I’m Jess Paterik, a St. Louis based art director.

As an added bonus, I also have 15+ years of experience in print, video, web, illustration, graphic design, + animation.



From my 17 years of experience, these 10 things help guide + direct my creative process.

Know the Box

Have a clear grasp of the problem and know what constraints there are before building the solution.

You can't think outside the box without establishing one first.

Large to Small

Focus on the overall layout, idea, or campaign before getting caught up in the details.

Let it Breathe

If you find yourself getting too fussy with a design, step back.

Take a break. Go on a 5 min walk. Brew a cup of coffee. Work on something else. Just step away for a minute.

Then come back with fresh eyes. Better yet, get someone else to look at it.

Design / Edit are Separate

Editing and creativity are necessary for good design, but can't successfully happen at the same time.

Be fully creative. Step back. Then thoroughly edit.

Computers are Tools

So don’t let them limit your creativity. You are the designer and have more tools available to you than just a computer. Use them.

They can also be jerks, so back up often.

Pay Attention

You never know what can inspire new ideas.

Really look around at the world. Stop and take a picture or note of things that grab your attention.

Be Curious

Ask questions. Do the research. Google it.

So what if it’s learning more about 17th century wigs? Allow yourself to keep learning new things.

Wonder, don’t just jump to conclusions.

Add One New Thing

Not only do you continue building your skill-set; like the scientific method, it makes it easy to know if the new thing helped or harmed the outcome.

Say, "I don't know."

There is so much freedom and growth on the other side of this phrase.

Ask knowledgeable colleagues, look for tutorials, books, podcasts or any other resources on the subject.

Have Secret Mentors

Pay attention to the work you admire from peers and experts.

Pull their work apart to understand what makes it good.

Have they ever been interviewed? Find out! Learn as much as you can about their work and process.



Jess Paterik is a native St. Louisan, who spent 14 years in Chicago, then returned via the STL tractor beam ( AKA her family ). Interested in learning anything new about food, tea + mixed drinks, art mediums, music, bicycling, and the passionate interests of others.

Currently living in South City with two obnoxiously affectionate, fuzzy faced cats, Ollie and Frankie. They don’t appreciate her absence as she frequents local shops, tea + drink places, bakeries, restaurants, parks, or visits friends – near and far – via bike / foot / car.


Graphic Designer

  • Create compelling covers and easy-to-read interiors for adult spirituality books, curriculum, picture books, and more
  • Source illustrations, photos, music, and video templates as needed for projects
  • Edit audio and video for podcasts
  • Work with illustration agencies to source talent
  • Create materials for trade shows – displays, banners, signage, etc.
  • Design notecards, postcards, bookmarks, stickers, posters, and other items to support authors in promotion of new books

Graphic Designer

  • Shared resource between the Tech and Communications Team
  • Research and design new website using Sketch
  • Oversee development of website with external vendor
  • Create additional functionality (programming), pages, and templates for website ( WordPress + Elementor)
  • Direct / Video switch live services on Sundays
  • Operate roaming / stationary camera rigs
  • Shoot / video edit weekly announcement videos
  • Take photographs of staff and events using DSLR
  • Create graphics that span print / video / digital / social media for church and ministries – both still and animated
  • Design branding for ministries
  • Create training materials for colleagues and volunteers – guidebooks / videos / presentations – so they can create supportive graphics

Freelance Art Director / Illustrator


  • 15+ years of experience in digital, print and video/animation both B2B and B2C
  • Able to tie designs directly to business goals
  • Love collaborating with creative team and client from concept to finish
  • Have a proven track record of taking ideas from sketch to completion
  • Unique set of experience and love for learning makes for expert problem solving

Senior Art Director

  • Senior art director on the Enjoy Life Foods (ELF), Blue Bunny, Orchard Valley Harvest, and Ortega accounts
  • Worked closely with CD, ACD, Copywriter, Digital and Social teams to create major campaigns spanning print, video and digital
  • Developed brand guidelines that became templates used by other ADs on our other brand accounts in the agency
  • Reviewed / approved creative work across video / print / digital to ensure consistency
  • Provided art direction on-set at video shoots and with post production vendors
  • Assisted in creating storyboards for commercials and other video applications for brands like Bomb Pop, Ortega, Revlon, Vicks Humidifiers and others
  • Developed creative concepts for new business pitches and campaigns that could easily translate into any tactic


All items marked with a ‘*’ designate a passed LinkedIn Skill Assessment badge.



  • Photoshop*
  • Illustrator*
  • InDesign*
  • After Effects


  • Wacom Tablet


  • Pencil / Charcoal
  • Marker
  • Crafting tools / supplies



  • Mac OS / Windows
  • Premiere Pro
  • CSS* / HTML
  • WordPress*
  • Procreate 
  • Office – GSuite, Microsoft Office, Apple iWork


  • Nikon DSLR
  • Sewing Machine


  • Watercolor / Arylic
  • Spanish



  • Blender (3D)
  • Sketch
  • PHP
  • Terminal


  • Dremel Tool
  • Gimbal for phones


  • Ink
  • French Macarons

Learning + remaining curious are the skills I’ve developed most.

If you have tips, resources, or would like to chat about any of the below, PLEASE shoot me an email: hello@jpaterik.com

Currently Learning



  • Arduino


  • How to make legit Ramen

Want to learn


  • AR / VR


  • 3D Printer
  • Laser Cutter


  • How to make legit croissants
  • Japanese



Let's collaborate

Begin the conversation with an email!


© 2022 Jess Paterik

Photos by Samantha Sherwood