Flair |fler| 1. A special or instinctive aptitude or ability for doing something well.
About a year ago I stumbled upon Nicolas's beautiful, raw hand-lettering on Instagram, and have seen how much his following has grown in the short time - for a good reason! He's such a talented young man, and reading his answers for this interview it's very clear how down to earth he is as well. Plus, I thought it was about time to share some of our creative guys out there :)
In a few sentences describe yourself and what you do
I'm Nicolas! I solve design problems for companies in the form of hand lettering. I've been doing this as a freelancer for about a year and a half.
How did you first get into design + lettering? What's your favorite part about it?
I've always loved art, but I'm also really into math. Kinda random haha, but I soon found out it was the problem solving aspect of math that I enjoyed. I learned that you could apply creativity to problem solving and that got me interested in design.
Do you have any creative heroes that you admire and have inspired you? Who & How?
Obviously there are other letterers I admire, but also people who have solved problems in such a simple but world changing way. For example, the people who invented sticky notes, or zippers, or other things we take for granted. Things don't have to be done by a graphic designer to inspire me. I think too often people link creativity with art. Yes there is a link there, but it's not limited to that. I doubt that the person (or people) who first created the screw considered it a piece of art!
What inspired your lettering designs and what is your process?
This is always a good question. I gain a lot of inspiration from people outside of the design field, like I was saying above. Sometimes it's really good photography, sometimes it's modern smart furniture. I think seeing other talent inspires me to push myself. As far as my process goes, I actually just released a class on it that you check out here!
What is your favorite piece of work you have done and why?
That's hard! I've done hundreds of pieces haha. Actually, I really like my own logo. Probably because it took months and months of sketches to finally decide on something!
Do you have a dream/goal that wish to aspire?
I think it'd be really cool to consistently design for big brands like Nike. Whenever I try to explain what I do to someone, they typically have no idea what I mean. I often get, "Oh so you use like fonts and stuff?" Not that there's anything wrong with using fonts and stuff, it's just the part of having a niche career. It'd be easier if I could be like, "Hey I did the lettering on that billboard right behind you!"
Any advice for those wanting to tackle hand lettering design?
Practice! I talk about this in my class too. I did a 365 day project to get to where I am now; a project where every day for a year, I lettered a piece and put it on Instagram. It was really tough, but I improved quite a bit.
Being a travel junkie myself, if you could live and work anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Hmmm there are a lot of really cool places I've been. But at the same time I feel like I enjoy them so much because I don't live there. It's like a treat to go to certain spots but I wouldn't ever want to take for granted living in such a cool place. I'm really happy living in Omaha, NE. I share a co-working space with some awesome friends, I live a block away from my office, and across the street from the best pizza place I know. To top it off, my amazing fiancée also works across the street!
Early bird or night owl?
I'd say more of a night owl. Freelancing has allowed me to get a little extra sleep in the morning!