Finalist Spotlight: Erica Hesse


We asked each of the finalists in our Universal Monster’s re-design competition a few questions about their piece. Today we’re looking at Erica Hesse.
New Jersey based illustrator Erica Hesse is most known for her Pin-ups and Comic book related sketch cards. Hesse is inspired by modern day and classic pin-ups, roller derby, hot rod, horror, classic monster, and comic book related art. The female figure has always been what Hesse has considered to be one of the most beautiful forms in nature. So when combined with the things she loves, you get a mash-up of playfulness and naughtiness that allow her to express how she feels when drawing girls and comic book art.

Currently Hesse illustrates humor retro toons for “PinUp America” magazine and sketch cards for various comic book related properties. Some of the sketch cards include Larry Welz’s “Cherry” by 5finity Productions, Top Cow’s Witchblade and Joseph Michael Linsner’s “Dawn” by Breygent Marketing. Her sketch cards have been slowly becoming a fan favorite in the comic book industry.

Recently Hesse’s original pin-up work was published in “The Contemporary Illustrated Pin-up” book by Schiffer Publishing. To see more of her work, check out and her Facebook page,
Tell us about your re-design concept.

For my entry, I chose the Bride of Frankenstein. Being a long time fan of the Bride, I have illustrated her in various different ways before, but usually stayed true to her original concept with a few of my interpretations thrown in. This version of the Bride has been rolling around in my head for a while, it started out as a quick rough mini-sketch in my sketchbook and put this piece to the side due to other projects I was currently working on. So when I became familiar with this challenge, a little lightning bolt went off in my head and remembered my initial sketch. I thought it would be a great time to bring “her” out and sink my teeth into it.

Where did you get the idea for this concept?

To be perfectly honest this idea came to me while working on a another unrelated piece of art that was particularly challenging for me. Usually that’s when I tend to get most of my new ideas, while I’m working on something else. When that happens, I hurry up and grab my sketchbook so I can quickly scribble the idea down before I forget it. In this case, I think I was frustrated with the rules and restrictions I place on myself when it comes to my art, I’m my very own worst critic. I started thinking about all the things I loved at the moment, and out of artistic frustration, this idea was born. A mash-up of things I love: The Bride, cotton candy, my cats, and a little bit of my derogatory nature.

How long did your piece take to complete?

Once the initial sketch was laid down, I painted this in bit and pieces, in short 1-3 hours sessions over a period of 2- 3 weeks. So if I had to guess, it probably took me around 10-15 hours more or less to paint. I painted it traditionally in watercolors, gouache, and acrylics. The text was the most challenging of all! Most of my work is usually finished digitally, so it was a challenge for me to paint traditionally since it’s been a while. I was pretty happy with the results! Hope you are too.


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