Where did you grow up?
I was born in NY, but moved to Connecticut when I was 5 and was raised there.
What was your first crush’s name?
Johnny Depp. I’ve always thought men looked great in eyeliner. My husband won’t try it, sadly, haha.
What do you eat for breakfast?
What was your biggest career win to date?
I am proud of the studio I’ve helped build and grow with my business partner Stefan over the last years: from the talented and diverse team we’ve put together, to the interesting and varied work we create every day at our studio. To me, that’s the biggest win: creating an environment that fosters creativity and allows everyone a place to do great work for nice clients.
My name is Jessica Walsh — I am a designer and creative director. I run a creative studio in NYC called Sagmeister & Walsh. We design brand identities, campaigns, images, films, animations, objects, furniture and so much more!
I’m not sure that Jessica the Person and Jessica the Professional are two separate people. I am also a mess of contradictions, so I’m a bit hard to describe. On one hand, I don’t take anything too seriously. I love to laugh and have a good sense of humor and can make fun of myself. On the other hand, I have very high expectations of myself, and I always try to go the extra mile in everything I do. I am very focused, pragmatic, persistent, and extremely hardworking. I have a tattoo that says “everything or nothing,” and I think that’s a pretty good description of my outlook on life.
I first got into design as a kid; when I was 12 I taught myself how to code and design websites and went on to create a HTML help site that taught other kids how to make websites. Google advertising had just launched and I tried one of their banners on my website and started making a lot of money off of it. I never imagined I could make money from this hobby; I always thought I would have to do a regular job in business or finance. This was part of what gave me the confidence to go to art school and dedicate my life to design.
I have a tattoo that says “everything or nothing,” and I think that’s a pretty good description of my outlook on life.
Design & style extends to all areas of my life, including fashion and travel. I also love to share, as I grew up creating blogs, and myspace pages, and was involved in all kinds of online forums and communities in the late 90’s. Instagram is the modern place people share and connect and find inspiration and tips on what to do or what to wear — it’s fun to make those connections.
There are a lot of people making fashion Instagrams with the goal of being a famous fashion blogger and getting paid endorsements. I am not one of those people. My fashion/style account is just a fun hobby for me, so I don’t feel any pressure with it. I post when it’s easy to, mostly when I am traveling with family or friends who can snap a quick iPhone pic of what I am wearing. That means there are also weeks when I don’t post at all, when I don’t feel like it, or when I am too busy so it’s inconvenient. It’s important to me that this Instagram account is enjoyable, and doesn’t feel like work.
My grandmother was always a big fashion inspiration to me. She had tons of crazy colored jackets and scarves and every kind of shoe. I love looking at old photos of her and her friends and how they’d dress up so fancy all the time. I can’t remember the first piece that I wore that I felt empowered by, but looking at old pictures of her was definitely an inspiration for how I approached my own wardrobe.
Not caring about what others think of me has been the most freeing feeling in the world. My sister calls it “Jessica’s I don’t give a fuck” attitude.
I’ve spoken a lot on this subject: I am very grateful I no longer have body issues or mental health issues, and I feel confident, secure, and happy with my life. If I didn’t, I don’t think it would be healthy for me to have started a fashion/travel IG account because I would care so deeply about what others thought of it. After years of therapy, and doing public personal projects through my work, and reading just about every criticism I could imagine about myself online, I have a really tough skin.
Not caring about what others think of me has been the most freeing feeling in the world. My sister calls it “Jessica’s I don’t give a fuck attitude.” Not everyone has to like what I have to say, or my style, or the work that I make, and haters are always going to hate. Most people who troll and are cruel to others online are just deeply insecure about themselves and jealous, and I realized I can’t let that stop me from expressing myself and doing the things that bring me joy.
I get bored rather easily, so I constantly like to push and evolve what I wear, just like I do with my work.
In the last few decades, there has been a shift away from pride in one’s attire towards a mass produced sameness of overly casual and comfortable cheap attire. I don’t think there has to be a compromise between aesthetics and comfort, and I love finding interesting pieces that don’t break the bank. My @theotherjessicawalsh account is my way of sharing these experiments in style. I want to emphasize the word “experiments” because I am by no means a style expert. I see my Instagram account as an archive of these attempts, and I love having a place to look back on the places I’ve been and what I wore and how my style has evolved with time.
I’ve always felt there was a psychology connected with my fashion choices style. My choices in colors or outfits can bring out certain emotions I’m feeling, or sides to my personality I want to show. I also just love to play with mixing different styles that I don’t usually wear just to feel something different that day. I get bored rather easily, so I constantly like to push and evolve what I wear, just like I do with my work.