Micheline Hess works as an Art Director at a prominent ad agency in NYC and spends much of her spare time developing graphic novels, short stories and interactive iPad apps for kids. She has always been fascinated by the visual narrative in books and film and is constantly endeavoring to weave her own quirky sense of humorous story telling into both her personal and sometimes professional work.
Her mother recognized her artistic abilities at an early age and enrolled her in The Art Students League of New York to provide both an outlet and a means of receiving more formal training in drawing models and still life subjects. Her self- taught skills in interactive design were honed at Parsons School of Design after getting her Bachelors Degree at Sarah Lawrence College in Fine Arts.
Being adept at creating characters, worlds and stories that provide a safe and fun way to nurture and encourage young imaginations. She is especially fond of trying to reach young girls and through colorful flights of fun and fancy, encourage in them a stronger sense and love of self, curiosity and a hunger to embrace all things new and different in the world around them.
These days you can find her hard at work making new creations on her iPad as well as showing her art in galleries on the East and West coast.
1. In your own words who is Micheline Hess?
I am a creative, curious, intelligent and imaginative woman who works hard at being a successful graphic designer and illustrator. Having spent many years pouring myself into my professional work, I have at long last decided to begin placing just as much importance on my own personal creative endeavors, which I want to share with people, especially kids.
2. What drives you to be successful?
Seeing the eyes of people light up as they explore my art and stories makes me want to go much further with it. For a long time I let myself believe my work was not good enough to be published or enjoyed by others. However, noticing the lack of ethnicity and in the comics and graphic novels I picked up, instilled in me an urge to have my own unique voice heard through the characters, worlds and stories that I create. Having worked as a color assistant at Milestone Media for a time, also helped me to see that there were many others out there who felt as passionately as I did about the lack of diversity in comics.
As I get older, I’ve also become more and more convinced that physical health and emotional happiness is just as important as being able to pay rent, so I work very hard to achieve a successful balance between working, making art and maintaining close family bonds and friendships.
3. Finish this sentence “In five years I will be…”
In five years I will have an established brand under which I create and publish my own comics, children’s books and licensed characters. Right now, I’m preparing for that by making time to draw every day, nurture new ideas and continuing to bring current projects to completion. Forcing myself out and into more social situations also helps with this, as word of mouth can work wonders!
4. What makes you smile?
Drawing on my iPad or using more traditional tools like pen and ink always puts a smile on my face! These days I’m always on the go so I especially love using a tablet because the art apps that I have on it offer such a robust array of creative tools. It’s like having a portable art studio with me everywhere I go, without having to lug supplies along or worry about cleaning anything up.
Cooking for myself or for friends as well as trying new foods and recipes makes me smile. Travel is another big one for me. I love the creature comforts of home, but once I’m in a new city or country, it’s like raw fuel for my creativity. The different sounds, colors, people and music all work toward inspiring me to take my creative endeavors to new heights,
Being in nature also puts a smile on my face. Whether it’s cloudy or sunny, I love to be outside amongst the trees and grass or by the water, listening to the sounds of birds, wind and life all around me.
5. Do you think chivalry is dead?
No I don’t but I do think that people’s perceptions of what chivalry is about (or whether or not it still has a place in today’s society) is always changing so it often differs from person to person. I myself adore a chivalrous man and will always let this be known with a nice smile and a “Thank you!”
6. What is your greatest accomplishment and how has that shaped the direction of your life?
This is a tough one! I’d have to say that staying in Japan for a 3 week language program back in the late 90’s had a major effect on my course in life. Staying with a family there while I took the train to class every day, being in a totally different place and trying my best to communicate with people in Japanese instilled in me a sense of accomplishment and confidence I sorely lacked at the time.
Upon my return to New York, I promptly set about teaching myself graphic design programs, getting out of retail and onto the start of my career in interactive media and graphic design.
7. What qualities do you expect a Webster Man to have or demonstrate?
I like for a man to have intelligence and a passion, curiosity and openness to the world around him as well as drive. Having a job that pays a ton of money is not as important to me as someone who strives to make their dreams and ambitions come true.
Also, honesty and a respect and appreciation for who I am as opposed to trying to change me into something I’m not is pretty important.
8. What is one secret about women that you think all men should know?
An understanding of the fact that all women are different and unique in their own ways. I myself have a very weird, nerdy and cartoonish sense of humor, so I appreciate a man who is comfortable with me showing that side of myself around him.
To find out more about Micheline, be sure to check out her site about.me/kuronekko.