Comment Cards

Jessica Hagy is as unassuming as her art, but just as sharp.

Using just a pen and index cards, she draws Venn diagrams, graphs and equations that examine how various elements of the world intersect. For example, a card titledHow's life on your island? shows three overlapping circles arranged in a row: Communism, Banana Republic and Capitalism. The intersection of the first two is labeled "Castro." The point where the second two meet is labeled "Gap."

It all started two years ago when Hagy, a Cuyahoga Falls native, started drawing on note cards. Playing around with a "really, really cheap" scanner, she uploaded some of her art to a blog (indexed.blogspot. com). Now, people from 160 countries view her work daily, and Penguin publishedIndexed the book in February.

"It's still surprising how weird things have happened — but good surprising, not terrifying surprising," Hagy says. "It's started to become something I didn't have control over anymore. All of a sudden, we have a book deal."

Her note-card art has also been featured on The New York Times' Freakonomics blog, where she is a guest poster, and on theBBC Magazine online. She's also using her graphs to cover the presidential race for the McClatchy News Service.

The 29-year-old, who lives in Columbus and works as an ad copywriter, says growing up in Northeast Ohio — with the social and economic issues of the Rust Belt — affected her and the themes in her art. Always on the lookout for ideas, you'll never find her without a notebook.

"It's just been sort of a habit," she says. "You know you have an addiction when you have the paraphernalia on you at all times. I would never have thought I would make a living drawing pictures. It all sort of jelled together."
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