What do you do?
I’m a hand-lettering artist and illustrative designer. So, I draw pictures and letters for a living, and I often digitize those pictures, but I leave that to the latest moment possible. I’m a bit of a sucker for pencil & paper. Don’t get me wrong, I love the convenience and efficiency of my phone and laptop, but I love to create on paper as much as I possibly can before ever touching the computer. Hand drawn design everyday!
What does your work space look like? Where do you like to create?
I work freelance from home so where I spend my time varies. I love to be in the open, never shut away in a closed room. My workspace at home is in the middle of the house, open to the living area and kitchen with a great view of the front yard. It’s bright and clean with only my desk. I also work in cafes or pubs on a regular basis and by the sea as much as possible. Ocean towns are a huge part of the culture around here, being my number one source of inspiration.
What role does the pencil play in your process?
The pencil is essential. Hands down the most important role in my creative process. Sketching, taking notes, laying out a piece to later ink over, it’s always the first step of every single project. It was the first tool I ever used for art and will likely be the last.
Why do you choose to work with pencils and, specifically, Blackwings?
Pencils are versatile and forgiving, assets I appreciate in more than just art. To me they’re the simplest creative tool but so powerful. There’s something to be said for a tool that’s been used through the ages by the greats. That’s one of the main reasons I love Blackwing. I must confess, I’m a sucker for anything used by respected artists and Blackwing is no stranger to them. And the pencil itself is gorgeous. When I first saw one, I knew I had to have it.
What other tools are essential to your process?
I finish almost all of my pieces in ink. So after pencil sketching, I’ll go over it, typically with fineliner pens or sometimes a brush or dip pen with India ink. I go through a lot of Moleskines, as well. As I said before, my work eventually gets digitized, so of course I need my computer and phone. I’ve collected a ton of various art supplies over time, but I like to keep the every day essentials to a minimum for portability and simplicity.
How do you overcome ______ block? Writer’s block, artist’s block, etc.
Artist’s block is a constant battle for me, especially working from home. The freedom can be crippling, so one of the best things I can do is go out to work. It forces me to limit the projects at hand and just start tackling them distraction-free. Inspiration is everywhere, but motivation is the trick and working in public tends to give me that boost.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t try to be original, just try to be good. Originality will come with time.