Illustrator Jordan Moss shows us how to work a good gradient

At the moment, Jordan is both a full-time graphic designer and freelance illustrator. “So each day can be a bit hectic, and my creative process needs to be adaptable,” she tells It’s Nice That. “But each project starts with me highlighting the key ideas, messaging and visual goals I want to achieve. Sort of like elements of a story.” This pre-planning phase is imperative to the process, after which she’ll begin to piece each part of the narrative together in order to continue with the next section: research and finding any references that she might need. “I work out my composition and values in black and white, and I explore colour and texture last.”
A quick Google of Jordan Moss and you’re greeted with her colourful portfolio, replete with a welcoming mix of graphic design projects and fruitful illustrations. Then you navigate to her ‘about me’ section, during which your eyes are drawn to some facts about the artist: “Plants. Capricorn. French fries. Gradients.” Summarising yourself in all but a few words is no easy task, but Jordan has done so in such precision that you instantly get a feel for what’s to come.
It’s a detailed methodology and one that comes naturally to the artist. When Jordan was growing up, she was surrounded by all sorts of creative people. For one, her friends and family are all writers, designers, actors, musicians and artists. She’s also based in New York, which is famous for its underground art scene. “You’re surrounded by every form of expression you could think of,” adds Jordan. “The city is filled with an energy that wants you to explore your most creative self.” With these influences in tow – and with the supportive environment to match – Jordan was set up for a career in the arts. It worked in her favour, as art was what she always wanted to do, “the only thing that’s ever felt like something that I belonged to.”
Jordan’s illustrative work is abound with texture, where bold, primary colours are blended with those that are more tonal. Artful displays of cafe settings and shiny chairs are paired with juicy flowers, detailed interiors and depictions of powerful women – women skateboarding, hanging with friends or modelling some new hairdos. It’s a joy to observe, and the Brooklyn-based illustrator knows all to well how to work a good gradient. So much so that her work has now been featured widely in publications such as 3×3 Magazine Archive, Zupi Magazine, American Illustration and Quell Skateboarding, and she’s also built a client list ranging from Adidas, Target, Hewlett Packard, Refinery 29, Medium, Fuku and Atlantic Records, to name a few.