Lighting Designer II
Jessica Wickes rejoined The Lighting Practice in 2022 with over a decade of experience in architectural lighting and theatrical lighting design. Jess was initially drawn to light as a medium for storytelling, which is why she pursued a degree in theatre from the University of Maryland and an MFA in Lighting Design from Temple University. Over time she realized that light was an essential tool that can enhance environments beyond the stage. Jess’ project experience includes academic, corporate fit-outs, retail, and exterior lighting. Her background in the fine arts has helped to shape her approach to lighting design.
What’s your favorite aspect of light?
My favorite aspect of light is its ability to tell the story of a space. Lighting can help to inform its viewer of a spaces function and feeling, as well as give insight into the people within it.
Why did you become a lighting designer?
I became a lighting designer by way of theatre. I wanted to be onstage, but I could never overcome my terrible stage fright. I came to view lighting as a sort of unscripted character on the stage – one that furthered the story in subtle, yet impactful ways. After that, I started to see the story of lighting all around, not just on the stage. Moving into the world of architecture has given me the opportunity to help write the stories of all different kinds of spaces.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Super strength would be great.
If you could go back in time, what wisdom would you pass on to your younger self?
Never limit yourself – it’s easy to think that once you’ve chosen a path for yourself, you need to stick only to that. The truth is that every path has branches and forks – and sometimes it’s even okay to stray to another path altogether.