse representing the Breakwater Beach water park. Behind the boardwalk you can see people swimming in the ocean, and a sunset sky where the streets of Seaside Heights are drawn out.
Artist Jessie Husband decided to share her work and take on her passion full time at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve been doing art for a very long time, since I was in high school. But most recently I’ve been giving it my all in the past maybe five years, meaning I started putting my work out there and selling it on my website,” Husband said. “When the pandemic hit, I was laid off from my job. I worked for a trade show exhibit design firm and those all came to a halt. In 2020, I started to do my illustrations full time. I’m now continuing it and I don’t plan to go back to project management.”
Husband’s idea of recreating neighborhood maps began in the city of Philadelphia where she currently lives. What started out as a favor grew into something much larger over time.
“It really started when I did a map for a school auction. One of my friends’ kids went to a Philly public school. All the kids were mainly in the Fairmount neighborhood and we thought it would be cool to make a map of it. Then we sold it at auction for a school fundraiser. This map kind of started it all. Then I just started drawing more neighborhoods because I was having so much fun, Husband said.
Although residing in Philadelphia, Husband began to expand and her love for the shore beaches was an easy decision for her next series of maps.
“I wanted to take a pause on Philly neighborhoods, and I thought ‘well where do Philly people like to go?’ they like to go to the Jersey shore! That’s how I started doing Jersey shore towns,” she said.
“I’ve done all of the South Jersey beach towns and now I’m working my way up the coast. Seaside Heights was one of my favorite spots, so that was one of the ones I started with,” she said. “For years I’ve always visited the Jersey shore, growing up and into my adulthood. I’m trying to visit all the shore towns so I can get an idea of what they are before I draw their maps. I love the beach so drawing those beach towns, during the winter it’s nice to look at them and think about the beach. It motivates throughout the winter until it’s beach season again.”
Husband explained how she first visits the town to see the layout and feel its vibe. Then she’ll research online some landmarks before drawing out the map.
“If I haven’t frequented the town in the past, then I’ll go there and check it out. I like to go to restaurants and bars and get the general feel of the town. I took a lot of pictures for reference too. Then when I come home, I start to do research online. I’ll also go onto Facebook groups for that specific beach town and ask like ‘what’s your favorite place to eat or go out.’ I ask people if they have any interesting facts or historical references. The locals are the ones I like to pick their brains. I want to feature things that are also important to locals, not just the touristy audience.” she said.
Husband credited social media for helping her artistry grow and reach a bigger audience.
“It’s key in success for artists because back in the day, you could only show your work in galleries. There wasn’t really a great way to get your stuff out there. But now with social media, I’m able to reach out on Facebook groups and really hone in on my audience so that people can find my work easier,” Husband said.
Husband’s work is all hand-drawn and created on her iPad. She said how working in layers allows her to move landmarks she draws easily. Her next neighborhood she’s drawing in Seaside Park, then will move up to Asbury Park.
Check out Jessie Husband’s work by visiting her site at jessie-husband.myshopify.comor her social media at facebook.com/jessiehusbanddesigns and instagram.com/jessiehusbanddesigns.