Jessica Esch: COVID-19 Illustrations

Jessica Esch: COVID-19 Illustrations

How the collection started:

This March, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Jessica Esch started doing what comes naturally to her: writing and drawing for the public good. It’s what she loves, how she processes the world, and one way she advocates on important issues. What started as one illustration has grown into a valuable community resource. Esch’s entire COVID-19 collection (nearly 50) is available FREE at

The purpose behind the illustrations:                                                                                     

Esch hopes her work will encourage people to stay home, wear a mask in public spaces, keep their physical distance, support essential workers, and love each other up. “People everywhere are doing what they can to help reduce the spread,” said Esch. “This is what I do. I create illustrations that say a lot with as little as possible. It’s another way I can make a difference beyond wearing a mask when I’m around others.”


The International Design Awards and European Product Design Awards launched the COVID-19 Design Innovation Grant to support designers providing innovative solutions to the most pressing needs during the coronavirus pandemic. They received hundreds of designs from all over the world and named Jess a Top 10 finalist!

Outreach at a glance:

  • 1,800+ downloads in 27 states and Canada.

Media attention: 

Creative uses:

  • The Portland Public Library included one of the illustrations in a new series called, “Isolation Together: A Public Archive.
  • Maine Unites sold T-shirts featuring one of Esch’s COVID-19 designs with all proceeds benefiting Cooking for Community.
  • Vitalius Real Estate did a direct mail campaign using a custom illustration, as well as incorporated Esch work into their social media.
  • Coffee By Design is using her illustrations on social and storefront to communicate safe practices for re-opening/ curbside pickup.
  • Dempsey Center shared Esch illustrations on Facebook and Instagram.
  • The Highlands created a bulletin board to communicate the importance of wearing a mask.
  • Bowdoinham Library is using the collection to let patrons know they’re open. 
  • Gift galleries around the country, like SallyMack in Chapel Hill, NC, and Simply Scandinavian  in Portland, ME, are using the illustrations for social and storefront to let customers know they’re open and practicing safe guidelines. 
  • Edison Press in Sanford, ME, placed “Essential” next to their mask station.
  • Turner Farm in North Haven, ME, uses them to promote mask use and physical distancing.

About Jessica Esch:

Jessica Esch is a writer and illustrator using art, craft, and good humor to spread ideas and build community. For more than 20 years, her concise yet profound words and colorful, clean images have expanded people’s hearts, minds, and way of being in the world. She co-founded Shinebolt in 2019 to help make a brighter world by bringing people together, stories to life, and art to market.

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