When Jessie Husband was in high school, the young artist created Flame Boy and Flame Girl, characters with flames instead of heads. “It was pretty whimsical,” she acknowledges. Although she studied figurative drawing, still life and illustration in art class, she kept gravitating to the fun and fanciful, which she calls her “comfort level.”
Husband’s exciting imagery has added color to The Current this summer. She is the artist behind the town maps in each issue, which required multiple skills. Not only did she create the maps, but she also found the appropriate subjects to reflect the personality of each town.
Husband grew up in Dallas, Pennsylvania, part of the state’s Back Mountain, a region in Luzerne County. However, her grandfather was from Berlin, Maryland, and the family vacationed in Ocean City and Rehoboth. Today, her parents live in Rehoboth, and she and her family, including her 10-year-old, often visit.
Despite her interest in drawing, Husband didn’t take a direct path to an art career. After graduating with a degree in video production from Kutztown University, she worked as a QVC set dresser and sold her paintings and T-shirts — screen-printed by hand — at festivals and art shows. After a 10-year hiatus, she returned to art in earnest in 2016 and hasn’t stopped.
Which artists inspire you? The abstract expressionist movement, particularly in New York — Robert Rauschenberg and Jackson Pollock. I also really like Keith Haring, and Andy Warhol — street artist/pop culture.
How did you get into creating maps? In 2016, a friend suggested I do a map of Fairmont [Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park neighborhood] for a school fundraiser. I said, “Maybe I will,” because I’m super interested in history and mapping the feeling of an area. Then I started doing Philly neighborhoods — maybe 12 or 13 of them. I did some Jersey shore towns, but really, I’m more of a Delaware beach person.
Has there been an uptick on your website since your work appeared in The Current? It’s hard to know where the website traffic comes from, but it definitely has. Sometimes, people will say, “Oh, I saw your stuff in The Current.” A college friend I hadn’t talked to in ages reached out to me on Facebook and said, “I saw you in The Current.” That was so cool. She lives in Ocean View. I think people are starting to make the connection.
Is your work available in any retail locations at the beach, or just on Etsy and your website, JessieHusband.com? I’m at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach. I would love to work with other retailers.
JESSIE’S LOCAL FAVS
- Restaurant Shrimpy’s Bar & Grill for the drag shows.
- Store Yesterday’s Fun, which sells vintage toys and games.
- Beach lunch Sandwiches from Surf Bagel.
- Art Rehoboth Beach Museum and West Side Creative Market.