Meet Jordan Higa, designer + illustrator born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i. We went to her beautiful home in Manoa and got to cruise with her + take in her space and watch her create. We also got to shoot with her and her sister as the models for our recent Cynthia Rowley collaboration. This girl is so incredibly talented in more ways than one. Follow along with us to her artist escape & take a dive into her work, who she is & much more below.
Introduce yourself! Where do you live and what is your craft / profession?
Hello! I'm a designer and illustrator born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. After receiving a design degree from the University of San Francisco, I worked for fashion brands Helmut Lang and Theory in New York City and studied watercolor at Pratt Institute before returning to O‘ahu in 2015.
By day, I'm a senior designer at a full-service communications agency iQ 360, and by night (and weekends), I'm a freelance illustrator producing artwork for clients and my stationery line. My design work (yin) challenges me to think strategically while my illustration work (yang) allows me to be more playful. Both types of work inform each other and make me feel balanced.
When did you decide you wanted to be a designer - what led you to that profession & passion?
I had an interest in drawing, painting, and photography in high school and thought that a career in design would utilize my entire skillset and provide me with opportunities to evolve my art, make it more applicable, and push me into the digital space.
What or who has grown you into the woman you are today?
My parents nurtured my creativity and curiosity at a young age by enrolling me in art and dance classes and eventually in an all-girl school, which I attended from kindergarten until the 12th grade. The confidence and authenticity that my single-sex education (and my badass girlfriends) inspired served as a solid foundation for the challenges I would encounter in college and throughout my adulthood.
Today, I credit the woman I am to the mentors (shoutout to Aunty Ann!) and friends I've been lucky to find along the way who guide me and help me sparkle.
As a designer how do you stay inspired?
Social media keeps me up to date with the latest trends, and my fiancé, who is also a designer/illustrator and my officemate at home, exposes me to cool art and design daily. A lot of my inspiration also comes from staying curious and allowing myself to indulge in new things, whether it's BTS, trying a new paint I found on TikTok, or emulating the process of an artist I admire. The more I expand and experiment, the more I learn about myself, and the more authentic I can make my work.
When not designing/creating, where can we find ya! How do you refuel?
Going to the beach with my family dog/happy pill, Hapa. I always feel refreshed after a dip in the ocean and rolling around in the sand with him. Salt and sun always recenter me and help me feel recharged for whatever's coming next!