I am a smartist. I took my childhood urge to make things and turned it into a thriving career as an artist and designer.

Jodi HershFrom a young age, I could draw very well.  As soon as my parents recognized this innate talent, they enrolled me in after school art classes. I learned to work with charcoal, pastels, pencil, pen & ink, colored inks and finally oil painting.  I discovered I had an uncanny ability to recreate whatever was in front of me.

At home I occupied myself with anything I could find in my Dad’s garage — hammer, nails, handsaw — anything I could use to “make things.” It is a bit of a running joke in my family that for my 10th birthday, I received a kid-sized workbench complete with kid-sized tools — just what every little Jewish girl wants.  Funny thing is that here I am 30 years later with a working studio complete with not-so-kid-sized tools that I use in constructing frames and mixed media works.  I am grateful my parents supported what must have seemed like an odd interest at the time.

Jodi Hersh todayYears later, it was time to apply to college.  I was an excellent student destined for law/med school but I still felt impassioned about “making things” so I convinced my parents to let me go to art school.  A deal was struck that I would study commercial art of some kind so that they would not be supporting me for the rest of my life.  I studied Graphic Design and Photography at the University of Michigan where I earned my BFA.   I experimented with photo processes such as palladium printing, cyanotype, salt printing, etc. and under the influence of photography professor Joanne Leonard, began experimenting with layered images, and combining words and images… and was hooked.

After graduating, I returned to my hometown of Miami where I worked as part of a team designing signage and graphics for Universal Studios and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines among others. I broadened my experience by art directing at a printing company where I gained valuable working knowledge of developing technologies and processes.  In 1993, I started my own design company Orange Star Design and have worked on and led projects for clients as large as ALLTEL, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), The American Cancer Society, and Styx — and as varied as environmental graphics, logos & corporate identities, concert/tour merchandise, event graphics, publications, websites, promotional email & print campaigns, and mobile apps.

I have been a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science (the Grammys) and am a member of the Adobe Creative Advisory Panel, AIGA, and several local organizations.

Erica Jong once said:

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.
I am happy and proud that I have taken my childhood urge to “make things” and followed that talent with courage resulting in a successful creative career that I enjoy.

Today, I still carry the fire about mixing words and images and experimental processes and sometimes it even creeps into my graphic design work.  I am an avid photographer and mixed media artist and frequently participate in art festivals in and around Atlanta, GA where I currently live.  When I am not in my studio, I can be found wandering about with my cameras or being walked by my ginormous dog Jasper.