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Letterer / Procrastiworker Joined over 9 years ago
I use a combo of cheapy technical pencils (like the clickable Bic ones you buy in bulk packs) and Blackwing pencils (the black kind) for refining sketches!
I try to always make sure I have a lot of projects in the works—be they client projects, personal projects, etc. I only find myself TRULY procrastinating when I don't have another project to work on. I also forgive myself if I start something and really have no desire to finish it whatsoever. Generally, as long as I make sure whatever I'm working on could be completed in under a week if it totally took over my life, I have an easier time completing it.
I just try to make sure whatever I'm doing online is a reflection of how I am in real life. I don't know how people do it when they have to develop a "persona" for their work-selves that is different from how they are at the core. It's just easy to be me all the time!
I don't spend a lot of time worrying about how to market myself, but I do get self-conscious if I feel like I'm posting too much content to twitter that my audience might not be into. When I was pregnant / first had the baby, I was doing most of my online sharing on Facebook because I didn't want to overwhelm my twitter audience (people who follow me specifically because of my work) with gross pregnancy / baby related things. I don't filter myself much, but I just try to keep a balance of life/work posts.
I definitely spend more time hanging out with people in tech here than I did in NYC. In Brooklyn, I have two main groups of friends—a group of mostly illustrators, and a group of mostly graphic designers / web leaning folks. It was great to see the world from both perspectives and to talk to A LOT of people that were in a similar situation to myself—fulltime freelance doing mostly client work. Here, I feel like the freelance design / illustration community is TINY but strong. I feel like more of an anomaly in a city where most of the people my age are working for startups / tech companies.
There are a few things about startup life that intrigue me for sure. I love working with people and think I would thrive in a busy office. I would love to know that if I wanted to go on a last minute vacation there was someone I could delegate my work to (right now, I'd just be screwing over clients if I decided to randomly skip town). But overall, I really like being the master of my own schedule and I love that every few weeks I'm working on entirely new projects. I'm terrible at working on big long term projects so the high turnaround of freelance work is best for me.
The skillshare I have up has a lot of the content from our Letter Together workshops. I'd love to do more online workshops, but the letter together format might be difficult to carry out online (the limited class format really helps make sure I can fine tune critique everyone's work). I tried to put as much of the letter together content into the existing skillshare as I could, and much of what we teach in those workshops is also in my new book!
I would love to take a letter tour of the world, but I do feel like local designers are probably the best chroniclers of their hometowns. Erik, my studiomate, takes tons of pictures of sign painting around San Francisco—you should do the same for where you live in India and post online so we can all take a virtual tour! I think there were a few sites / instagram accounts documenting local lettering (there are definitely a few for NYC).
Really scary! I was very very clear with Chronicle that I didn't want it to be a monograph because I feel like it's way too early in my career to make a book like that. I knew that as long as I could make it useful, and make it all about process, that I would be less intimidated to put it together (and less self-conscious having it out in the world as an unchanging snapshot of a particular time of my life).
Most of my inspiration for projects just comes out of the constraints I'm dealing with—clients give me the words / phrases, the layout, general art direction or a moodboard, and I work from there. I make small decisions as I go rather than a giant decision up front, which lets the piece take shape naturally. That's not to say I don't look at other artists work, I just try not to do it often or while I'm actively researching a particular project because it's really hard to not accidentally rip stuff off!
Finding type foundries you like is very similar to finding musicians. You might have a library of 500,000 songs, but if you had to choose an artist off the top of your head to listen to, there's probably just a handful of go-tos you could rattle off. The mistake most designers make is memorizing FONTS instead of the designers of the fonts. If you remember the designer, you know you can look through their catalog and probably like other things they've made.
I'd look at sites that have a naturally curated list of foundries they work with (like vllg.com) or even some of the webfonts distributors (like typekit or webtype).
I definitely like the direction it's taken, but there are some things about it that bug me—mostly how it feels heavily weighted toward the gle at the end because of spacing / color. I think the G they use alone (in the heavier weight) is great, but when you see the G in the new logo it seems light (generally type designers add a little weight to uppercase letters so that optically they don't appear lighter).
I haven't had a daily project in a while, but I think it's something I'd really like to consider starting back up. Right now, I've been just figuring out how to adjust to my new work schedule (now that a baby takes up all my outside of work hours). Once I get a handle on that, I'll likely be able to dive back in to for-fun side projects again. I have a lot of half-completed typefaces and want to make a goal to slowly start completing / releasing them.
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