Flair |fler| 1. A special or instinctive aptitude or ability for doing something well.
Another week has gone by and I have another Creative Flair to share with you guys! Today we have the very talented Joanna from Wink & Wonder taking us on a journey of her creative process and inspiration. Her story on how she developed her lettering skills is so lovely that it makes you want to pick up that pencil and paper and never look back!
In a few sentences describe yourself and what you do.
I'm a full-time web designer at a production agency. I also freelance in my spare time through Wink & Wonder, but focus primarily on design and lettering.
How did you first get into design + lettering and what's your favorite part about it?
I've always ben artsy but didn't know how to make a career out of it, so I originally majored in computer programming in college. I was pretty good at it but, one day before junior year, I ran into a friend who told me about the art program at our school and I remember being excited at the idea of doing something creative for a living. I switched majors almost instantly and ended up with my graphic design degree. I had no real career plan but I've landed really great design jobs since I graduated so things (thankfully) worked themselves out.
As for lettering, I got engaged in 2013 and started learning calligraphy so I could address our wedding invitations. I've always loved drawing by hand and would practice writing letters or phrases for fun when the wedding planning was stressing me out. Going from calligraphy to lettering was just a natural progression and I started posting my work on Instagram as a creative outlet. I quickly realized there was a whole other world to lettering and I've been obsessed with it since!
Do you have any creative heroes that you admire and have inspired you? Who & How?
There are so many people I admire, but most of all is the late Doyald Young. I stumbled across his documentary on Lynda.com and was absolutely blown away. He was such a talented artist and his attention to detail was just incredible. Whenever I'm stuck in a rut, I pick up one of his books and am immediately inspired all over again.
What inspired your lettering designs and what is your process?
My designs are inspired by a lot of random things - a word or phrase heard in passing, a new tool or technique I'm testing out, or a personal experience that happened recently.
No matter what sparks my creativity, the process is almost always the same: I start with loose pencil sketches, select a layout that works and refine, refine, refine. I'll then redraw the piece with a brush pen, paintbrush or marker, depending on the project. If I'm just posting to Instagram for fun, I'll generally just take a photo and do a few image edits with VSCO or Afterlight. If I'm working for a client, I'll scan the image and clean it a bit in Photoshop to maintain the hand-drawn look or bring it into illustrator for a crisp vector finish.
What is your favorite piece of work you have done and why?
I have a lot of favorites but the piece I love the most is a fairly large chalkboard sign we made for our wedding. My husband sprayed a raw wooden board with chalkboard paint (which doesn't work that well, by the way) and I hand-lettered the design. I had no idea what I was doing and was terrified it'd turn out horribly. I worked on it for a couple of days and finished just two days before our wedding... It came out beautifully and exactly as I had hoped!
Do you have a dream/goal that you wish to aspire?
I'd love to one day do work for Nike, Coke or Target. Those brands are always at the forefront when it comes to doing something cool and innovative in advertising. It'd be fun to play a creative part in that in some form or another.
If you could live and work anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Italy, hands down. My husband and I just recently came back form a two-week trip to Florence, Rome and Positano and it was amazing. The food alone is worth the trek! We're both really into ancient history and there's so much to see and do in Italy, not to mention all of the beautifully quaint towns to explore.
Early bird or night owl?
Early bird, for the most part. I don't get up ridiculously early but I definitely get more stuff done when the sun's out.