Jess Lowcher

Book Designer

“Put yourself in situations that allow you to meet new people and form genuine connections. ”


Mount Maunganui, New Zealand


New Zealand

Average Work Week

50 + hours

I’m now 28 and am originally from the Outer Banks. Creative activities have always been something I loved to do growing up but I denied myself the idea that I’d ever be able to pursue a creative field as a realistic career and went into the sciences for my undergrad. 

When I was 22 and just about to graduate, I felt deeply unsatisfied with the career routes that at the time seemed like my ‘only options’. I didn’t know what I wanted to do and could feel the pressure of society pushing me in a direction that didn’t feel right for me (ie applying to grad school or working for an ‘innovative’  insurance company). 

At 23, I bought a one-way plane ticket to New Zealand thinking that an adventure somewhere new, might help me figure things out. It was here that I happened to meet people who encouraged my interest in entrepreneurship and where I allowed myself the chance to deep dive into the creative outlets that interested me. I think it was the action of just ‘doing’ and sharing my work with others that led to the paid opportunities.  

Some major achievements for me so far have been publishing our  two children’s books with Tribe of Daughters, receiving the ‘Amateur Filmmaker Award’ in 2018 from the Aoteaora Surf Film Festival which is a NZ wide surf film contest, and having figured out a way to create my own income and be my own boss.

My Advice

For learning to illustrate – Start by taking as many classes as you can, watch as many youtube tutorials you can, take notes on materials your favorite illustrators use then try them out. 

For starting self-employed work – Put yourself in situations that allow you to meet new people and form genuine connections. For me, it was and still is these genuine connections that land me most of my work. 

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Featured Article

Children’s Book Illustrator Talks Surfing, Being Self-Published, and Creating with Her Sister

Jess Lowcher co-founded the book brand, Tribe of Daughters, from New Zealand.

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